Trifecta – Craft

Trifecta’s writing challenge challenges you to write a piece between 0 and 333 words, with the third definition of the word they give each week.  This week was:

 1 :  skill in planning, making, or executing :  dexterity
2 a :  an occupation or trade requiring manual dexterity or artistic skill <the carpenter’s craft> <the craft of writing plays> <crafts such as pottery, carpentry, and sewing>
plural:  articles made by craftspeople <a store selling crafts> <a crafts fair>
Click the link to head over and read some of the other submissions, or submit your own.

This piece is stand-alone, or can be read as a kind of prequel to Castle, Stormed.  The artwork is by my sister, the talented Doodle.  Click the image to go to her DeviantART.  It’s a free-hand pencil sketch, and, not to sound too cocky, but she drew it for me.  I requested an unimpressed goat.  It totally makes sense.

It took hardly any of his craft to get the map.  Its previous owner understood so little of what it meant, this scrap of parchment with the name of a long-forgotten kingdom, that by the time he’d been through, the woman had been glad to part with it in return for a song and a smile.

He’d have called it not enough of a challenge, but he tried to avoid setting himself up for failure.  The most complicated part was dosing the goats just right, so that they didn’t die on the way to the castle.  It was a little-known fact that dragons didn’t eat things they hadn’t killed themselves.  His father had wanted him to go into medicine, had taught Monroe all he knew of herbs.  He suspected the old man would not have considered this a worthwhile use of that knowledge.

The toughest part was hanging by his fingers, over the edge of the bridge.  He hadn’t really considered what would happen if the dragon didn’t take the bait soon enough, not until his fingers were going numb, his arms and back aching as he hung. Hanging over a dry moat full of rusty and broken pieces of armor shook his confidence in the plan.

He’d done it, though.  The dragon slept soundly less than an hour after he’d crossed the moat, and he padded through the empty castle, hopping confidently over the piece of the dragon’s tail that blocked the inner yard.

The highest room, in the tallest tower, he thought, mentally mapping out his best route through the maze of corridors.  I’m going to be rich.

His legs soon joined his arms in aching, as the stairs spiraled up and up.  Even with his goal so close, he stopped at the top landing to catch his breath.

His grin faded as he stepped forward.  He may have been clever in defeating the dragon, but it appeared he wasn’t the only one to get past.  She seemed surprised to see him too.


It seems like, lately, everyone I know is having babies.  I am definitely at that time in my life where people in my age group are going off and getting married and starting their brand new little families.  You’re wondering how this relates to the title of this post, I know.

First things first, I’m not pregnant.  Or getting married.  Those both require one to have been dating someone long enough to fall in love with that person, and I’m neither dating nor falling in love at the moment.

I knit.  Not well, mind you – Mostly, it’s just dish cloths.  The most complicated thing I’ve done is make a Christmas ornament ball – it required me to change the number of stitches throughout, in order to make a shape I could then wrap around foam.  But the point is – square things whose patterns consist of knit and purl, and maybe the occasional bobble… those are within my knitabilities.  So baby blankets are my new occupation, of late.

I can’t hold conversations while I knit, unfortunately.  I can listen to people.  As long as they don’t expect some kind of answer.

“Do you want a piece of chocolate?”

“Seven?  I mean… what? No, wait, give me a sec, I have to finish counting.  Seven… eight…”

I can, however, half pay attention to television shows.  Preferably the kind without the requirement of deep thought.  As we’ve already established, my ‘deep’ thoughts while knitting are more along the lines of “knit Seven… purl twelve… nine… ten… eleven…twelve… knit nineteen… purl to end”

And so I find myself knitting blankets whose purpose will be to keep infants warm while watching a television show whose main character is a mass murderer whose act of ‘good’ in killing only other mass murderers he openly acknowledges is to reduce the risk of getting caught.  Knitting + babies + Dexter… the things on my mind of an evening.

It’s just weird.  It seems almost inappropriate to, in any way, link the two.  But my alternate show, Supernatural, regularly has too much stuff going on in silence (ie, there’s music, but you have to watch it to see what’s happening), so I find myself sitting, poised to knit, and not doing so.

