2022 Creativity Project – Feb. 1

I think I shall be happy to keep to date going forward.

Living Time

It could be Tuesday, though any day would do as well. Francis never thought to specify this time, and it had simply become too dangerous to stay when they were.

He did not often have Morgan with him on such jaunts, but he had invited her to engage in some tourism. Now he was more thoroughly convinced than before that he preferred her safely at home.

In his careful examination, it appeared that this snafu was due to no malfunction or mistake of his own. He cleared his reports, but those revealed that someone, somewhere, somehow, somewhen was purposefully ignoring his longstanding imperative directive on the methods and devices he held total responsibility for creating.

The misuse of proprietary developments was a severe problem. No one else could set the variables straight, and Francis entertained a suspicion even he might fail. It was an unprecedented disaster.

He realized earnest prayer was in order. Action must be taken with haste. It seemed a saboteur was in the machine, actively fooling with time.

Buds Awaiting © Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

Tanka
Eagle in full flight
Knowing Earth is bountiful
Stretching forth talons
Spying the many creatures;
We aware power features.

Prompt
I riffed on the thought that it was Tuesday in the depths of night, do something similar and create something. You could pick an object, sound, conversation, whatever catches your imagination.

Gratitude List
I am thankful:
1. I went outside without the dogs and took some photos.
2. Solitude.
3. Powerblocks.
4. Imagination.
5. Creativity.

I am so glad you chose to visit Haphazard Creative. If you will, please click the like button, follow the site, and come back often. I am in my second month of a year-long Creativity Project. Your comments, suggestions, and ideas are warmly welcomed. I do a prompt most days; check them out.

As always, all work on Haphazard Creative and Chronicles is © Jo Ann J. A. Jordan, unless otherwise indicated.

Ready, Go Create

Sometimes creating is hard. Life intervenes, or feelings get in the way. When you find yourself unable to practice your art, here is some encouragement:

  1. Pick up a book, turn to a random page, read the first entire paragraph, create a work inspired by the whole, or just a word. You do not have to relate your creation to the meaning of the paragraph at all.
  2. Think of a place you would like to go, Google it or use Wikipedia. Do some searching; when you find something that intrigues you, create whatever you are inspired to do.
  3. Go somewhere nearby and see it with new eyes, like a stranger. Take your impressions and create from that starter.
  4. Create an ad for an item, band, show, or movie you love. Probably change the names involved.
  5. Give your pet, or one you had, an adventure backstory. If you are a visual artist, create from there.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

I hope those give you some ideas. All the best to you always.

Rathadorn’s Bane

It had come to this, finally, and the ending was near. Trenton, Samuel, and Zonal took significant damage and became disarmed. The paladin and cleric began to say prayers to their Maker. The fighter, thinking he lost enough blood, believed himself delusional.

He watched Ellen, the bard, closely. She set her harp and bow aside. Both were useless, nearly unrecognizable; the dragon’s talons had their way. Zonal could not believe or understand what he saw.

Ellen stood only yards from the cruel beast. She had a small black notebook in her left and what must be a ruby pen in her right hand. He could not imagine writing poetry or songs in this dread situation. He had marked the bard as a unique character, but she must recognize the danger to them all. What could she be thinking?

The gigantic dragon shifted its weight upon its priceless bed of treasure, which included golden coins that scattered and clinked. The dragon’s richly furnished hoard was collected over many lifetimes of humanity.

Ellen stood exposed, writing, glancing at the human-killer occasionally, probably checking that it remained relaxed. Zonal guessed she wrote more than one page. He was aware that a bard might be akin to a mage. There was no prior evidence of this in their adventuring.

As she wrote, the notebook covers began to give off an ebon glow, and the pages lit her face with a creamy shine. The dragon growled like nearby thunder and shifted its dinosaur-like head in the bard’s direction.

She made a few additional notations and put the ruby pen in a pocket. She straightened her robes and seemed to stand straighter. Her emerald eyes almost sparked as she entirely focused on the dragon, Raptadorn.

She began to speak in her clear melodious tones:

“I stand before you honored Raptadorn, a bard of lesser renown, Ellen Whitskiene. I have heard your exploits and famous legends of the many humans you have removed from living lands.

Now, if I may but bring your attention to the fact that you grow less ferocious and decline into age. It is not my place to force you, but I think you must agree; it is time you retired into a pleasant secluded place. There no one would disturb your restful peace.

