In the darkness, a light. Through the trees it shines, penetrating window-glass and crossing the vegetable patch until it just touches the edge of the trees, the boundary of our little interruption of the forest. It lightens my skin a little as I kneel there, catching my breath.
I stare through the window with my bright eye. I hope no-one has gone to look for me; that we have learned that much from our first year in this forest.
It seems a pleasant, cool night. Moonlight plays on the leaves and branches. Occasionally the breeze might let some of the canopy slip aside, exposing a sparkling, seductive glade or comfortable stump, a perfect destination for a dusk stroll.
If you weren't careful, the temptation would overcome you. You'd set out into the trees without a cloak. A faerfly or two would light as you started on a familiar path. But the paths we know by day shift at night; soon, you'd find yourself lost, the faerflies deserting you, and the cool air starting to nip. Then the night things would emerge.
I hear the sounds of the autumn beasts behind me. I saw them on my unplanned journey in the dark, as much as one ever does: shining eyes, shadows in the moonlight. Now, they gather just behind me, as if suspicious of the open sky.
As I stand to make my way to the homestead, the door opens and a familiar, weather-beaten man steps out, lantern held up before him. I sigh with relief; if my father has not gone looking, no-one else will have. I step out from beneath the eaves of the forest, and call to him. He turns with open arms. It's good to be home.
Behind me, the autumn beasts slip away. The forest sighs.
The settlers arrived, eager to claim a new homestead.
They loosened the soil and began building, molding the land to their bidding. They worked quickly and tirelessly, striving to forge a place of safety, a place of prosperity, where the ample resources nearby would ensure their family could(more) grow and prosper.
But others had claimed the land first and fought ruthlessly to defend it.
A stomp and grind of a shoe was all it took to destroy the settlers.
Alby sat astride a tree branch and kicked his bare feet. It was his favorite tree to climb, an old, solid thing that was still within line-of-sight of the house. Rian lounged against the old white railing, grateful for the fact the sun had passed and now the entire(more) porch was bathed in cooling shade.
The sunglasses helped a little, but not enough - he would have a massive headache in a few hours; and Ed better be on-call because the only thing that helped a sun-headache was liberal application of werewolf blood. Rian watched as Alby kicked, then leaped to his feet, balancing expertly on the limb.
The kid was an acrobat - he had a lightness on his feet that Rian envied. He wouldn't at all be surprised if he suddenly took off - after all, fairies and frost spirits both could fly - but instead Alby grabbed a higher branch and scrambled himself up the tree a little more. Rian smiled a little despite himself.
"So how old's the kid today?" Edward's head and shoulders appeared from the roof above. His hair was all loose and hung around his head as he grinned at Rian. The loose hair signified that this was Sariel, the earthborne angel and not any of the other Edward Elrics that roamed the grounds of the old house. He was likely sunning himself on the porch's roof.
"Seven or eight," Rian said, looking at Sariel above his sunglasses. "It's hard to tell. I wish he'd stop time-skipping it's making dealing with him very aggravating."
"I bet." Sariel had mantled his wings to shade his head. "What about Frosty, where's he gone off to? Maybe he should take the kid for a while."
"Southern hemisphere, just like he does every year," Rian said softly.(less)
I'm seriously considering getting my own place. If I were a young adult, this statement would be “normal,” but I’m not. I’m a mortgage holding woman, a tad bit over five decades into this thing called life, and I’m fed up with home, as I currently live and breathe it. (more)
Years ago, I rationalized that when there were no more babies in the house, the house would stay clean, or cleaner, with less effort on my part. Status update: That rationalization has proven to be a damn lie. At my age cleaning up after others—one grown man, a teenager, and a young adult (sometimes)—should not be a part of my day-to-day when everyone is well over the age where cleaning up after themselves should be a given.
Home is where hell is. Hell, in my mind, is synonymous with clutter and chaos. Everyone I turn, there is a pile of something that should not be in the living, the bedroom, or the kitchen. “Don’t put that there,” I yell, “because that’s where it will be two months from now,” I warn, but evidently to no avail. Clutter fucks with my mental equilibrium. I can’t stand it. I can’t take it!
For a long time now, I’ve been flirting with visions of a quiet, clean space, hardwood floors, a gadget-free kitchen counter, and gleaming appliances (not a problem because I don’t cook much). Oh, how I would love to curl up on my butterscotch, soft-as-butter leather sofa, and not feel compelled to get up and pick up a damn thing because I’d be looking out into a clean, clear space.
Each time I encounter a pile, I entertain these visions. Today I called a few apartment complexes.(less)