A Dream is a wish your heart makes…

Tina here. It has been a while since I was last able to make a post! Kris made sure to bust my chops about getting a post done for this week.

Today I would like to talk about dreams. Not like the kind you have when you are sleeping but just things you want to do with your life. Big topic I know. I think we can work on this.

First thing, I wanted to make sure to touch on this subject far from any dates that might draw you to make yourself promises out of obligation. I want a more organic feel to the ideas you have. So, to get this whole ball rolling, let me share some of my dreams with you. NOTE: Many of them are contradictory to each other. That’s okay I think. It gives me lots of paths to look at.

Small time dreams:

So this is anything from getting Nik to pick up his own toys without being asked, to finishing my new Jenna Moreci book.

Small time dreams are there to help remind you that little steps can have a large change in your life. I like to have lots of little dreams that I can work toward. Currently, I want to help Kris get our kitchen in order, renovate the yard, which can be broken down as: plant in front garden, clear out spaces, plant garden in back, fertilizing the yard, and setting up a single place for Izzy to go to the bathroom and training her to use it. All for the dream of having a lovely yard for my friends, and family to enjoy this summer. I want to be able to host people during events like RTX where I work as a Guardian. I live close enough to Austin that doing a cook out or something with local Guardians would be fun. My son is also starting to get to the age where he wants to have people over to play with him. I want them to be able to have nerf battles out in the yard without having to worry about landmines of dog poo or fire ant hills. Our kitchen has slowly started to build up the things we want to use to make our own food, however, we are quickly running out of space for it all. We needed to work on storage solutions. We made a great stride on this front this week in buying a large shelf from Costco to keep our small appliances and Nik’s lunch stuff on. So he can help in making his own lunch each day.

 

Big/Distant Dreams:

These are not impossible, they are going to just take some work to get to the end of, and I have to keep reminding myself what I am working toward. College. I have been attempting to go to college and further my education since I found out I was pregnant my Senior year of high school. I always found reasons to fall out or fail, or reasons found me. However, now I am enrolled in a free online school working toward my degree in Business. Which will push me toward my other dreams. Such as running my own cafe. I had a dream my first year of high school, that one day I wanted to open my own cafe. A place that I would have wanted, and that I heard my friends longing for. Just a place that was easy to love. I have named, dreamed, and built this place in my head for years and years. Getting my degree is the first step to moving me to understanding everything it will take to not only make it happen, but make it work for a long time. This dream however does directly conflict with my life long dream of living in Japan. Japan has been a dream of mine since I was 11. I was largely influenced by a man named Ken Yamamoto. He was a family friend and gave me my first taste and understanding of his home country. Since 11 years old. I wanted to go to Japan. I went for my 17th birthday, thanks to hard work and an amazing Aunt and Uncle, I was granted the chance to visit for 3 months of my summer. I loved every second of it. Even when I cried, even when I was unsure. I loved it all. I want to move there. However, now I have a family. Not having a degree limits my options, and each time I take a step closer, I get pulled a little tighter to stay stateside.

 

These are all things that I am always dreaming of and working for. It keeps me active every day, working toward each one. What kind of dreams are you working for?

More short story Saturdays!

Hello everyone, Kris here

This is just another silly short story. This week revolves around a supporting character from the actual novel I’m attempting to finish someday whom I wanted to flesh out a bit more.

Starting a garden in Winter’s Edge
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Lesa’s body was frozen.
Well not entirely frozen, not yet at least. The small woman dropped her flint multiple times trying to catch this damnable tinder though. After multiple tries, she was fed up with her useless fingers and decided to cheat, whether or not it spelled her own doom.
“Burn you stupid wood!” Screaming at the small fire pit, the kindling inside was incinerated instantly.
She glared at the glowing pit. Then she punched it!
“Ahh!”
The spike of searing pain brought her back a little from her flirt with insanity. Damn this cold and snow and stupid forest. Damn the shades. Especially damn the members of her order, who sent her on this fool’s errand in the first place. She could almost feel the pollution sliding against her from the other side of the planar barrier. Disgusting.
Mellesanna took several, steadying breaths and focused her mind inward. A little fall in the snow was irritating, but there was no use being angry at the snow. The sharp air bit her nose, she accepted it as punishment for losing her temper.
“Ooooh a kavve tree!” She delightedly peeled the bark from a tree across the small clearing and inhaled its beautifully earthy aroma. “Well if this isn’t motivation for that fire then I don’t know what is.”

