James tapped the pipes again. The tinny echo bounced around the basement, making the copper tubes sound much larger than they were. Insulation was wrapped around them, keeping them warm and snug. James stepped away and checked over the furnace outtake again.
(more) Still no frost. That was good.
Weather reports had been flying in from all over the city - downed power lines, caked with ice - car crash after car crash, broken noses and whiplash - fights over clean water, people getting angry and upset. But that was in the city.
James was up in the mountains. Nestled between two ridges, in the cabin he'd built himself. Solar panels provided the power, and the water wheel powered anything else he needed.
Rather, it had powered everything. Until the river had frozen solid and the sun had been hiding for days. Now the power was almost gone, and the only place still warm was the subbasement.
James was down there now, blankets scattered all over the room. Opened food jars lined one wall. The last water jug sat on a chair, a companion.
Time slowly clicked back, and with every minute the cold inched deeper.
The crowd was thick with people, milling around, pushing and shoving in an attempt to get a better view. The sun overhead shimmered, heating the ground and releasing the smell of mud, sweat, and manure. The crowd surged in various directions as people tried to move to the forefront.(more)
"They're disgusting." Katherine whispered under her breath, keeping a smile on her face as the carriage bucked and rolled with the uneven ground. She leaned towards Thomas and raised her hand to wave. "I can't wait to get back to the palace."
Thomas smiled while waving. He always did that, and Katherine hated it. Comfortable with the commons, he revelled in the presence and awe they bestowed on him. After all, he said that type of reaction was only fit for a king of the realm.
Nobility suited Katherine, the family of her birth being the one of the wealthiest in the country. She had married Thomas and elevated her family into the royal line. However, fame and fortune came with the price of slumming with the rabble from time to time.
The sun was rising overhead and her dress was tight around her waist. Musty smells and the throng of people made her head feel as if it was in a vice. A dip in the road drove the carriage up and bounced her loose in her seat. Reaching up to straighten her tiara, a thought brought a smile to her.
No matter how much she hated the rabble, she was so far above them. (less)
You can love being in your kitchen, cooking and baking and testing new ideas, in love with what'd bubbling in a pot or coming out of the oven.
You can be in love with a n(more)ew book, curled up in bed. Your tea has gone cold hours ago. The characters are part of you, you've known them forever and you love them. You love them and the prose and the descriptions and the detail and the feel of the paper.
You can be in love while out for a walk, enjoying the seasons. The briskness of fall, the biting cold of winter, the dampness and rebirth of spring, and the endless heat of summer. They cycle in and out of you life forever, always waxing and waning through the years of your life. You can find comfort in the regularity and love taking steps in each one as it comes anew.
Most importantly, you can love yourself. You can love yourself above all things. Love who you are, who you want to be, who you were. Regardless of any flaws you see within yourself, take them and love them. They are a part of you, just as your talents are. Learn to love yourself and use that love to propel yourself forward.
Self-love can do anything. Move mountains. Sing in public. Dance to anything. Explore. Create. Grow.
If you love yourself the whole world is yours. (less)
People started to file into the room, slumping into their seats, withered from the outside heat. Women started to fan themselvse while men unbuttoned collars and undid ties. Condensation beaded on the windows and walls, and the podium at the front of the room looked greasy. David peeked out(more) from behind the curtain, eyeing the whispering commons as they shuffled uncomfortably.
There had been better days to give a speech like this.
He gestured to the audio-visual aide, who leaned over his control board to push a button. Static, followed by feedback, then clunky music started to waft into the heated room. David straightened and walked over to the podium, smiling and waving at the crowd.
They did not smile back. Someone coughed.
David shuffled his papers. A few floated loose to the floor. Leaned down to pick them up, David couldn't help but notice the crowd of cameras and reporters at the base of the stage, looking hungry. And lean.
Holding back a cough, he smiled again and started.
"It's good to see all of you here today. I know that you've been waiting for quite some time for my opinion on this delicate matter, and I apologize for keeping you waiting. So let's get right into the matter at hand. Last week I was found in a establishment that is normally meant for massages, but with an erotic flair. I admit my mistake and while my wife and I are now seperated, that does not detract me from the job I was elected to do. I'm hoping that all of you can see past this lapse in judgement and let me continue to do my job. Any questions?"
The Mayor grimaced as the audience became a sea of raised hands. (less)