from Louisiana

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    • Mercenary, pt. 4; Target, pt. 3

      10 years ago


      She entered the shop. It was quiet and empty, and unlike every shop she had previously visited in her life, there was no jangling bell to herald her entrance. She pondered this as she took several steps inside, finally deciding that either the owner of this shop was seldom absent, or customers were satisfied to wander quietly around until someone showed up to wait on them. After a moment, she decided the latter. The shop was cool and dim. Suddenly, she was oddly overcome with a resemblance to the feeling when resting under a shady tree on the fringes of a forest. As she carefully made her way around the shop, she realized that the aromas surrounding her solidified that sensation. She passed the comfort of pine needles crushed underfoot, the coolness of mossy undergrowth, the pungent aroma of willow leaves, the tingling bite of mint that grows near cool springs, and even the smell of the cool spring water itself. After a number of minutes, she discovered that she felt restful and quite calm in body and spirit. She grew very interested to meet the person who could so quickly make his customers feel at peace merely by meandering through his small apothecary. At that moment, she heard the sound of someone passing through the curtained archway at the back of the store and turned to gaze across the room into the deepest eyes she had ever seen.

      Mentius had heard the door softly open. He didn’t need one of those obnoxiously jangling bells to know when a customer had entered his shop. He also knew this was no usual customer, but instead the mercenary he was expecting. As was his practice, he continued with his small tasks for several minutes to allow her ample time to experience the carefully created affect of his small world. He noted as she encountered each one of the embracing aroma that wafted gently around the shop. It was no accident that she began to feel peaceful, at home. The magus had not only carefully arranged the apothecary to produce the most calming effect on his patrons, but he had also crafted some very simple enchantments to aid in the effect. When he felt the time was right, he quietly stepped through the curtain and met his customer.

      Previous installments:
      mercenary, pt. 1
      target, pt. 1
      mercenary, pt. 2
      target, pt. 2
      mercenary, pt. 3

    • seven years

      11 years ago




      ...I will delete any comments that I feel are contrary to the spirit of my post. So if your comment disappears, now you know why.

    • gustav

      11 years ago


      So we survived Hurricane Gustav. Or gus-TAV'. Or Guss'-tuv. Depending on which newscaster you happen to be listening to. Why it's so difficult to pronounce Gustav the right way every time, I have yet to figure out. Ah well. At any rate, it was very rainy and very, very windy, but survivable, over all. I took a video or two with my phone that I'll have to upload later. I pondered writing a lengthy narrative filled with description and drama for everyone to read, but I nixed that idea in favour of a Hurricane Ten:

      10) Wind is very loud and very strong. During a hurricane you will grow tired of the incessant sounds of the wind and rain. But the occasional *crack...smash* of a falling tree will alleviate it.

      9) Expect to lose electricity. Don't expect to know when you'll get it back. For us it was a week. For others, it's still out.

      8) Hurricanes black-outs are a good time to sit on the front porch and marvel at the power of nature. Just make sure you stay on the porch. They are a bad time to wander around. You get hit in the head by shingles and sticks and stuff. My sister's bf discovered that.

      7) Hurricane black-outs are also a good time to sit around the table and play card games as a family. You'll have a great time, and you might discover that your typically acquiescent mother becomes a very competitive player when she's playing against your dad. lol

      6) After the storm is over, you will cross your fingers for not-so-hot weather since your power will still be out.

      5) Generators, while a little on the loud side, are quite a wonderful thing to have.

      4) Cleaning up the yard is quite a task. There will be limbs, branches and leaves everywhere. Thankfully, we didn't lose any trees this time. Weirdly, it isn't just limbs, branches and leaves that get tosses around and down by hurricane winds. There is also a layer of shredded leaves that gets left on the ground. Yes. Shredded leaves.

      3) Oscillating and box fans, and an old tv and N64 make the lack of power livable.

      2) Governor Jindal has shown himself to be a very capable leader in times of anxiety and emergency. I'm glad to have him. Mayor Ray Nagin is a moron and I'm glad I don't live in his city.

      1) This is a more serious point: I cannot begin to express my gratitude, and the gratitude of most everyone around here, to the electric workers and the Red Cross volunteers and the National Guard soldiers who have come down here to help get things back to normal as quickly as possible. You are all most appreciated and much thanked. There aren't really words to express how much.

