“The thing about you newbies coming in here wanting to save the nation, is you are not too long from graduation, either from college or the public sector. You may have done great things, won some fights, started improvements, but this place is another country. The dangers here come hard and fast, without let up. The pressure is always on. The illusion of them and us soon dissipates, and one realizes all the training is inadequate. What is done here is about lives, every life depends on success within these walls. I have not seen any troglodytes slipping into the sewers, and I mean you no disrespect. I hear good things about you, Jacob. There is crossing at the borders all over this estate. I have put in the time, it has cost me dearly. I can be your friend, or I can fade from your presence, I hoped we could find some common ground. I might be of assistance as I wish someone would have been to me when I came in with the bright shine of fool’s gold,” said the shorter man, his voice sincere and understanding, “By the way, I am Thomas. If you like, we can go get some supper or dinner if you prefer.”
Jacob smiled, “Steel, that is a category I was not expecting of you, Thomas. You are the first person I engaged, and I see I was led precisely where I should go. Forgive me if I blasted like a cannon. I am not like most of these politicians. Also, I have a lot to learn. College is not life and corporations are blood-sucking leeches. Aw, hell, the military is not even what it seems, it is a great place to lose hopes and dreams. See the world, from one tin can to the next, and come home to find a family different from who you left behind. I lost a marriage that way, missed too many funerals to count. The man took most of me and no one understood, all in all, I only wanted to do good. I am here to put paid to some debts, serving with all my soul. God is my pilot, but I find He does not say much, and I could use an ally. Supper is fine, Georgia was my home once upon a time.”
© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Well, I guess I will ride while I can. Can we say, “Unexpected.”
“Why are these people in positions of power?” Asked the gray-suited man with a crew cut, wire-framed glasses that show-cased his aquamarine eyes, and a body so draped that it spoke of frequently missed meals.
“They were elected, then elected again and again,” said the short solid man with shoulder-length locks, deep brown eyes, and a smile sliding into a smirk. His suit was some designer everyone recognized when the name was spoken.
“Well, sir, I would say it is time to dump the yellow bucket before anyone mops and fill a red one with fresh hot water with plenty of suds. The floor our nation rests upon must be pristine if anyone is to accomplish things of lasting worth,” the reedy man said decisively.
The fashionable man shook his head, “You know money has the scent of delight even if it is dirty. You try to scour these halls, you best be prepared for a formidable fight.”
“The people who dispatched me believe I have the credentials, experience, fortitude, hardware, and insight to do whatever it takes to make this august institution a better one. I have a history of doing what is necessary to never disappoint anyone’s trust,” light sparkled comet-like off his lenses, “If you intend me trouble, I advise you go back to your swamp. We need no troglodytes around here. The days of parasitic prey upon the public are now coming to an end. I mean to start something so revolutionary there will be talk of the Spirit of Washington rising again.”
© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
I wish I would work with this, because it is a good start. It is doubtful I will though. I like beginnings, I can create them easily. Middles are impossible.
Hypnos was controller of none of the humans in 2020, the powers above his pay grade had relieved him of that luxury; still, he could disturb their reality. All the distractions vying for attention drove many people to the brink of exhaustion. With his experience in sleep’s theater, Hypnos could easily reach those minds open to predation.
The wily god liked ending sleep only barely begun. On one human subject, he played the game to allow an hour, or three, of rest and arranging something to incite wakefulness. At times it was streaming a louder song, having the dog jump on the bed, changing the room’s temperature, or sending a frightful nightmare.
For another victim, Hypnos reckoned sleeping day hours and wakeful all through the night would be splendid and cause eventual dissolution. A satisfying state of affairs for his purposes.
Humans were oblivious to Hypnos’ interference. The old tales were rarely told, and so their memories were incomplete. His path was without obstacle. People who thought they slept well were providing him with a smorgasbord of dreams. He swallowed their strength.
Alex and I talked about sleep problems and this came up. I think I might do more with it, but I never know.
© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Her battered visage gave evidence she wrestled nearly every one of her days, and all the skirmishes had taken a severe toll. It was unclear the number of future body slams remaining in her slender frame. As she raised her head from focusing on the notebook, she held in her unadorned left hand and gazed at the toddler bouncing toward her with wide open arms and bubbling laughter, all the love her heart contained was apparent in her luminous silver eyes.
Somehow, this willowy woman so chastened by life and its society had managed to contribute material to the making of this child who could grow to be one the world would need and treasure. The future, notoriously reticent, held its tongue, never divulging what it was planning in the intricate pattern it was constructing.
The woman had a secret she rarely revealed, while many no longer recognized the sovereignty of the Lord, she found herself more frequently than ever calling on His grace to extend favor to the darling girl before her. This babe, who was many times over a miracle, had a place, a consequence, a meaning, in the days unfolding like a crumpled, twisted fitted sheet.
She did not like to say life was hard, because she recognized everyone had challenges, problems, struggles. Adding her bit to the misery did not seem right. She ate her consternation, her pain, along with what she collected from others. She tried to sample them only in privacy.
She found herself continuously resorting to prayer as she knew no other way to deal with such a multitude of troubles.
Sitting alone in this blindingly white room on perfectly cornered snowy linen in a gown that was allowing the air to nip at her back and behind, she felt more vulnerable than she liked. Her mind would drift into fear, and she would call it back like a hyperactive unleashed dog. Sometimes it obeyed, and she could bring it to heel, sometimes not.
The battle she faced was not unlike others, where her life was invaded. The trick was always finding a way to continue, overcome, survive. She snatched up her smile, painted it in permanent pigments, trusted her prayers, were continually heard, and chose joy over doubt. She might be weak, her weapons dull, but love was strong and capable. Even something life-threatening could not keep her down.
Seraphina would be okay, whatever befell, she determined to go bravely with a pleasant countenance and a spirit yielded to God.
© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan