Monday, February 4, 2013

Writing Clutter and Quilting Pieces

I find it interesting to go through old document files. One can find all kinds of interesting tidbits: poems you've forgotten (sometimes with excellent reason!), old letters you've written and thankfully didn't send, and snippets of stories you started but, for whatever reason, simply never continued with.

Heaven knows, I  have enough on my 'writing' plate right now but I found at least five things I started but never worked on. What happened? I dunno. Perhaps they simply weren't working or going in a direction that led nowhere. They should be deleted from my files I suppose, like stained tee-shirts you  don't want to wear out in public anymore and you know you only need so many 'I'll need painting clothes' in your dresser drawer.

But, like some old clothes, you simply don't want to toss them out. There must be something to be done with them. Maybe I'll just pack them into a zip file and call them quilting pieces. My grandmother did that and my mother did it, too. They might just make a nice quilt some day. The pattern may simply not be apparent to me right now. Shall we look?

Quilt Scrap #1:

Of all her incarnations and forms this one had worked best for the job; she had to admit it to herself. Margaret Cochrane could have modeled for any one's grandmother: not too tall, round and plump, carefully waved silver hair with a touch of blue, and a peaches and cream complexion. With just the right amount of laugh lines, of course. But she couldn't say she really liked it, although people did seem to respect it. All right, except for that time in northern France during the witch hunts. Her resting quarters seemed to mirror her form. Comfortable, lived in, and filled with a hodgepodge of human artifacts.
"Margaret!" The call was getting shrill now.

"I'm coming! I'm coming!" She called back at it. The glass surface of the antique mirror was mottled to begin with; now, it was swirling and twisting with all shades of gray and a touch of purple. Really, Max had such an old fashioned approach to communication. The last time in the office she had tried to talk him into getting on the Internet or maybe just a fax machine.

Quilt Scrap #2:
The screeching howl was ear-shattering, an angry, full-throated note that cleaved through the air and seemed to hang there for several seconds. Daria cowered beneath the rocks, unable to move and unable to look. Her eardrums rang despite the hands she clasped over her ears. Above the ringing came another sound. . .speech. No, not a speech. A word, a single word.


The timbre of the voice was unlike any other. It was almost human with an underlying hiss and vibration that coated her skin with terror. It was a shout. Sheer volume told her that but the words were human.


 Daria opened her eyes at the epithets. Cowering under the rocks was no longer an option. She didn’t care what Philippe had said; she didn’t care about the terror crawling over her skin. The one who was shouting those words was a threat. Fear and shame coated her inside. Phillipe was in danger and here she was cowering in the rocks like a coney, leaving her brother to face whatever it was with only the semi-useless Mark at his back. She was the trained one, not him.

“NO!” Daria shouted, a faint echo of the booming voice. She ran out of the cover of the rocks, slipping a steel-tipped arrow into her bow. Her eyes really didn’t start to focus until she drew back and sighted along the arrow’s shaft. Phillipe was no where to be seen but a dark figure loomed on the mountain’s edge, a winged figure with a tremendous span. Where was the owner of that voice? She glanced swiftly left and then right. Phillipe’s fallen figure laid deadly still with a simple dagger next to him. Idiot! Where was Mark?

“NO!” She shouted again, sighting down the shaft once more. The creature started to turn. Daria let the arrow loose and had another one ready to fly without even thinking of it. A sudden gust of wind threw up a cloud of dust and small gravel. Daria’s vision was cut off as the dust stung her eyes. For a few seconds there was nothing but darkness shot with only brief spears of light. It was enough. A pair of large strong hands seized her wrists, striking her bow from her hands. Daria strained against the thumbs but was only partially successful as her free hand was immediately grabbed again and her arm twisted painfully behind her back. There seemed to be a dark wind rushing all around her.

“Let her go!” It was Mark’s voice. “You don’t want her! You want us!”

“No! I want you to suffer as you made her suffer. Men! The Storyteller was right. You are killers of life and hope. You took mine from me now I will take yours!”
Scrap or quilting blocks? I'm not quite sure.

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