Do you find it hard to ‘just’ watch tv?  I find it just about impossible.  I play Sudoku, knit, cross-stitch, groom the dog, brush his teeth, type, do stretching exercises or, if the show is really not holding my attention, read.



I’m linking up to the Master Class again this week.  The prompt gives you the first line of a book, with which you’re meant to write your own story.  This week it was Kelle Groom’s book I Wore the Ocean in the Shape of a Girl.

Check out the other responses at Sinistral Scribblings, or submit your own.  Click through the image to get more information on the photograph’s artist, and see some of his other work.


Morphine makes me weightless, airborne.

So did the impact, if there was an impact, if I recall correctly.  My dreams and memories are intertwined in a macabre circus of the unreal and unbelievable.

They tell me I’m showing signs of improvement.  They’re vague about what I’m improving on, long pauses in their cautious answers, like my ears are stuffed with cotton.  I’d be terrified, but I’m so high above it, above me, a thick fog cutting off any kind of strong emotion.

Que sera, sera, whatever will be… I hum for a time until the lyrics turn into gibberish, if they hadn’t always been.  She knows them better, has a better voice for it.  The steady beep of monitors threw off my timing anyways.

Morphine dulls, but I still can’t help but wonder what they’re monitoring.  After the first time I tried to take the bandages off my face, they strapped me in bed, wrist restraints and all.

The sunlight creeps slowly across my cotton-shrouded body and I wish, with a longing that pierces the fog, that I could feel that warmth on my face.  I feel so cold.

“What happened, really?”

The whisper-soft tread stops.  I can picture Lilac Perfume’s surprised expression, frozen in going about her business, convinced mere moments before that I was unaware of her presence.

“I-I’ll go fetch the doctor” she stammers, voice tight and anxious.

The haze around my memory lifts enough for a vague sense that I ought to apologize to her.  Perhaps it wasn’t just the attempt to take off my bandages that led to my being bound to my bed.  Was I screaming?  Am I screaming now?  Morphine.  I’m so glad none of these memories are real.

Moments and an eternity later, the steady clacking of Doctor Old Spice’s shoes, the sound of paper as he pores over my charts.  Though for all I knew, he could be paging through Angela’s Ashes.  Always meant to read that one.

The name strikes a chord.  “Angela?”  My voice is disused, a rusty chain pulled through gravel.  The scream of metal being crushed on impact.

“What was that?”

“Nothing.  Just something about… nothing.  It’s crazy.”

“You’re remembering?”

“Only crazy things.  Impossible things.  It’s the drugs, I guess.”

“You’ve been off all drugs for eight days.”

The words trickle through the fog around my brain, followed more slowly by their meaning.

“What does that mean?”  my voice is getting stronger as it warms up, smoother.  Familiar.

I am met with silence and struggle to sift through the terrifying circus of oddities that swims through the pea-soup in my mind.

“No morphine?” My voice cracks, but why?

“No morphine.”

“Why is my face bandaged?”

“You were in a car accident, John.  Do you remember?”

The impact left me weightless, airborne.

Angela.  I hate the light piercing the thick fog, it burns my eyes and cuts me to the quick.

“Is she…” I hate my own hesitation.  That mustn’t be real.  “Was anyone else hurt?”

The silence is unbearable.  The dread, like a tsunami, looming overhead.

I turn away from the light.

“I think I’d like some more painkillers… please.  The morphine helps me sleep.”

Creeping In

I’m doing my best to get back into writing – apparently the holidays were so exhausting that I have no imagination left.  Or I just lost all ability to plan my time out.  One week free of it, and I find myself overwelmed with how much time I spend walking the dog and entertaining him.  Not that I’m complaining – we’re getting some pretty walk-friendly weather lately, and less than a month after the solstice, I’m getting so much more daylight.

This week’s word for Trifecta’s writing challenge is:


1: a determination to act in a certain way : resolve
2: import, significance
3a : what one intends to do or bring about
b : the object for which a prayer, mass, or pious act is offered

Check out the other submissions HERE, or submit your own.

