Reader. Writer. Romantic.

Suspended Dew

Prompt: the fog!

It came like the night
First slowly
Then all enveloping

The street lights grew dimmer
The buildings grew fainter
Until all that remained were
Floating orbs
In suspended dew

Here in the shadows
Obscured from sight
A madman does his business

By day
He is a Dr. Jekyll
By night
A Mr. Hyde

He is a villain
A monster
A demon of the night

The goes by many names
Yet
He remains nameless
Faceless
Elusive

You and I know him to be
Jack the Ripper
But to someone else he is
A father
A brother
A mother
A sister
A husband
A wife

A villain
A hero
Always one
Always the other

It just depends
Who’s telling the story

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Mismatched

Prompt: Found poetry – utilize a previous work and turn it into a poem

I used the first bit of my short story addendum titled “Promise to Milton” to construct this piece.  “Promise to Milton” was part of a larger piece called “Life of a Schoolgirl” that came from a summer writing challenge which ultimately was the basis of my novel An Affair to Die For.

I did move some phrases around and add in some stuff so it’s not a true blacking out poem like I did with the Sherlock piece a while back.  And this is a lot choppier than I’m used to.

I stood
Called back

Remember

Raising an eyebrow
Shook my head

Remember

Last night?
A bell?
Paradise on Monday morning?
Rules to defend sleep?

Wednesday evening dinner
In front of the TV
A lot of work
To perfect my Wednesday
Wasted disappointment

The Gift

Prompt: the package won’t come until the day after tomorrow

He sat there
Alone on the porch
Eyes shimmering
Innocent hope
Watching and waiting

Today’s the day
The day it would come
The promise

Morning turned to afternoon
And afternoon to night
But nothing arrived

Each time
It grew harder for the mailman to face the small child
For with each disappointment
The little boy’s heart
Sank a little more

The next day came
And went the same
The mailman apologized
Tomorrow

And so the little boy waited again
And hoped
That the promise would come

On day three
The mailman returned
Handing to the little boy
A box with glee

“Open it.”
Said the mailman
“You’ve been waiting for so long.”

The little boy smiled
Setting the box down
The mailman helped to cut it open

What would it be?
A new train set?
A new game to play?

The little boy reached inside
And pulled out an urn

The mailman looked on in horror
And thought to himself
“How strange for a child
Not barely five
To hope for something like this,
To be filled with joy.”

The little boy looked up at him
A smile on his face
“Thank you Mr. Mailman
For bringing them home.”

The Damage of the Patriarchy

Prompt: pick a social issue you’re passionate about

Where do I begin?  I know that as I’m sitting here trying to think of a social issue I’m passionate about, nothing comes to mind, so hopefully, you’ll bear with me as I sift through my thoughts.

No, it’s not that I don’t have a social issue that I’m passionate about, but it’s just like that scenario when people ask you what is your favourite book or movie and every book or movie you’ve ever read or watched just vanishes from your mind.

I don’t want to be stereotypical, but I feel like feminism, in particular, the patriarchy, is something that I feel myself explaining over and over again.  Maybe feminism is no longer the right term for it because of the negative connotation it’s garnered in years, but at the moment there is no term that has been suggested, to my knowledge, that can replace it.

I can’t count how many times it comes up in discussions that feminism is only for females, that the patriarchy is only damaging to females.  But that’s not the case.  The main thing I want to focus on (because if I don’t focus on one thing we’ll be here all day), is the construct of the feminine and the masculine.  The idea of a woman being a nurturer, of being gentle and graceful and all that, I want to say is BS.  A woman can be all those things if she wants, but she doesn’t have to be.  I strongly believe that women can be anything they want to be.  Men too, but we’ll get to them in a minute.  The idea that a woman must be one thing or another is absurd.  As the quote goes, “everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”  Same thing applies here, some are fish, some monkeys, some are snakes.  Just like an animal isn’t wrong for being born as a fish, monkey or snake and doing what’s natural to them, a female isn’t wrong for doing what is natural to her.  And natural is doing what feels right to her, not what society dictates or feels is the right way for her to act.

What society thinks is the right way to act, of course, isn’t limited to restricting females into a certain framework, it does the same to males.  Males are not supposed to cry, to show emotion or weakness, to always protect a woman, provide for his family.  We expect this from males.  We expect them to be dependable and be a rock for his family, but what if that’s not natural for him either?  What if he likes to watch rom-coms?  What if he cries while watching them?  So what?  It doesn’t matter.  It doesn’t make him any less of a person.

Why do we judge people based on their gender/sex (yes, I know those are two different things, but I’m not getting into that right now)?  Why do we immediately form opinions about how one gender/sex ought to act?  Why can’t we just get to know somebody before we form opinions because what really matters is the content of their hearts, the development of their souls, not what they look like.

This is clearly a shorter version of my usual spiel, but I suddenly forgot how to words, so forgive me.

Mirabelle Evans, Trilonia

Prompt: create a dating profile for a character, fictional or OC

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Basic Information
Occupation: Director of Military and Strategic Planning, Trilonian High Counsel
Age: 24
Height: 5′ 10″
Highest Level of Education: Ph.D
Relationship Status:  Single
Favourite words that describe me: Responsible, Intelligent, Ambitious

What I am looking for:
Someone who is responsible, but knows how and when to have fun.  Understands what it means to do something for the greater good and the advancement of the partnership as a unit, rather than promoting only his or her own self interest.  Eloquent and loquacious, but also understands the power of silence.  An excellent negotiator, who enjoys engaging in debates.

What I have to offer:
I am an individual in a stable, long-term career who takes my job very seriously.  My idea of a good time is engaging in intellectually driven conversations that make me think about my current world perspective.  I believe in equality and giving what I get.  Essentially, I will only work as hard as you are willing to in order to make the partnership work.

What does falling in love mean to me:
Love relies on the mutual commitment of one individual to another.  It is something that makes me want to try harder each day to work towards something that is greater than myself.

Hobbies and Interests:
In my spare time, I enjoy reading on my skybalcony, enjoying the view of the city and the cool breeze that is reminiscent of autumn.  When I am not working, I enjoy riding the hydrotrain around the city and exploring its streets.  I enjoy trying new things whether it’s a new food trend or a new area of study.

Location: 104 – 350 Aspen Glen Landing SW
Website: http://www.dinerdeluxe.com/

I’ve been to this restaurant many years ago with my sister and cousins for Christmas.  We went to the Edmonton trail location and it was packed.  This was back when brunch wasn’t hugely popular, but novel enough that people were interested in trying it out.  I also believe that at that time, they didn’t take reservations, which is why it was so hard to get into in the first place.

Today, we were in the Aspen Woods area (headed to Color Me Mine) to pick up a pottery piece my sister had done and to do a piece with our mom as a late birthday thing, so we stopped by here to grab a quick lunch.  What I love most about going out with my mom and sister is that when we go out to eat, we share everything.

I had been waffling between getting the Fish and Chips or the Chicken and Waffles as I had been craving Fish and Chips for a while and Chicken and Waffles being my lifelong love.  Ultimately, I decided on the Fish and Chips, but found out that’s what my mom was ordering so I got the Chicken and Waffles because I know I can always pilfer some of the food from her plate.  My sister was undecided and went with what the waitress recommended, the potato rosti stuffed with Quebec cheese curds and sausage, topped with hollandaise and a side of extra crispy bacon.

These are honestly the best Chicken and Waffles I have ever had.  The batter on the chicken is so light, in fact, I’m 90% sure that it’s the same batter used for chicken karaage in Japanese restaurants.  The Waffle isn’t exactly what you’d expect from a typical breakfast waffle.  The waffle actually contains cheddar and jalapeno, which gives it a nice kick.  I have to admit, I was a little worried about the hot sauce coming out and tasting like Frank’s hot sauce, which is really not that good.  But luckily, nothing to worry about.  Their in house made hot sauce is actually really good.  And there’s just the right amount of heat.  Especially when you take into account the fact that the waffle is already kinda spicy from the jalapeno.  On top of all that is the maple brown butter.  It’s a whipped butter, which I prefer to regular butter because it’s much easier to spread and it is absolutely delicious.  Yeah, you can feel the pounds adding up with this dish, but I’m going to have to say that I don’t even care.  I think this is a personal favourite of mine because I love sweet and savoury combos because it keeps me from getting bored which almost always happens when I’m eating.

The Fish and Chips weren’t great, but they weren’t bad either.  Diner Deluxe uses mahimahi instead of cod, haddock, or pollock.  In the past I haven’t like mahimahi because it has a stronger fishier taste than cod, haddock, or pollock and I usually shy away from fishy tasting seafood.  However, that didn’t appear to be a problem today.  The nice thing about mahimahi is that it is a firmer fish and holds together much better than cod, haddock, or pollock, which made it easier when dipping into their house made tartar sauce.  Now, normally, I’m a huge fan of tartar sauce and I’m not saying that it’s not a good tartar sauce, I just wish it had more of a tang to it.  Conversely, my sister enjoyed this tartar sauce much more than she usually enjoys tartar sauces.  My sister enjoyed the fries, citing the crunchy ones as being the best ones, but I though they were flavourless and mostly limp…which is super unappealing.  The East Coast Slaw wasn’t all that different from the coleslaw that is typically served with fish and chips, only difference I could detect was that it was a lot lighter than coleslaw.   Another disappointment with this dish was that it claimed to come with malt vinegar, but that was not the case and my mom mentioned that the two lemon wedges that it came with weren’t enough to cut through the somewhat thick batter.  Her other complaint was that the batter, while not greasy, was a little on the dry side.  This was the first and probably only time I will ever see her use tartar sauce on her fish.