Twenty minutes later, the slender floran was sitting next to a cheery fire. It snapped and popped at her, releasing the delicious fragrance of the kavve bark. Sipping from a steaming mug, Lesa smiled to herself and let her muscles relax.
“I suppose any place I can make coffee won’t be all that bad. I hope.”

Lesa camped with her fire overnight, using the opportunity to stock up on the roots and bark with which to make coffee. She’d considered getting an early start to cleaning up the spirits, but prior experience held her back. She’d released her own soul into the middle of too many hairy situations to want to risk that anytime again.
Bags and pockets bursting with seeds and now roots and bark, she set off toward the smell of. Well, the city. She’d managed to cross the mountains without major incident, but the real anxiety was always in anticipating her introduction to a new town.
Well, Winter’s Edge was a big city, she would presumably not be the first floran to show up. The characteristic green tint of her skin wouldn’t be apparent during the winter anyway.
A howling gust of wind ran up her spine with a shiver.
Was it windy a moment ago?
An unnatural chill slowly crept all the way up inside her. Maybe she’d been a bit too careless yesterday.
Mellesanna chewed the acrid edge of a soultrap blossom from her emergency pack and angled her body this way and that, trying to pinpoint the direction the chill was emanating from. It was definitely behind her.
Lesa strained her eyes to catch a glimpse of the sun through the forest canopy for some sense of direction. The trees whispered at her to run, but winter made them weak. She whirled about face from the distant mountain and bolted through the rough undergrowth. Her spine was radiating pins and needles across every surface of her skin, a screaming alert that she wasn’t running fast enough.
Switching tactics, she dragged a stick of incense on the run and then halted in her tracks. Lighting the small stick, she wafted the smoke up and down in a circle to encase herself in it. Lesa kicked her bedroll open while unlashing a secret pocket in her backpack and setting it next to the bedding. The slender woman slid into the sleeping bag and sealed it tightly, incense and all. Forcing deep, slow breaths, the lock around her soul weakened immediately.
Slowly, her eyes closed.

Pitch black silence greeted Lesa as she opened her eyes.
She felt the telltale lightness of her body. She tried to inhale. Nothing. Perfect.
The spiritwalker took a few minutes to calm herself; she needed to assess quickly and get to her bag immediately.
Breath in. Breathe out. In.
Inky blackness swallowed her as she ripped aside the cover and dove to her bags. Lesa’s hand instinctively closed around the small, glassy sphere. Then vicious claws raked across her back like icicles, and she froze from shock for a split second.
A split second too long.
She wailed as knife-like teeth pierced her shoulder, soundlessly screeching into the nothingness. Mellesanna’s mind blanked as she fought her consciousness, trying to swim out of the venom-induced haze enveloping her. Finally coming to, she whirled to face her assailant.
Towering over her, the hulking shadow stared hungrily through her with glowing, rage filled embers for eyes.
She choked down the rising panic threatening to chase out the shred of sanity she clung to. The monster dragged her formless spirit over its head and wrapped its black hole of a mouth around her being. The feeling of her own soul being dissolved imprinted itself into the memory of her soul.
Inch by agonizing inch, Lesa reached her hand into the pit of the shade’s heart. Squeezing with every ounce of strength left, the grenade shattered and shredded the beast from within. It wasn’t possible for sound to carry through this realm, but the silent roars of pain and hatred released in that moment nearly blew her to pieces. Relentlessly the clawed fingers tore through her in its death throws.
An eternity helplessly flailing through the quiet night.

Deafening silence.
Slowly, it became agonizingly clear that she’d survived the encounter. Damn.
Mellesanna started into the void of a sky for a long time. How long was she out? Hours? Days? She cursed her physical body’s weakness. Slowly but surely, Lesa dragged her lifeless form back to her bag. She wriggled into place and re-sealed the barrier, and her world disappeared.

Breathe in. Breathe out. In. Out. How long she lay awake counting her breaths, it was impossible to tell.
In. Out.
The exhaustion in her arms and gnawing pain in her stomache hinted that she’d been asleep for several days. Judging by the burning throat and eyes, she was probably close to dying.
Should have slept a bit longer.
Lesa reached feebly for her water skin outside the sleeping bag. Frozen. Damn.
She sighed.
She let her hand fall to the ground. With monumental effort, Lesa managed to slap herself in the face with a handful of cold snow. Delightful.