It was never my intention to stay so long.  I took advantage, I’ll readily admit.  It isn’t my proudest moment.

They were an easy mark.  How could I resist an open door?

I just can’t bear to leave, quite yet.  Maybe a day or two more.  Not that I’m getting attached, or anything.  I could see myself getting used to it, though, y’know?  I’ll stick around and enjoy a bit more free food.  Not much of a hardship – company’s not too bad – they give me my space, and they’re real good listeners.

I need my freedom – I need to stretch my legs, feel the grass under my feet, breathe deep of the great outdoors.  I’ve got instincts, primal instincts, and they can’t be ignored.  I don’t want to get rusty.  I’ve gotta hit the road.

It is a pretty scary place out there, though.  My pal Fred got scooped up by the nastiest bugger you’ve ever seen.  Guy swooped down out of nowhere, and now Fred’s nowhere to be seen.  It’s kind of nice to be big man on campus, just for a few more days.

The Missus relies on me to taste-test her cooking.

Plus, they’ve got some wildlife in this place.  They buzz around bothering the people here.  Tough suckers, too – seems like no matter how many times I land a killing blow, they’re up and jingling about.  Can’t leave quite yet – Ieast I could do to repay them is to get rid of this infestation they’ve got.

The old guy and I haven’t gotten much chance in the past few hours to hang out, either.  I’ve got this wicked kink in my neck, and he needs help reading the newspaper.  Now that’s what I call an equitable exchange of services.

I’ll be leaving soon – best get in some warm-laundry napping while I’m still around to spread the fur.  Creeping into their lives was exhausting.

cat bum


This story exerpt is a continuation of the Which Witch storyline, and comes immediately after Tuesday’s piece, Duck.  I’m sure you were all on the edges of your seats.  Will duck-Simon flap off to join his brethren?  What can an inventor do with no hands and a bill?  Time will tell!  And time happens to be now.  If you are somewhat confused by what you’ve just read, I suggest you at the very least go back to Tuesday’s post, and, at the most, click through to the Fiction tab at the top, scroll down to Which Witch, and read all the little pieces of storyline that culminate (so far) in Quack!

I don’t own a duck, so, as picture, I give you my dog, in his least-favourite aquatic form.  Look at those eyes!  Don’t they just scream, “for the love of all that is holy, don’t take pictures of me when I look like a drowned rat!”

Feb2011 152

“Quack! Quack Quack Quack Quack!! Qu-ah! Qhat! What just happ-AK, What?!  What just happened?”

The flighty waterfowl kept trying to express its anxiety through quacks and grooming as it transformed once again into a wild-haired machinist.

Flustered, Samuel ran his fingers through his hair for a few moments, before running them down his arms and legs and waggling them in front of his face to confirm that he wasn’t the bird he’d been sure he was just moments before.  “Aaaah!” he exclaimed, taking a few hasty steps away from Agata, and tripping on a mislaid wrench in the process.

“aaaAAAaaa!” he tried again, jabbing a finger in her direction, eyes wide.

Agata sat comfortably on the only piece of furniture vaguely resembling seating.  She thought it might be one of the surviving parts of one of the less landing-successful previous flying machines.

She looked up from her perusal of his blueprints, red marker in hand, and smiled.  “you were saying?”

“You- you- you- you… “



Agata felt a moment of regret for her actions, seeing the frightened look in his eye, the way he held a wrench between them as a shield.

Of course.  Because witches are evil, even if you don’t believe in them.  She sighed and stood, wincing internally as he stepped back again.  She set down the set of blueprints and started towards the door, calling out as she went, “I’ve put in some suggested modifications that will improve stability and help you have more control in landing in future.  I’ve also taken the liberty of taking one of your sets of spectacles-in-a-hat as payment for my assistance today… and for turning you back into a person.”


“You’re welcome.”

“Um, thanks?  And Goggles.”

Agata paused in the massive hangar door.  “Who goggles at what?”

“The… erm… spectacles in a hat… goggles – flying goggles.  They’re grand, aren’t they?   Keep the wind and the bugs out of your eyes.  Why would you need them… oh.”  He stared at the broom she’d hefted over her shoulder with dawning comprehension.  “Oooh.”