The final dish, Val’s dish, the potato rosti, was a dish that the waitress recommended without hesitation.  While it was delicious, it was very heavy.  I was very impressed by the cheese pull of the Quebec cheese curds, but there wasn’t very much sausage stuffed in it and I expected the rosti to be a lot more crisp along the outside.  The bacon was crunchy as promised, but when it’s like fried potato with cheese topped with creamy hollandaise and a side of greasy bacon…it’s nice to have a little bit of a breather from all that.

Since it was a pseudo-belated birthday outing for our mom combined with the fact it was a chilly fall day, my mom wanted the apple pie.  Just the thought of the buttery, flaky crust coupled with the heat of the cinnamon was just wonderful.  An apple pie is like an edible hug when done right.  Now, normally I would have gone a la mode regardless of whether it was blizzarding outside or not, but neither my sister or mom wanted it, so today I would do without.  I’m sure you’ve learned this if you’ve read enough of my reviews or know me well enough, but I’m really particular about my food.  I like my apples on the softer side (more like a melt in your mouth kind of thing) in an apple pie, the pastry should be warm, buttery, flaky, and with a little bit of crunch to it, and my ice cream, if I have it, better be made from real vanilla bean.  Well, it wasn’t any of those things.  The crumble was falling around the pan, the pastry was soggy and soft, the apples were very hard and you couldn’t cut through it and ended up taking a gigantic spoonful, and it was barely warm.  Two bites and I was done.

Let’s just say if I come back, it’ll be for the Chicken and Waffles not the Apple Pie.  I’m sorry to say this, but McDonald’s had better Apple Pies cold than this place.  Based on area and type of food they were serving, I can’t say I’m surprised about the price, but it is on the more expensive side for sure.  And while our waitress was really, super cheerful, there were times I found her attention to be lacking which was frustrating when we were trying to either order or get another drink/top up on a drink.

Based on today’s experience, I would recommend this place and I would definitely come back, but I would say that Vero Moderne Bistro would be my first choice for brunch.  It’s just more my kind of restaurant than this one was. I would give it a 3.75/5 based on the Chicken and Waffles alone.

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Restaurant Interior – Upper level

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Restaurant Interior – View from Table

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Fish and Chips

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Chicken and Waffles

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Potato Rosti

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Apple Pie

Prompt:  write a red string soulmate story.  (Every pair or group of soulmates are connected by a red string.)