Mellesanna’s drooping eyes watched the sun peek over the edge of the world through the treetops. She wasn’t thrilled. Nor did she enjoy how weak she was going to be for the next week. The supplies she needed to restock. Hopefully no more bastards of that magnititude were hanging around.
She accidentally let a yawn slip through her guard and winced.
She sighed again. This was a splendid start to her secret gardening career and she could not WAIT to get started.

Spring breaktimes

Kris here!

I was going to write a blog post with a picture for one of my short stories, but I didn’t get that all the way done yet. I also haven’t completed the other short story I was writing but that should be for Saturday anyway. The reason I haven’t finished those is because of visiting children for the week, so let’s talk about them instead!

Children are terrible great. So much youth and vibrance, vitality and. Uh, attitude. Sheesh!

I kid of course, just as they are. We’ve been having a great time what with my being at work the entire duration of their stay, and them being jerks angels and drinking all my juice. I’ve been considering spiking it with nyquil but I think that would make them stronger. I also perfected my macaroni and cheese consistency and I consider that a week well spent.

We’ve got a couple of card and video games under our belts so far. Now that I’ll be finished working for the week, I was preparing to have them clean out the entire garage. I think this week is going to turn out really swell after all! And now, I’ll magically take some photos and add them to the post even though I’m nowhere near them for several hours:

Short story Saturdays!

Hello friends – Kris here

Tina was unfortunately under the weather this week and didn’t get a chance to write a normal Wednesday blog. Here’s something I whipped up in the same universe as the last story to share with you all. Everyone get out there and have a great week!

____________

 

Emphidias spat the coating of slime out of his mouth. He always got the worst collection jobs and he made sure to be angry about it the whole time.

Sure the nasty, viscuous fluid was essential to keeping the engines cool. And sure, he could see in the dark. Just because one had to scream at a fungus in the dark for the lubricant to be released didn’t mean he had to be understanding about the ordeal.

The grumpy dwarf slung his hands back and forth to get the last of the goo off of them. Finally this blasted barrel was full. As quietly as he possibly could while lifting a hundred pounds of snot onto his back, he secured the straps and marched pointedly through the darkness to the entrance. He marched for several minutes through the twisting maze. He wiped the sweat from his brow. Wait, sweat?

By the gods, the cave was heating up, which meant only the early awakening of its inhabitant. Was he down here too long? It had taken more fungus clusters to fill the barrel this time so it was possible he’d overshot his time. If that were the case, someone should’ve come down after him.

Cursing himself, his companions, his people and the monster simultaneously, Emphidias whispered along the corridor much more quickly. His soft shoes leaving no trace of his passing on the rough stone floor. Squinting in the bright light of the entrance as he rounded the last bend, he could feel the hair on the nape of his neck stand on end.

“Damn it all to hell!”

He jumped forward and felt the wet splat of the monster’s whip-like tendrils flailing at the stone just behind him. Sprinting as fast as his burden would allow, he hopped back and forth several more times and zig-zagged to keep the sticky appendages off him. His legs already burned in multiple places where the acidic mucus was eating at his flesh.

Bursting out of the dank cavern and into the sunlight, Emph yelled at his comrades who were laughing and chatting amongst each other.

“You fools woke the damn thing! Flash it quick!”

Momentarily stunned, the men on the hillside shut their mouths to comprehend what he’d just said. The disgusting, deafening SQUELCH as the monster hurled its front end at the cave entrance spurred them into action. Each man scrambled for the mini-bombs they all carried and struck their strikers against the quick-fuses at the tops. After each was successfully lit, it was subsequently hurled at the enormous blob dragging its way into the daylight. The shapeless mass of gluttony had hurled itself out of the mouth of its home at the scrambling, stocky dwarf racing for the ship. The thrown bombs stuck to its sticky body easily, burning until the flame reached the explosive contents inside.

One by one, the bombs’ retort rang into the crisp air and released the bright flash of light the flash-bangs were named after. The creature recoiled, the flashes of light searing its sickening flesh.

The men blew into enormous sailing horns and formed a semi-circle around the monster. The loud, baritone notes forcing it to draw back into the cave to escape.

Waiting a few minutes longer, the men chucked a few more flash-bangs with a longer delay into the cave mouth and made a break for the ship.

Emphidias had just finished massaging the goo into the boat’s propeller when everyone rushed aboard. Hitching the chains in place, the rest of the men took their places at the pedals and started moving in sync. Explosions resounded into the air on the tiny island and the ship started the long trek home.

“Well this is easier already” said one of the prop-men cheerfully. “Wish that stuff didn’t suck so much to acquire.”