“’Oh’ is right,” Agata tried to stay chipper, wishing she felt more happy about carrying on her way after this encounter.  “Good luck with your flying machine – it’s really quite extraordinary.  Try not to kill yourself – that would be a waste.  And goodbye.”

With that, she was astride her broom and shooting skyward with a freedom of movement unrivalled by the bulky awkwardness of the flying bird contraption Samuel had created.  Indistinctly, behind her, she heard a yell.  It didn’t matter.  However he’d decided was best to treat a witch, she was unstoppable once she was airborne.

It had been nice, though, to be able to share the experience with someone, for once.

<– Duck|| Crush –>


Not gonna lie, this prompt response is 412 words.  But, people, it’s nanowrimo, and every extra word counts.  I’ve got no time, no words, no ideas, and definitely not enough freaking words.  See for yourself – if you want to be my friend on Nano, find me under ‘lexy0387’ in the Toronto nanosphere.  I know, it’s sad.  Every word is being dragged out of me with the sam amount of effort and pain as an adult tooth.  And, when my dentist pulled a front tooth painfully and without enough freezing, from my mouth, he was horrified.  “Oh… yeah, that would have still hurt – wow, you’ve got long roots!”.  Thanks, doc (dent?), thanks a whole lot.  If I ever need another tooth removed, I’ll remind you to seriously seriously pay attention when I ask for that fourth shot of freezing, because apparently my roots are about this close to coming out the bottom side of my jaw.  Like an alien from Doctor Who.

I had this brilliant idea… it was all planned out in my head.  There were scenes in which my MC, much as I like her, would not be happy.  She would, in fact, experience the full range of human emotions, and encounter difficulties, people she liked, disliked, loved, hated.  It was all there, and I kept holding back writing anything of it, because, you know… not november.  And now, where is it?  I’ve got nothing.  it’s sad.  This weekend might just see me begging family members to take the dog on various lengths of walk, so that I can sit at the computer without him yipping his loneliness at me, and actually… write.

I’m starting to feel like Hook.  Can anyone else hear that dreadful tic-tic-ticking?

For now, though, shockingly, the cringe-worthy first scene in what I’ve written so far actually quite suits the Red Writing Hood prompt over at Write on Edge.

This week, use rain as the inspiration for your fiction or creative non-fiction piece. The word limit is 400, so please come back this Friday and show us what you’ve written.

Write On Edge: Red-Writing-Hood
Follow the links to check out what others have written.  If you’re doing Nano, good luck, and I hope you’re doing better than I am.  If you aren’t… well… then you just won’t understand why my posting is going to continue being so severely limited for the remainder of the month.

Interesting artwork from talented artist?  Hah, no.  How about more hours in the day?  But here’s a picture of my puppy.  Note that he’s not sleeping.  No… that would be ridiculous.  He’s watching me type my nanovel… keeping an eye on me to ensure I don’t do anything silly like try to leave the room without his noticing.

Lily stared grimly ahead, struggling to keep calm.

Of course they’d be here.  They paid for it.

She shivered as the steady drizzle of rain seeped ice into her bones, stabbing through her heart as her brother’s coffin was lowered into the ground.  She wondered if any of the strangers who had shown up for his funeral actually cared that he was dead.  That woman, his boss, certainly showed no signs of sadness.  Lily glared at the couture-bedecked woman seated across the grave, some minion holding an umbrella over her head.  Perfectly made-up hazel eyes lifted to meet red-rimmed and swollen.  Lily refused to look away, refused to be apologetic for being caught glaring.

The woman’s lips twitched near a smile, and she nodded acknowledgement to Lily before turning to speak to the man seated beside her.  He nodded and rose.

A few moments later, the rain transferred its sodden fury to an umbrella.  Lily tensed, trying to focus her whole attention on the priest’s words, trying to ignore the presence at her back.

Her nephew had other ideas, twisting around to smile toothily.  “Hey, Remy,” he stage whispered, his childish enthusiasm giving it greater volume.