My friends and I shall take command of your hoard of money and rare items, which you may sign over as our reward. We will then refrain from killing you. We will make sure all you leave we competently disburse, so you need to suffer no remorse or lingering regret.”

Zonal could not believe this wisp of a woman was a bard powerful enough to enchant the deadly dragon. He watched Rathadorn as Ellen spoke when he could draw his eyes from her. All during the speech, the beast grew smaller. The creature, reduced in size, had humanoid proportions. Her voice seemed a melody. Zonal could almost remember the tune, but it was the most beautiful ever. He decided incredible magic was in play but was it the book or the words she said?

Where did this notebook and ruby pen originate? He concluded Ellen was no rookie bard. How had she hidden herself and the truth away?

The dragon becomes an aged man with an ivory staff and walks confidently over to Ellen. She retrieved her pen, placed it in Rathadorn’s hand, and held the notebook for his signature. After the elegant script swirled onto the page, she looked into his golden eyes and said, “Go now in peace, Rathadorn, and trouble the world and humankind no more.”

Zonal, Samuel, and Trenton watched as what was once a fearsome and magnificent dragon turned into a pure gold mist then disappeared.

Ellen looked at her companions and said, “Well, we have to rid this place of all the signs of dragon lair and treasure hoard quickly. Our trucks stand by; we have maybe a half-hour before the androids discover what we have done.”

The three look at one another and, in unison, say, “What? What just happened?”

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

Sunday

It was Sunday again. She knew not because she could follow days, but because after feeding the chickens, Auntie insisted she take a bath.

It was a new thing, bathing herself alone; she was only a small girl.

Life was different now. Her Mama had gone away to someplace far, called Florida. Daddy said she would never be back.

Auntie had come to live in the little house because she was a widow- woman, alone. Sometimes she seemed strange with her black clothes and strict rules. She knew things like no one else did. People sent for her when someone was sick, or babies came, or people left this living.

She was mean at times, telling the little girl, “If you don’t behave, your Mama woman will come and take you away from here, and you will see your Daddy no more.” Tears and sobs would torment Hope because she loved her Daddy and Bubba more than all the things, including her one baby doll. She had night terrors of being snatched by the bad woman and taken away.

After she bathed in the tub of cold well water, Auntie pushed her dress, underwear, and shoes into her arms. She was careful in putting them on just right because Auntie was handy with a switch.

Soon Daddy, dressed in black, except his white shirt and the gray tie he wore, said it was time to begin the long walk to the church. It was dry now, so the road threw up little spurts of red dust as they strode along.

When they reached the bridge over the creek, Hope cried and wrapped herself, best she could around her Daddy’s legs; he could keep her safe from the harm of falling or being taken away.

Daddy reached down and effortlessly took her in his arms. Since the child could walk, she had been terribly afraid of falling through the cracks in the bridge. Now it was compounded by nightmares and his sister’s stories her mother might step out of the woods and steal her.

Auntie screeched, “You should put that child down and make her walk. You are spoiling her. She will turn out to be no good at all.”

Daddy looked at her, saying, “But she is only three, and she needs to learn love is a safe place, a safe person, she can trust when she is frightened. Hush up now; you are not the one supporting her weight. She is my precious Hope; she has lost a lot, it is okay that I carry her. Mind yourself, don’t be so cold-hearted.”

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

I rarely tell stories, this one is based on reality. The little girl is my Mom.

Chance

She held out her hand, and he clasped it in the largeness of his own. His grip was tender but enveloping, and she clung to him with the strength of a rising raptor.

“I never thought to see you here,” she whispered.

As he let go of her hand, which he had gingerly shaken, he said, “Neither did I anticipate your presence.”

“We must be lucky,” she said, a smile lifting her lips and lightening her eyes.

He stepped backward, “I would not say it that way. It is another life for us both these days.”

Shadows seemed to gather grayly, blackly, round her, some clouding her previously radiant face. Her voice quivered, choked, “Ah, then, I will be getting on my way. Fare thee well, and never you stop to worry yourself over the one who dearly loved you on that long misbegotten yesterday. It is now over; as have you, so have I forgotten that love we partook.”

The crimson skirt and ebon cape swirled, like ripples in a pond, around her as she turned and stalked away. His dark eyes followed her until the fog swallowed her form. Then he wondered, was she a specter imagined, or the reality that haunted every passing dream.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan