Mark – 3 – Short story Saturday

Hi Ya’ll, Tina here again! I know you missed me.

Yeah last week was kinda left to the side lines. Kris was cleaning, I was getting to be mother to both of my boys at the same time and deal with my Still in training crazy pupper Izzy. Well, Now I am back home in my amazingly beautiful house(Thanks Kris!!!) and ready to get back to work. School has started back up and I am excited to finish out my very first year of college! Now, To continue the story of Mark and see where it goes.

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Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding. The bell chimed five times. The smell of smoke filled Mark’s nose as he took a deep breath in, waking up from his nap. He blinked his eyes and slowly looked around. The room was a deep rich brown color filled with Victorian looking decorations. It looked as if he had just stepped into a Sherlock Holmes novel. To be sure, it was one of his most cherished books as a kid and well into his adulthood. He could recite the various titles by heart and give you a run down of each one. He looked around the room and then down to his own two feet.

His shoes were nothing but some very soft looking house slippers. He was wearing loose fitting pajamas and a robe over a night shirt. He looked at his hands. The long lines and tawny strength of them gave him the faint memory of his teen years working around the small town he grew up in fixing things and helping with general projects. He was missing some scars that he had rightly acquired as a young man and they seemed to be much softer then he recalled.

The soft click of the door being opened brought him out of his self evaluation.

“Master Mark, Your dinner and Ms. Arthur are waiting in the dining room.” The soft, older voice of a woman called.

“Uh, Okay. Thank you very much!” The door shut and Mark stood up. As he did he spotted himself in the mirror above the fireplace. A younger looking man with the breath of youth still in his eyes was looking back. Mark realized that this dream was a nightmare, he was 16 again. No one wants that.

~~~~~

Walking into the dining room Mark took note of the man standing off to the side looking like a proper butler. Seated at the table was a beautiful young woman with golden waves of hair and an elegantly styled bun upon her head. She looked up and smiled. The smile and crinkle of her eyes reminded Mark of something foggy in the back of his mind.

“Oh, Mark dear! Have a seat, you must be famished.” The woman cooed.

Mark started to take a seat in the chair across from her on the side of the table. A curt cough echoed the room from the man near by. He lowered his hand and walked over to pull out the chair at the head of the table. Ms. Arthur’s face broke into a small grin. Mark scurried over to the chair, feeling slightly odd about taking the head seat at the table.

“Um, Ms. Arthur was it?” She nodded as plates were brought out. “What is going on? Why am I sitting at the head?”

Ms. Arthur’s smile faded, “Do you not remember anything? The conversation, the Trip, the conversion?” Mark shook his head. “Oh, dear, you must be so confused. Well, after we got here they gave you the age you had asked for and then reviewed your tastes to see where we might be best placed. I didn’t really have any preferences but they said for the job you were here to do, This would be the best setting and time placement.”

Mark shook his head as food was placed in front of him. A warm soup that smelled slightly sweet and savory. “I-I’m not quite sure what is going on. Can you explain more?”

Ms. Arthur thought for a moment and seemed to jump slightly in her chair as she though of an idea. She reached over and picked up a book from the floor next to her.

“Here, they said this should help you understand.”

Mark took the book and saw the words that were so familiar to him. ‘Tales of Sir Sherlock Holmes’.

Road Trips

Howdy everyone. Tina here.

I am currently out here in Oklahoma so that I can act as a taxi for my eldest kiddo. Taking him back and forth to Band camp and Robotics camp. I got to see a really awesome thunderstorm and have been working on some new shirt designs that I really enjoy. I have to say over all this trip has been useful. It is my first trip in a long time without Kris which made both of us super nervous. Lots of texts and phone calls. I have still had my share of panic attacks, anxiety fueled nausea, and bouts of not being able to walk without assistance. However, the major thing is, I have been able to keep going. I am still here. I am still doing all the mom things that need to be done and I am finding a way past my own problems. My husband has been an amazing support system and I still call him when I start to feel overwhelmed. However, being here and doing these things has helped me mentally to understand that I can still be a mom and get done the things that need to be done.

I love my family and every day that I get to spend out here with them helps to remind me of the love and support that I have with me in my life. My family is also learning that the young girl they knew as she grew up has matured and grown as an adult as well. That minor things that I may have blown out of proportion as a younger Tina are no longer met with world ending panic. Now I just shrug and have a more, “Welp, if I can’t fix it now, it wasn’t meant to be changed.” kind of attitude.

Seeing how I have grown based on the reactions of my family has been a blessing to be sure. It is often hard to see ourselves or our own changes because we have such an up close and issue focused perspective. If I could give you one piece of advice, it would be to allow others to grace you with the gift of their own perspective. Allow yourself to understand that what you see all the time might leave out the leaps and bounds of changes you have made. Also, I love you all. Keep your chin up and understand that what happens today doesn’t have to happen tomorrow.

Short Story Saturday

Tina here.

I don’t know about all you guys, but I am freaking loving the retelling of the campaign I play with my friends. If you don’t know already…. I am the pervy shoemaker. This week I have been feeling pretty gross and under the weather. So, as far as my story goes, I don’t know that I can really do any justice to providing a story. But bet your sweetest honey I am gonna try! Be warned, I asked my son for the type of story I am going to write. Enjoy!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~MARK~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The flames flew high as Mark ran down the hallway to the last room. This apartment complex had been in need of some dire upgrades to keep this kind of thing from happening but in this part of town, upgrades were not high on the list of priorities.

The last door was registered to a Mrs. Karhu, an 80 something year old woman who had lived here for longer than anyone could remember. Mark checked the air flow under the door to be sure he wasn’t running into a bigger inferno and opened the door. The flames were not yet invading on this apartment that seemed to be stuck in the 1940s, but the heat from the rest of the building being on fire was making itself known.

“MRS. KARHU” Mark called out though his mask, then quietly listened for a response.

He walked toward the back and checked the other rooms. In the back bedroom was the old woman, dressed in her Sunday best and laying on the bed with a suitcase next to her. Sitting quietly next to her was a small girl with long white hair, who turned to look at the fireman as he marched toward them.

“We have to get you out of here!” He closed the door and opened a window to wave down the ladder truck. When he turned back around the old woman was gone along with her suitcase. Mark had not heard the door open or felt any of the things that might happen if they had with the windows open. “Where did she go?” The small girl just watched Mark move around the room looking in the bathroom and closet. The heat was increasing greatly and they were running out of time to escape.

Mark grabbed the small girl and headed to the window to the waiting firefighter. “I can’t find the old lady!”

“No time, your backed in, let’s go before the building comes down on you!” The firefighter hooked a harness to the girl and instructed her to start climbing down.

Mark took one last look around the room and went out the window.

Hours later and the fire had been quelled but the building had been damaged so badly that it could no longer stand on it’s own. With a small rumble and little fanfare, the building came down. Everyone was mostly accounted for and escorted to a temporary shelter as they got things in order. The little girl had been alone the whole time and when everyone started to part ways and find a bed the girl just stood there. Mark watched from afar and waited to see what would happen. The landlord had said that there was no record of the girl in their files and that the old woman had always lived alone as far as he knew.

The night wore on as the girl continued to stand in one spot and observe everything that was going on around her. Then at 3 am Mark looked over to see the girl staring right at him. Her eyes seeming to almost glow with a pale blue light.

“You must come back. They won’t move on.” An eerie voice called out. With that the little girl opened her hand and touched a small necklace.

The flames flew high as Mark ran down the hallway to the last room. This apartment complex had been in need of some dire upgrades to keep this kind of thing from happening but in this part of town, upgrades were not high on the list of priorities.

The last door was registered to a Mrs. Karhu, an 80 something year old woman who had lived here for longer than anyone could remember. Mark stopped. This – this was familiar. Had he not been here already?

The door swung open and an old lady and little girl were standing there holding hands. “Hello Mark.” The old lady ushered in the firefighter as if he was just paying a visit. Mark walked in and shut the door behind him. Suddenly the heat of the fire was gone.

“Mark dear, won’t you sit with us a moment?”

Mark looked around quickly, the carbon monoxide must have messed with their heads. “No ma’m, there is a fire and we need to get you two to safety now.” Mark made his way over to the windows in the living room and looked out. Outside it was a dark night with the city going on as it always had. Where were the trucks? The flames? The other rescued people?

“Mark, I think you had better sit down. Allow me to explain.”

Mark looked around and shook his head. Something was wrong. With long strides Mark reached the front door again and reached for the knob. However there was a strange little girl blocking the way.

“Mark, she doesn’t want you to leave. I think it would be best if you listened to us first.”

The man looked back at the old woman for a moment and thought about sitting down. This big suit was extremely heavy. He shook his head and turned to the door again seeing that the girl was now gone, he turned the knob and pulled it open.

“You must come back. They won’t move on.”

The flames flew high as Mark ran down the hallway to the last room. This apartment complex had been in need of some dire upgrades to keep this kind of thing from happening but in this part of town, upgrades were not high on the list of priorities.

The last door was registered to a Mrs. Karhu, an 80 something year old woman wh-, wait. This door. This woman. This feeling. Mark felt as if he had something crawling under his skin. He shut his eyes and upon opening them found himself sitting inside an apartment he had never been to before but seemed to know where everything was. Across from him sat an older lady who was pouring tea for three people.

“Mrs. Karhu?” Mark questioned.

“Hello again Mark.” the old woman smiled.

“What is going on?” Mark took off his helmet and sat it next to him.

“Well, it appears that you are expected.” The old lady smiled. “You see, I was one of those working class women. The few who never had a family because my job was my life. Well, my dedication and experience led me to be the best in my field. I started working for the government and well. Long story short, I met her.” Mrs. Karhu nodded to the little girl standing to the side.

Mark watched the small girl as she walked over and sat next to the elderly woman.

“Mark, You are exceptional.” She paused waiting for him to watch her again. “You are like myself. Someone who is needed. We have something that is missing from people like this girl.” The woman patted the girls hands that were folded on her lap.

“Sorry, but, I don’t think I understand. I am a firefighter. I am needed during emergencies.” Mark stated trying to shake this groggy feeling.

“That’s right Mark, but you are also a leader. Waiting to emerge from your cocoon.” The woman smiled. Mark noticed a suitcase next to the couch. There was another one that looked just like the one he used for his sparce traveling. “Mark, they want  you to come with us.”

Mark looked back to the woman and saw that standing behind her were three other people, two men and a woman, all dressed as if out of the 1940s and watching Mark.

“Where?”

The old lady giggled, “No, Mark, when. We are needed in the future.”

Mark looked the people over and figured he was just dreaming. “Sure. Why not. Do I get a T-shirt as a prize afterward?”

The old lady smiled. “I don’t think you really understand but they take everything at face value, so your approval has been accepted and we will start the process to leave soon. Right Elanor?”

The small girl nodded. Mark laughed and picked up his tea cup.

The lady from behind the couch spoke up. “What age would you like Mark?”

Mark looked shocked for a moment at the monotone voice that came out without any feeling. “Age?”

The old lady stepped in again. “Yes, you can pick what age you would like to be when we get there. Technology is so amazing! I am going for 25!”

(To be continued)

When a little goes a long way

Tina Here!

One of the things I love about my husband is the drive and passion he can have for projects. He wants to clean the room. You can bet your 70’s disco playlist he will get it done. He wants to build a world, Hell, why not build a world, novel, and game based around that world. One of the things that has been hard on both of us has been our weight. He would never say anything to me about it because, well, I am extremely sensitive about it. However, since I was pregnant with Nik we both have grown quite a bit. I saw one of my inspirations on YouTube talk about her own weight loss journey and thought huh, I bet I could do that.

So, Kris and I downloaded Lose it and have been tracking our weight loss for the last 16 days. I haven’t really lost much but I didn’t expect to loose to much. Really, I wanted to have a log of my eating habits for a month to take to my doctor for advice. Well, so far what I have observed is that I very rarely eat over my “allowed” calorie limit. However, I have days were it is bad, just like everyone I am sure.

 

So far this has been more a trial of memory and remembering to log everything. Often times I hand it over to Kris and go, “Does this really look right to you?”

So far it has been telling me I should reach my first weight goal by January next year…. or July… It can’t decide. So I guess we will find out around then.

Shrt Stry Strdy

Tina Here

Well, It is here again. Saturday. Right after Friday. Like clockwork. Can you tell I have nothing much to say today? This post is late because I was working with Pflugerville Pets Alive at their adoption event and was bogged down with the task of playing with 16 puppies. It was so terrible, I loved every minute of it, doing it again next week. With that being said, I did boast a little about my writing so I guess I better put up or shut up.

So today will be a spooky one, since it has been awhile for one of those.

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The old wooden floors moaned at the intruder. The shadowy figure paused to listen. No other noises started up, so he continued toward the bedroom. Secure the parents, secure the kids, take the load, get the hell out of town. Simple job, rich family, easy money. The thoughts flowed out of him like a mantra. Really, he should consider himself more of a robin hood type. He was taking back the riches given to this blowhard normally given to the guys who hired him. Not that they would ever take responsibility for hiring him, but that was the norm.

Gliding down the hallway, he stopped at the sound of harsh breathing. His heart raced as he turned his head, fearing the worst. There stood a small boy, no older than 7. His light hair and dark eyes shadowed in darkness. His smile, however, was as bright as day.

Panicking, he almost yelled in surprise. The boy shook his head and smiled, leading the man down the hall. His hand was cold, and clammy. Like he had just washed them after a midnight pee. Did this boy think he was here to play? Why didn’t he alert his parents? The boy pointed to his room with the door slightly open. They continued to the room as the man thought of ways to secure him without alerting the parents.

The boy walked into a room that was decked out with all the latest tech gadgets any young boy dreamt of. He stood over the fish tank near the bed, watching with intensity. The man, true to his profession, searched the room for ways to secure the child. Something to mute his cries, something to hold him still. He had zip ties he could attach after getting him quiet. His eyes wondered the desk littered with game systems, a jar of money, action figures. Comic books covered the bookshelf with abandoned educational books. He spotted a closet that was slightly ajar, a jump rope leaking out the bottom like a forgotten snake. The man smiled as he eyed a basket of laundry with freshly rolled socks on top. Picking both up, he turned back to an empty room. The boy was gone.

Panicking that the boy had gone to wake his parents, he ran out the door, almost bowling over the boy looking up a set of stairs that had been hidden behind a door. The man grasped empty air as the boy dashed silently up the stairs. Swearing at all the saints he remembered, he took off up the stairs. Cursing his luck and this kid. Cresting the stairs, he saw the child looking at a wall. The boy smiled and walked out of sight. As the man gave chase, he stopped short at the edge of the pool of blood. Mother, Father, Sister and Brother all embraced on an old couch in a loving family pose, mussed hair and pajamas worse for wear. Upon further inspection, he saw the father and mother were bound. Sister was leaning on the mother’s shoulder. The boy sat holding a jump rope. The man looked to the jump rope in his own hands only to find a crowbar, dripping with blood.

Dropping the crowbar to the floor, he looked up to find them all staring at him. Smiling like he was a photographer, about to snap a picture. He took a step back into something solid. Turning his head slowly to keep the family in view, he noted the door was now directly behind him. The one from down the stairs. The man whipped back around to find the boy in front of him again, offering the jump rope. The man shook as warm liquid trickled down his leg. He noticed the rope burns around the boy’s neck. Looking back to the family, he saw they were all looking angrily at the boy. He looked backed to the smiling child with the jump rope. Terrified, he found the other family members had now risen, standing much closer, as if coming for the child. The man couldn’t blink, couldn’t move. Suddenly, he felt tight. The boy had his arms wrapped around his waist. The man glanced at the boy’s smiling face, while the boy wrapped the rope around him. His eyes darted to the family, frozen even closer. Reaching for the child, as if to snatch him.

With that, the man was pushed backwards, and just kept falling.

Police lights flashed against the marbled main entrance to the beautiful home. Four body bags were taken out by gurney and loaded up, on their way to the morgue. The police stood by and watched large men in smocks buckling the last latch on the stranger they found hanging over the bodies, speaking gibberish.

“You know, I’m almost keen to believe him.”

“What, that they set him up? That they fought over him? Or that the boy was saving him?”

“Nah, that he was breaking in here to steal stuff, but that they stole from him.” After a sip of coffee, “Seems to me that alive or dead, they stole his sanity.”

Huffy laughter followed as they followed the muzzled and bound perpetrator out of the house.

Dang it Kris!

Tina here.

Whatever Kris let in to this house got me bit bad. Metaphorically speaking of course. He has chatted my ear off about his rpg and his back and forth on setup and how it works. Last night he gave me a break and picked up a YouTube video by a guy documenting his progress in making his own rpg. Well damn if I didn’t make him pause and start over after fetching my notebook cause I had an idea.

That’s right. I am also making an rpg. However mine is aimed at nerdy families with younger kids. So if your friends are to busy trying out that new beer place in downtown Austin, you can just rope your family into game night in the guise of family time.

Really I know so many parents who are gamers and would love to play something like the established rpgs with their kiddos but the setup and explanations seem a bit daunting to explain to someone who you just finished explaining why you HAVE to wash your hands after you poop.

Now not to get you all hyped but I am excited and after I make a working model I will need a cast of various kinds of kids to be sacrificed to my little game. I promise to return them eventually. So yeah be on the look out for that and if Kris hunts you down to talk about magic vs physical fights, take a deep breath and enjoy the math and science he is about to throw at your face.