“Hey kiddo,” Remy crouched down slightly, still holding the umbrella high enough to protect all three of them.  More than a hint of a smile played across her brother’s ex-employer’s face this time.

Lily hated the easy way Matthew let go of her hand to grab hold of Remy.

He’s been Jake’s best friend for years.  Of course Matty likes him.  He’s a familiar face.  She tried to focus on the fact that, without Jake around, she wouldn’t have to deal with these people much longer.  Just get through today.

She flinched away when Remy leaned in, his warm breath against her neck.  “I’m going to take Matty for a walk.  He doesn’t need to hear all this crap.”  Faintly, Lily saw the sharp jerk of Remy’s head towards the priest.

Lily hadn’t even been paying much attention to the man, but Remy was right.  Ramblings about how God felt it was her brother’s time to go, that God was taking him into his arms, blah, blah, blah, how trite.  How completely meaningless to a boy who just lost his father.  She nodded her consent.

Remy tried to hand her the umbrella, but she shook her head, no.  She had cried enough over the past few days – the rain could do her crying for her.


Trifecta’s writing challenge this week was:


1a : of the color black
b (1) : very dark in color <his face was black with rage>

(2): having a very deep or low register bass with a blackvoice>

(3) : heavy, serious <the play was a black intrigue>
2a : having dark skin, hair, and eyes : swarthy
b (1) often capitalized : of or relating to any of various population groups having dark pigmentation of the skin

(2) : of or relating to the African-American people or their culture

(3) : typical or representative of the most readily perceived characteristics of black culture
3: dressed in black

Head on over to submit your own or read some of the other responses.  Also, if you missed last week’s prompt, the characterization of Death, I really recommend going back over to read the responses for that.  So many hilarious and unusual portrayals of death, and all of them (to my mind), with the rich and ominous voice of Ian Richardson ringing in your mind, just like he gave life to Death in the movie version of Terry Pratchett’s The Hogfather.  I was certainly attempting to channel a bit of Pratchett in my own response.  If you have no idea who Terry Pratchett is… well… Get thee to a Library!  Crivens!

For this week, I’m back working with my Firefly story.  If you want to check out the rest of it, head on over to the Fiction Tab (top of the page).  I think I might write it as a full… well… story for Nanowrimo this year.  It starts off right after our leading gal’s aunt makes her a cup of tea and then heads on back to bed in Hearth and Home.  For those uninterested in reading the rest of it, the key thing to note here is Laga = ritual leader or leader of coven for the purposes of my story.  Though they aren’t witches.

The artwork I found to go with the story is a drawing by Raven S. Fox, known as Culpeo-Fox on DeviantArt.  It’s pretty sinister, made even more so by the poem included as the description of the piece (click the picture to follow the link and read!).  I love the texture of it, and the way the only barely drawn in background still makes me think of being lost in the deep dark woods at night, wolves howling in the near distance.

He’s amazing – some of his pieces look like photography, to the point that I’ve had to check the medium to confirm that it isn’t.  He’s a German designer, illustrator and artist, with a clear love of foxes, though they are certainly not the only thing he draws beautifully.  Check him out at DeviantArt, his portfolio.

Rachel sat by the banked fire, lost in thought.

The flames roared abruptly to life and Rachel’s head snapped up just in time to watch the Ember fox, the same one she’d seen in the fire ceremony vision, daintily step out onto the hearth stone.

“You… you can’t be here.  I didn’t summon you.”

:I go where I please.:

The deep ember-glow of the fox dimmed as it stood in the cool air, soot cloaking the creatures’ fur in black.  Its burning eyes showed frightening intelligence.

“Elementals can’t talk… they’re just…” Rachel waved her hand vaguely in the air, “Elemental.”

:How very astute of you.  If we are done pondering my existence, shall we begin?:

“Begin?”  Rachel’s head was reeling

:Your training to be a proper Laga, of course.:

“I’ve been Laga to my people since I was seven, I’m already a proper Laga.” she snapped defensively.