“Well I’m not sure what woke that bastard up,” Emphidias was resting his weary limbs. Angrily. “But this site won’t be safe again for at least a year or more. Next time I’ll use you all as bait and do the collection while the beast is eating.”

A short story

Kris here –

I had a bit too much coffee yesterday, so after doing the dishes and cleaning a bunch I threw down a quick story.

_____________

Carrick bit down on his shirt. Hard. The two needles he wielded fishing the weaponized leech out from the wound on his chest. Temples pounding, he almost passed out with relief as he saw the venom sac extracted intact. Well relief, and pain.

He opted to leave the other half embedded in his ribs until he made it out of here. The bone leech might take a rib or two, but without the venom sac it was relatively harmless compared to his pursuers.

His racing pulse slowed enough to let him hear the voices outside the building. The good news was that throwing his shirt into another house had distracted them for a while. The bad news was that he was hiding in a residential block where the homes were all connected, and the enemy clan members were setting fire to the whole thing.

Carrick tucked his intel into the sash at his waist and hoped nothing happened to his pants.

He carried his trusty needles with him as always and still had a hornet grenade, but that was it. He ran through a brief list of options and cursed his luck. His light travelling had almost paid off, he’d managed to get the sacred scroll before anyone realized that he’d been the one to cause the stampede. He hadn’t counted on the rhino crashing through the temple wall though.

Well, no matter. He was here now, he just had to find a way to get outside the walls.

The door splintered in the next room as it was kicked the hinges. Carrick lept from his seat and held on to a ceiling support over the doorway for dear life. He took a few steadying breaths. His heart slowed. The world slowed.

A gruff, beast of a man clad in plate armor peeked through the doorway looking for the intruder. Smashing his heavy steel mace into the mattress, the soldier violenty flipped the bed-frame before realizing his mistake. Carrick waited until the man’s hands were full with the bed and then dropped from his perch, burying his twin needles into the the big mans’ spine.

The soldier screamed in pain briefly before being choked with the venom sac. Carrick punctured the other man’s windpipe to prevent him from crying out, and fished through the bag at his belt.

He pulled a large hunting horn out, and an idea sprang into his mind. Moving fast, Carrick buried the hornet grenade into the soldier’s mouth after giving it a good shake and tied the pin to a strip of cloth connected to his heavy mace. Making sure the wide, terrified eyes were riveted to his every move, Carrick then bound the others’ arms and tied his hands to the mace as well. Then made a quick blindfold.

He slid the bed against the bedroom door then, and used the armored-man to wedge the bed into place for a bit more leverage. He broke the lock bar off of the window and peered out into the shadows. Taking note of his enemies, he blew a strong, clear note into the disturbed night. Smiling at the sounds of alarm coming from all around, he waited a minute while they all converged on the door to the apartment.

A troop of guards swarmed the front room and started kicking in the door to the bedroom feverishly. Once no more men were outside, he slipped out the window and silently closed the front door, using the windows’ locking bar to jam the door from the outside. Then he crossed the street and scaled a smaller building as another troop rounded the corner.

A chorus of screams rang into the night, drawing the attention of the new guards while he slipped away.

Carrick slunk through the shadows, only stopping once to grab a sleeping man from his bed. Bound and gagged, he carried his distraction to a room above the hole in the wall he’d created in his entrance earlier. He confirmed the location of each of the guards, then hurled the man from a balcony and rolling down the hill.

As the men ran to the screaming figure, Carrick slipped into the night.

When Kris dreams

Kris here

I had an idea for another silly story about Tina’s nighttime antics, but I wasn’t able to get everything completed for that. So instead, let’s talk about dreams for a minute.

No not like, goals. I mean like I’m-asleep-leave-me-alone dreams.

I don’t talk a lot about dreams to many people, and I figured it was just because most people don’t like talking about their personal stuff. That’s totally fine. But dang I’ve been learning that a lot of people don’t even remember or care about whatever they dream about each night. Maybe these people are boring, or maybe they have normal dreams about stuff I guess, that sounds pretty sucky to be honest. A lot of time I’ll wake up specifically to jot down what I just lived through because hot damn they get intense. I feel like the emotions or sensations felt while your brain is just cleaning house at night get to be unnecessarily intense.