      So there you go. Hope you enjoyed. :-)

    • Mercenary, pt. 3

      11 years ago


      New installment:

      She entered the town with a deliberate stride. Some of the residents glanced her way, but most continued about their business. Mercenaries weren’t unheard of here. In fact, since Embery had grown and spread around a river and a highroad, residents were accustomed to seeing one or two pass through on a decent enough basis. The very fact that she drew so little attentions testified to her well-crafted disguise. She briefly enquired of an older gentleman the direction to the section of town where she could purchase some necessities. The gentleman amiably pointed out the way. She thanked him politely and made her way in that direction. This against was calculated move establishing her ignorance of a town she in fact knew intimately. When she found herself among the shops of Embery, she took care to enter several in particular, purchasing small food stuffs, a replacement water bag, and a few other odds and ends that bespoke a long journey made with yet still more to come. Finally, she approached the shop which was her ultimate destination and the only reason for her approach to the town. After a brief mental check of her plan and story, she opened the curiously worked door and entered the apothecary.

      Previous installments:
      And here:

    • why am i still awake?

      11 years ago


      Warning: This is moderately lengthy. Too bad for you. lol

      So. About 6 hours ago, my sister, a friend and I arrived here:

      To see him:

      It was fun. It involved some of this:

      And then this:

      And even this:

      Yes…in case you are wondering, he is standing on the piano, and the piano is sparkly. Overall, it was a really good time. There was dancing and swaying and singing and a performer who obviously enjoys giving a concert. I like concerts.

      Here are some things I would like to pass along about concerts:
      • Always MapQuest the location of the venue. Even if you know the city. Even if you’ve been there before. Invariably, when you actually arrive in the vicinity, you will not remember where it actually is, but will instead end up walking randomly around 5 extra blocks only to realize you were too far over to start with. The venue will actually be about 100 yards from where you parked.
      • It’s very silly for the venue to ban cameras when 90% of the people are walking through the door with a better camera on their phone than the one they had to bring back to their car.
      • Considerate people who have already discovered this fact will be kind enough to let everyone know as they pass by on their way to the car so that other people don’t have to get to the door before finding it out. I like considerate people.
      • You will almost always end up next to the group of future trophy wives who are wearing too much makeup and one-upping each other’s stories about how they met the musician and how he left an autograph line to come hug them much to the chagrin of the security guard who tried to make them get in line like everybody else.
      • This group will provide you and your friends with ample chuckles and eye-rolling looks to pass the time.
      • The House of Blues is always an excellent place for a concert.
      • Musicians are not always punctual.
      • Getting there in time to see the opening band is always interesting. You may discover a new musician you really like. Tonight’s offering: Marie Digby. Quite a fun and talented performer.
      • Expect there to be some whiners somewhere near who are unsatisfied with the opening act, and will reminisce about the Benjy Davis/Sister Hazel match-up they saw sometime in the past that was somehow a better band match-up than what they are currently being forced to endure.
      • These people are pretty easy to ignore.
      • Some people have a tendency to inch their way backward into you during the concert. You will be strongly tempted to walk around them and fill in the person-sized gap created in front of them by this personal migration. When you tap on their back and ask them to please step up, they will look at you like you’re speaking an unknown language.
      • FYI: After your third Corona, you don’t need to start speaking more loudly and at a higher pitch. Other people’s hearing is still just the same as it was before you drank three beers, so you can keep talking the same way you were talking then.
      • Considerate people apologize for elbowing you by accident even when you’re all squished together anyway. This is always appreciated. Inconsiderate people glare at you like it’s your fault. This is never appreciated.
      • Concerts are never long enough, even though you’ve been standing for 3 and a half hours. You still want to hear more songs.
      • Good performers keep a favorite song for the encore. It’s an audience pleaser.
      • Getting back to the car is much faster because there is no Moron Detour.
      • Everything on the drive home seems much quieter. This is probably a bad sign of what’s happened to your hearing.
      • When you get home, you will realize that you forgot to take the trash out to the street before you left. This is okay because at quarter to 1 in the morning, the temperature is about 20 degrees cooler than at quarter to 5 in the afternoon. This is a good thing. On the other hand, the trash cart with almost two weeks worth of compressed-to-fit-in trash will be very heavy, and it will bog down the entire way as you drag it down the 850 of newly laid limestone driveway. About ¾ of the way down, you will stop and wonder is it really worth it, and whether you will pass out before you get there. You realize that 4 hours of standing and 3 hours of dancing in place are not helping you now.
      • But you make it.
      • You realize as you climb into bed that it was a very great evening because concerts are always fun.


    • whirlwind

      11 years ago


      So my parents and my sister and I had a whirlwind trip this week. 1,583 miles round trip, four days gone, 1 brother graduated.

      My brother has been gone the past 9 weeks for basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. He's now fully immersed in the Army National Guard. And loves it. So we drove over there for his graduation from basic and then dropped him off at Fort Rucker in Alabama on our way home. He's doing 7 weeks of aeronautics training there. It was so great to see him again and meet some of his battle buddies...well, really, his brothers. I'm so proud of him.

      My brother in his ACU's
      My brother and some of his fellow warriors from 3-13th Inf, F company, 1st Platoon.
      The Battalion in formation on the parade grounds for graduation.
      My brother and me after graduation. He's in his Class B's. Unfortunately I don't have a picture that shows the shiny shoes. :-)

      So there you have a summary of what I've been doing since Wednesday at 6.30 am. It was a great trip, and I'm so proud of him. He's a great brother, and a great man.


    • target, pt. 2

      11 years ago


      Here it is, the next installment:

      Mentius waved Joram over as soon as he entered the shop. There was one customer, the bailiff’s wife, browsing through pre-made herbal treatments in the back corner; but she was the only other person in the shop. Joram quickly walked behind the counter to his mentor’s side, unconsciously straightening several items on the counter as he passed. He couldn’t help but watch the customer out of the corner of his eye as he approached Mentius. The magus looked at his protégé and smiled warmly.
      “How was the river, my child?â€Â
      “Warm and vibrant, father,†Joram answered. He was well aware that the magus was not his “real†father, but he had known no other and could imagine no other loving and caring for him as Mentius had.
      “Excellent,†he smiles again. The magus picked up a small stack of objects that Joram now noticed had been sitting on the counter in front of him. “I have a journey for you to take. It should be without many problems, but I am afraid I cannot go myself.â€Â
      “It is no trouble, father. The shop needs you more than I, anyway.â€Â
      “I thought you might say that. I know your heart. You are longing for some space and some change. This journey will be good for you.â€Â
      Joram simple nodded and smiled. The magus knew him well.
      “Our stock of venenum sol¬is is running low. We must have more before the new moon or we won’t be able to fulfill the mayor’s order of aqua gaugii in time for the Festival. Now, there is only one magus who holds the instructions for venenum solis. His apothecary serves the royal city of Tholena on the other side of Verlin Forrest.â€Â
      Joram looked closely at the magus. They had never journeyed to Tholena in his life. And Mentius had always implied that danger awaited them should they travel there. Joram had never been told why, though he suspected it had much to do with the secret of their lives that Mentius alone knew fully. Mentius broke his thoughts by handing him a piece of paper.
      “This is the name of the magus in Tholena and the notation of his apothecary. This,†he placed a sealed letter on top of the slip of paper, “is a letter to Magus Aram. It explains much he needs to know as well as requesting the necessary potion.†Next came a small shoulder bag. “I’ve packed a few things you may need along the way in here along with some funds. You will need them. There is a larger bag on the table in the kitchen with some food to start your journey, but you will need to stop along the way, as the journey will take several days at a minimum.â€Â
      At this point, the magus took a deep breath and gazed at Joram with what seemed to be slightly troubled expression. Joram tried to sense his guardian’s thoughts, but the magus was much better at concealment than he. He would have to wait for the magus to explain his thoughts. He had to wait longer than he’d hoped because at that moment the bailiff’s wife determined which treatment she was looking for, removed it from the shelf and approached the counter to pay.

      And for those of you who haven't read them, the previous installments:
      And here:


    • mercenary, pt. 2

      11 years ago


      She stood at the top of the hill for a moment before beginning the walk into town. As she made her way down the hill, she thought about her plan. This one had required more preparation than usual…a better cover story. This time the way in had been a little trickier. Her typical target was the type who was looking for a mercenary to hire. Usually for protection, sometimes for assassinations. This one was different. She had needed a better cover. She had done her research from the start. This one was smart, and well educated. He had been raised by a magusâ€'the same magus who had secreted him away from his birthplace at a young age. He was young, an outsider, and known to have learned much from the magus. He was not the type that would hire a mercenary for protection or assassination. That type was generally the exceeding wealthy, yet cowardly type. Everything she had discovered about him told her he was intrepid, smart and unusually brave. The magus had trained him well, at both manhood and the magic arts. This was a trickier assignment. After much thought and many inquiries, she had chanced upon a way in.
      c: 2008

      The first parts of this story are here:
      And here:


    • corridor

      11 years ago


      Footsteps echo in the darkness.
      I pause, struggling to determine
      the nature of the emptiness before me.
      I cannot.
      The echoes fade too quickly;
      change too rapidly.
      Hesitantly I chance a few more steps.
      More echoes.
      No more enlightenment than before.
      Apprehension appears
      to check my progress:
      what if there is a wall just there?
      what if unseen stairs await?
      what if…what if…?
      I stop frozen for a moment,
      trying to decide what next.
      To step forward in the darkness
      is filled with risk.
      To stand still is to stagnate.
      One option is safer, simpler.
      The other is life itself.
      Cautiously, footsteps echo again.

    • wierd

      11 years ago

      lilith87's Friday the 13th. Just making a note. You can move on with your regularly scheduled activities now.

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