The fox cocked its head and said, deadpan, :Indeed?  I could have sworn I walked you through a vision last night.  Must have been some other kit with too much confidence in her own poorly trained gifts.:

Rachel gasped, “That was you?  Was it true?  Is it going to happen?  How?”

:Too many questions for one so young.:  the fox hissed, tail lashing.  It stepped its front paws up on her knees, opened its mouth and exhaled in her face, the smell of burning wood rich in the dry heat of its breath.

Rachel found herself again in the hell of a fire that burned her.  The smoke dragging her towards unconsciousness, she struggled forward, staggering and full of pain. 

:The door: the fox commanded.  : Remember the door, and remember your gift.  Fight fire with fire or it will devour you.:

The door shimmered with ice, untouched by the heat.  It felt unnatural, a bone-deep cold that made her body ache even as the fire devoured her. 

“What’s behind the door?”

:Your destiny.:

Rachel touched the handle and screamed as ice burned through her.


This week’s word on Trifecta was

cheap adj \ˈchēp\

1 a : purchasable below the going price or the real value

b : charging or obtainable at a low price <a good cheaphotel> <cheap tickets>

c : depreciated in value (as by currency inflation) <cheapdollars>
2 : gained or done with little effort <a cheap victory> <talk ischeap>
3 a : of inferior quality or worth : tawdry, sleazy <cheapworkmanship>

b : contemptible because of lack of any fine, lofty, or redeeming qualities <feeling cheap>

I’m picking right back up after A Mask in the Necessary storyline.  To read the rest in order, click on the Fiction link at the top of the page.  I really want to go back to magical things happening, but that story didn’t seem quite done enough.  Plus, as one commenter (my sister, for those keeping track) mentioned, the ‘bad guy’ doesn’t just appear that way… how did they get to be the bad guy?  Not to mention, is he really bad?

A few questions – does this seem at all realistic for a high school scene?  Characters/events/etc?  I’ll be honest – I drifted, oblivious, through highschool with very few interactions with the ‘mean girls’, and, unfortunately, in those few interactions, it wasn’t me they went after, because they go after the one least able to defend herself.  Like hyenas.  Moving on.  What kind of vibe are you getting from new-character-Katie?

Link up or read some of the other responses over at Trifecta.

The picture below is titled “Defeated Dragon”, hopefully it works with the story as well as it did for me.  Check out more of Daniel Dociu’s work by clicking on the image.

It wasn’t worth it.

She told them I was just a spiteful wannabe, lying to hurt her.  Her coterie of hangers-on flocked to comfort her – so hard to be so beautiful, so popular.  Lesser beings use their cheap, nasty words to hurt you.  So hard to be Jennifer.

I cringed at the whispers and glares.  I slunk, eyes glued to my cafeteria tray, towards the already seated Joanna. 

I stumbled.  I looked around in surprise, having barely prevented myself from face-planting in my food.  A football jock met my stare blandly, pulling his foot casually back under the table.

I slammed my tray down and slumped over in my seat.  “We should have gone there for lunch.”

Tears prickled behind my eyes.

She smiled sympathetically and waved a carrot stick at me.  “It’s tough, but she only wins if you run and hide.”


I gasped as the mess of creamed corn and mashed potato dripped down the back of my neck and soaked into my shirt.  The girl behind me, I recognised as one of Jennifer’s posse who had avoided eye-contact with her during the fight.  Her empty tray hung limp in her fingers, and, though she had a pleased smirk plastered over her face, I couldn’t help but notice the unhappiness in her eyes.

“You-“ my voice broke.  I give up.  She backed up in alarm when I stood up.

Joanna swung around the table and stood toe to toe with the girl.  “Did this get you back into her Royal Highness’s good graces, Katie?” she snarled.  She thrust her chin forward like a fist, causing the girl to stumble back a step.  She lowered her voice.  “If your brother could see you now.”

Katie jerked back as though she’d been slapped, her face crumpling. 

I pinched the bridge of my nose, willing the tears back.  “Joanna, stop.”


“She’s winning anyways.  Don’t sink to her level.”


I left, blurry eyed.

I didn’t see Katie leave in the same state.