I mentioned it briefly a few weeks ago, but when I was younger I basically had nightmares for about ten years following a few scary movies I maybe was too young for. I don’t think I survived a single dream between ages 8 and 14 in fact. No matter how often it happened, I always woke up sweating bullets, pulse racing a mile a minute. I started becoming a thrill junky honestly, to this day there’s not much I love more than a good racing pulse right when I wake up.

I once dreamt about spiders taking over the world en masse and killing off most of humanity – I was spared of course because I was always nice to spiders. So I’m hanging out living daily life sans humanity, just my spider family and I. Suddenly I hear a loud CRUNCH and I’m like oh god no what have I done? Everyone around surrounded me and were all mad about my stepping on their best friend who was just trying to walk next to me. So there I am, being hauled off in ropes made of spiders – wrapped around me and crawling all up inside my clothes, biting me and being generally creepy. At the end of the trip was a guillotine made of spiders, and the end of my dream was them repeatedly dropping the spider-blade and sloooowly beheading me.

I’m still a fan of spiders, but what the hell brain? I woke up pretty panicked though so it was fine.

This stuff can be good fuel for games or stories or whatever you want to do and you can’t come up with ideas for. I woke up this morning the saddest I’ve felt in QUITE some time over a hyper-focused dream about some fictional people I’ve never known or met. While I can’t necessarily say I agree with the material itself, you can be sure I wrote that down immediately to help inspire me if I ever need to write the saddest scene ever and I’m just too happy.

Hi, I’m Tina, The scary one.

So my husband, has had to deal with so much, uh, trauma from this marriage that I don’t know that he could ever recover. He has grown so adapted to my little ticks and tricks that sometimes I even forget things that he remembers in a snap.

Because of this I have taken him to every doctor’s appointment I can so that I don’t miss anything and I have extra ears to absorb the information. Let me tell you about a time that my migraine made me forget how to speak English.

So first off, my family was in town visiting us and I was feeling kind of off all day. I would forget words or stutter frequently. The kids got into a fight and the adults were all yelling and the color of the room just, shifted. I felt dizzy and went to sit down. Followed in by my aunt who found me shaking bad enough to worry and go grab my husband. He came in and when I would try and tell him about the colors or the pain in my head. I would just stutter the words out. It got worse and worse to the point where I couldn’t say anything. However, I know my letters in ASL as does he, and we have been learning Japanese together for some time now. So, I attempted in both ways to tell him what was going on. We were both baffled. My family was freaked out. I was freaked out, and with anxiety as a major issue for me, I was doing my best just to not break down and bawl in a hole for the next week.

My aunt agreed to watch the kids as my husband drove me to the ER, however, we had noted a few days before that an ER clinic had opened up down the street from the hospital. It was associated with the hospital and had lots of equipment to take care of us. So we popped in there. As we walked in, me clinging to Kris’ arm to be steady enough to walk. The nurse started our check in. Because I couldn’t talk, Kris was doing all the talking for me, as I would tap him and remind him of something in ASL. I don’t know what triggered it for them, but one of them said they had paperwork for him to fill out and they would take me back to a room to get me set up and take my vitals. What happened next still makes me angry.

I was bombarded with various nurses and doctors all trying to get me to talk to them. Saying things like, “It’s alright, he can’t get to you here, we won’t let him back.” I tried signing to them that I wasn’t being abused but they didn’t know any ASL. They handed me paper and that is when I learned that I also couldn’t read or write anything. Like at all. I started to cry in frustration as I pushed harder and harder to speak in English and all that would happen is stuttering and extreme pain in my head. Like level 11 out of 10. They kept trying to get me to lay down and just breath but at that point I just wanted my husband so he could explain, or translate. I pushed past them all, shoving several out of my way, with tears streaming down my face. I walked back out to the front where I could hear Kris asking to see me and being told that they just needed a few more mins with me. I came out the door to see him being bullied by a 5ft nothing nurse. He was shaken when he saw how upset I was, but all I did was yell profanities in Japanese and grab his arm and try to drag him out of there. He stopped me and made me breath, holding me close and shielding me from the nurses and doctors that had come chasing after me. I signed to him that they though he hurt me. He confronted them and called them out on assuming and refusing to listen. I wanted to leave. Go home or to the hospital down the street, but by this point I could barely walk. I started shaking badly again and Kris took me to the room they had set up for me and held my hand the whole time they talked to me from then on. I told him to tell them that they needed to learn ASL. He didn’t. But this man was my rock then, and will be forever.

Side note: after several hours of tests, the doctor calling people for ideas and lots of meds, I was able to slowly come back into some kind of normal and we were discharged.