She looked down at the red string tied to her pinky and imagined all of the exciting places it might lead to. It had appeared yesterday, her 18th birthday, as a sort of happy birthday adventure.  That day had been filled with so much joy.  Her friends had all found their soulmates long before then and she was the last one, but she knew that whoever it was on the other end, it was worth the wait.  Today, she would follow it to where it would end.
Maybe it was a prince from a far off land or a celebrity from Hollywood that she had been dreaming about for so long.  She hoped that her adventure would take her through countries she had never been and allow her to meet new people.  She wanted to appear cultured when she met her soulmate.  The truth was, she had grown up poor.  Her parents had never been able to afford anything more than the basic necessities for their family, sometimes not even that.  But her parents had always loved her.  That was more than she could say for some of her classmates.
She finished packing the last of her belongings, everything she owned fit into a backpack.  She shared one last meal with her family before departing, promising to bring whoever it was she met to her parents before introducing them to her friends and classmates.  One final hug from each of her parents.  With a tear in her eye, she set off to find the one at the end of her string.
Each night, she stopped when she was tired. She would cook her dinner over an open flame and stare at the stars, dreaming of the one, until she fell asleep.  Day after day, the string grew shorter and shorter as she approached her soulmate.  Day after day, that was her routine, until the string led to the edge of the ocean.
“Excuse me.”
“Yes?”
“Are you able to take me across the ocean?”
“Not in my boat, I’m sorry.  It’s too small for the violent storms farther out there.  Try the docks.  Maybe someone can take you out from there.”
“Thank you.”
She continued along, her string growing longer as she headed towards the docks.  When she arrived, she found it alive with the hustle and bustle of fishermen.  None of them paid her any attention, everyone was trying to get their fish to the market first so that they could boast that they had the freshest fish.  She stayed by until someone finally noticed her.
“Whatcha doing here, little lady?”
“I was hoping someone could take me across the ocean,” she said holding up her pinky.
The fisherman smiled knowingly and nodded, “Sure, hope on board, I’ll take you across.”
Her days at sea were by far the most exciting she had ever experienced.  She had never been this far out on the water.  The danger and uncertainty was exhilarating.
Sometime during the night of her third day at sea, she felt someone shake her awake.
“What is it?  Have we run into some trouble?”
The fisherman shook his head and pointed to her string.  It went straight down.
“It’s underwater?”
“That’s what appears to be happening.”
“How?  How do I get to my soulmate now?”
“The fisherman shrugged, “I have some diving gear.  We can try tomorrow if you’d like.”
She nodded and he left her cabin so that she could get a few more hours of sleep.
The next morning they suited up and dived as far as they could, but even so, her string continued to extend downwards.  She wanted to keep going, but the fisherman shook his head, pulling her up towards the surface.  Reluctantly, she followed.
“I’m sorry girl,” said the fisherman when they returned to the boat, “We can’t go that far down.  The pressure would kill us.”
She nodded in agreement.
The fisherman turned the boat around, returning her back the way she had come.  From there she ventured home to her waiting parents and broke the news to them.
As sad as she was, she was glad to be back home with her family, her parents whom she knew loved her not some elusive soulmate she had never met and never knew if he could love her.

***

She was nearing her 30th birthday when her parents passed away.  They had spent the last years of their lives in misery as the idea of passing their own debt onto their daughter gnawed at them.  Even as she reassured them that she was thankful for the life they had provided her, they both felt like they hadn’t been good enough parents.  On their deaths, the bank foreclosed on their home, taking it for payment of their years of debt, leaving her homeless.
Living on the streets, she decided that she would try one last time to find her soulmate.  She followed the string again, leading her to the edge of the ocean, but this time, she was able to make it to the other side.  She continued her adventure until it led her into a cemetery.  Her heart skipped a beat.  What if she had waited too long and her soulmate was dead?  Why hadn’t her soulmate tried to find her all these years?
She stopped outside of a mausoleum, debating whether she should go inside or not.  A part of her felt scared, more so now because the sun had begun to set, but she ventured inside and continued to follow the string up to a stone coffin.
“This is way too creepy,” she thought backing away.
She headed back up, but heard the sound of stones scraping against one another and ran as fast as she could out of there.  She didn’t stop to look behind her, just kept running, but the footsteps behind her grew louder and louder.
“For God’s sake, stop running!”
She froze at the sound of his voice.  Turning around very slowly.  She was afraid who or what she might see behind her.
“Hello.”
“Uh…hi?”
He was a young man with striking blue eyes and the darkest brown hair you had ever seen.  He smiled at her and held up his pinky with a red string attached, “Looks like we’re soulmates.  What took you so long to find me?”
“Uh…well…the first time my string vanished into the ocean and uh…well just now, into a-a-somebody’s tomb.”
“And?”
“It’s a little creepy?”
“Oh…really?  I thought it would be cool.”
“What?”
“Yeah, you know?  Like we’ve been waiting for each other for like 12 years and there like the sense of uncertainty?  And you know, when you walk into a mausoleum you’re uncertain what to expect?  No?  Is that just me?”
“I think so…”
“Oh…”
“So, why didn’t you ever try to come find me?”
“I did.”
“When?”
“Well…I couldn’t exactly fly for a while.”
“I’m sorry, what?”
“Fly like a bat out of Hell?  You know what that’s like right?”
“Hell?  You’re from Hell?!”
“Yeah.”
“Are you dead?”
“That’s not a very nice question to ask.”
“Aren’t people in Hell because they’ve been damned for eternity?”
“Um…not that I’m aware of.  I was born down there with my mom and my dad and five annoying brothers and an overbearing sister.”
“Wow…”
“What?”
“That’s not what I expected.”
“What did you expect?”
“I dunno, fire?”
He laughed, “That’s ridiculous.  Everyone knows that Hell isn’t on fire.”
“I don’t know that.”
“You don’t.”
“No.”
“What other funny stories do you humans have about us?”
“Something about the Devil and demons.”
“Well we do have those, but I’m not cool enough to be one.”
“Cool enough?”
“How about I tell you over dinner?”

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