A Big Happy *sob* Birthday!

It’s the big one.  I’m officially old.  Practically ancient and decrepit, I’m only a few short years from being set adrift on my own personal ice floe.  One foot in the grave.  I’m pretty sure I found a gray hair this morning.  I’ll probably go bald, too.  That happens to women, sometimes, you know.  I’m definitely a spinster at this point, and I’m pretty sure I’m going senile.

What?  My birthday?  No, don’t be silly, that’s not for months.  My birthday hearkens the return of flowers.  Also, no, I’m not being over-dramatic here.  You are.  No, you are.  I know you are, but what am I?

Cue the Sad Violin.

It’s my baby sister’s 19th Birthday.  Nineteen.    She’s able to vote.  Well, ok, she could do that last year, But Still!  She’s living on her own in the far-away Ottawaland, having to scavenge for her own food and beverage in the not-quite-arctic-tundra of University Residentia.  She’s stopped thinking that boys are icky, probably.  She attends classes at an institute of higher learning.  She is officially able to purchase alcohol anywhere in Canada.  She’s an adult. 

She looks an awful lot like me. Only taller, more fit, and... well... like a taller, fitter me.

She was born when I was in Senior Kindergarten.  I was a great big sister right from the start.  When my teacher asked me what my new baby sister’s name was, I, already deeply attached to the girl, answered, “Dooor… something… something like door.  But… not.  I don’t know.  Can I play in the lego area?”

I taught her valuable lessons along the way.  Affectionate older-sisterly lessons like,

“Don’t lie down in the middle of the road while I’m riding my bike towards you, because you will be run over.  See, I wasn’t bluffing.”

And … well… off the top of my head, I can’t think of anything else that fits here.  Still.  I was a part of her education.

In return, she taught me valuable lessons like,

“If your demon-spawn baby sister comes up to you, looking completely innocent and cute, and wants to give you a hug, it’s actually in order to bite you on the face.


“If you chop off your bangs, and all the hair along the part in the top of your hair, right down to a buzz-cuttwice … our hairdresser will actually get out the electric razor and start prepping your hair for being an all-over buzz-cut.  And it really seems like he isn’t bluffing.”  That was definitely not the best look for her, even if she avoided getting the full buzz-cut.

I remember reading the Harry Potter books to her… Aloud.  With voices.  We learned together that Hermione wasn’t pronounced how it was spelled.

She actually enjoys going on walks with me.  I don’t even have to bribe her, most of the time.

Even when it's cold out... And even after we realised that the thing Gwynn is so interested in there is a deer-leg. Yech.

When she was really little (in real life, not just in my mind), her teacher asked them to draw someone they cared for.  While all the other kids drew spider-blob-people or block-blob-people representative of their parents, she drew a surprisingly detailed and identifyable picture of her babysitter.  Having finished the front (curly hair and all) before the aloted time was up, she turned the page over, and did the woman’s back, too (typical hands-in-back-pockets-of-her-jeans stance and all).

She makes art.  Artistic art, and always has.  At the age when I was drawing super-creepy-spider-people with no neck and spindly arms and legs protruding at unnatural angles from their bloated torsos, she was drawing relatively proportional not-scary people whose eyes were in the right part of their heads, and the same size as each other.  She’s in art school now, and the piece she gave me for my last birthday will be the basis for all decoration in a room of my future-house.

A woman came to our front door trying to sell something, and my sister politely turned her down.  As the woman was walking away, she told the woman, “Be Safe.”  Like she was sending the woman out into the zombie-apocalypse-wasteland.

yup... it's a zombie-arm for Sadie. We are totally ready for that apocalypse.

She and her friends were once spat upon by a silver mime.

All in all, she’s pretty kickass.

I look at her, and I still see her at 5, 8, 10… maybe 15… sometimes.  But she isn’t – she’s a young woman, and all grown up.  Holy cow, I feel old.

So Happy Birthday, Doodle.  I’m proud of you, and very impressed at how awesome you grew up to be.  Have fun celebrating!

ps, I hope you didn’t get awoken at god-awful-in-the-morning again today!