The wet sucking sound of the plunger could not entirely drown out the opening stanza of “Santa Baby” being piped through the store. The strange acoustics of bathrooms gave the song an eerie echo. Maggie was internally composing a strongly worded letter to the “resource center” about Christmas music in March. March! For fuck’s sake. Maggie channeled her irrational hatred of Christmas music through the plunger.
An introduction to Waverly’s Tale.
This is not a sequel to The Princess Bride. For years, I thought it would be. Maybe for years I hoped it would be. I spent a long time searching for answers. Who kills Humperdink? Does Inigo become the Dread Pirate Roberts? What happens to Fezzik? Is True Love really that terrible? (Spoiler: It is.) Why did you read this? Stay with me. Yes, it is a story about a lost Princess, a Pirate, of Friendship and True Love. Yes, there are giants and witches and miracle men and evil Princes. It is a story of how love change us. It is a story of Princesses and of Brides but it is not Morgenstern, nor Goldman. This story started with them. So, it is with The Princess Bride, the book and my obsession with it, that we will begin.
Wherein past and future arrive at the present. Masks are exchanged and brothers are reunited.
The Revenge made way quickly. The eerie wailing fading behind them did not fade quickly enough. For days, the men aboard would have an echo of it seize them. Only one serious injury resulted when a sailor fell from the rigging trying to cover his ears even though there was nothing but silence and sea on the wind. Mostly it would raise goose flesh and cause an involuntary shudder. At least there would be no positive gossip to lead others to One Tree.
The sea was calm but the ship was heavy and it’s passage threw waves and spray with exceptional force. There was a shadow behind it, but it was not the ship’s own. It was not yet dawn and the moon was new. There was no light to cast the ship’s shadow, but there was a shadow none the less. It kept pace with the vessel, occasionally causing a whitecap of it’s own. A lithe creature moved through the rigging. Barely visible. A liquid drop of ink hiding behind letters. It glided over masts, slipped down ropes, through partially filled sails. In the pre-dawn mist, it tricked the eye into doubting. Was it there? Liquid black dropped to the rail of the ship, silent and smooth, then it was gone. Over the edge to towards the shadow in the water.
Season 11, Episode 10, Part 1: Shoes
In the Family Justice System there are two separate yet equally frustrating principles; the House Rules established by parents, and the Chaos of childhood attempting to get around them. These are their stories…
7:30pm Thursday April 26- Back room of the Ducharme house; Escondido, Ca.
Paul Ducharme trips over a pair of Sunday Shoes. It is the same pair of Sunday Shoes that have been by the back door all week. He kicks them towards the pile by the door. They catch some air and make contact with a pair of tap shoes near the top. Several toddler shoes dislodge and roll into the doorway. He curses louder than intended. “Son of a bitch! How are there so many shoes? All the damn time!?” He is exasperated and rhetorical.
For the Horde 04: Last Days
I kept the random notes from my desk. And the page from a copy of Medusa and the Snail that Elevator A had caught between its teeth. “This book is about life and death. This is a book of treasures.” Our carts remain as we do, isolated islands of unfinished chaos, hibernating dragons waiting for a spring. It was spring when I was here last. I didn’t know it would be my last day. I have no regrets. By the time you get to a last day, it is already too late. Events are in motion, they will stay in motion.
The Cloak of Shadows
Of the great relics, few are as sought after as Auberon, the Cloak of Shadows. Even among the Fae-Kin, it is unknown if this relic still exists or what it actually looks like. Research into the nature of the cloak is largely discouraged. According to legend, Auberon contains Mother Blood and all the protections and power that comes with it. Auberon is impervious to light, impenetrable, filled with pockets, answers to the Language of the Shadows. It was a favorite item of the Sister Between and chose to accompany her when she was exiled. Auberon has links to several human and fae myths under various names. Most notably, the Shirt of Nessus, Coat of Many Colors, Daniel, the Shroud of Turin, Nabrok, Gwenn (Mantel of Arthur), Tarnakappe, Palangineh, and Robe of the Fire Rat. It is generally accepted that the First Fae used Auberon to explain death to the Sisters by animating the cloak with help from the Shadows. It is also generally accepted that the cloak itself was lost to the Fae at the Fall of Arden Keep. There is no evidentiary support for either of these accepted beliefs. The last confirmed sighting of Auberon by the Fae is recorded in the obscenely redacted Alexandria Report.
I have watched all 456 episodes of Law&Order several times. Most of them while working out or cooking. From “these are their stories” to arraignment is on average 22 minutes, the perfect amount of time to spend on an elliptical machine. Arraignment to post-trail re-cap is another 22 minutes or three sets of body weight exercises. If you’re motivated, you power through a fourth set as Jack gets on the elevator. (Or is forced to ride alone because the ADA is pissed.) You can prep and rest a full recipe of pita bread from The Essential Vegetarian Cookbook by Diana Shaw (New York, Clarkson Potter Publishers, 1997) during a Law&Order episode. If you’re watching it on TV with commercials, you will over-proof the loaves but they cook perfectly between commercial breaks.
02: End Times
I wish I could remember what I did that caused my Nana to smerk and pronounce, “You’ll be the cause of the End Times, child.” What ever it was, she enjoyed it. Perhaps this is why I have never feared the End Times. Maybe it is why I am determined to laugh through them. Anything to make Nana smile. Nana was not the only person to predict my dark destiny. I was told so often that my actions would bring about the apocalypse it became inevitable. You know when you say a word over and over until it loses all meaning? You wear out the concept of it in your mind. I took the stretched out, shapeless concept and wrapped it around me like a comfortable hug from my Nana.