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Monday, September 29, 2008

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Jared Padalecki

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Craig Danielson breathed through his nose, trying to keep his heart from jumping out of his chest. He hung upside down, his legs twisted securely into the plastic rafters of the research building. The sound of his persuer's footsteps echoed through the deserted room. He held his breath as they passed by the doorway and continued on down the hall.

He slid his slim palm-pulse into his left sleeve pocket and carefully pulled himself up onto the rafter. It would only be a matter of time before proper back-up arrived and they searched out his heat signal. Only a short matter of time, he thought in disgust.

This was suppose to be a simple smash and grab. The building had not been rumored to be secure and during his pre-op days gathering intel for the job nothing out of the ordinary had been spotted. Now security were crawling through the building like bees in a hive.

Craig fingered his prize, securely hidden away in a secret section of his coat linning. His sponsors had payed great money and he would see it delivered. His entire reputation was staked on this one job. The theif backed up on the rafter until his back was against the wall. Now came the tricky part.

"Hold on to your buckles." Craig muttered under his breath.

The adrenaline rush thrilled through his vains and he had to work hard to keep himself focused. He stood slowly, took a steadying breath and pushed himself away from the wall with a mighty jump. The wind rushed past his face.

Craig reached down and tapped a circular insignia on his thick, black boots. An anti-gravity field erupted around him and he came to a soft stop a few inches from the floor. With another quick tap he was on his way, running silently towards the only exit available to him. A large, floor to ceiling window that ran along the length of the room.

He slid out his palm-pulse, a small flat weapon that used extremely focused heat lasers to destroy whatever they targeted, and pointed it at the glass. The window pane shattered into a million pieces. Craig ran as fast as he could and dived out the window. He prepared for a hard landing. The ground was soft and not far below, but if his anti-gravity field hadn't recharged then he would be left with a deep few bruises at least.

He landed hard and on his back, the object he had stolen hitting the ground hard. There was a bright flash of blue light. Craig brought an arm up to protect his eyes. Then there was nothing but silence and darkness. The theif tried to stand, but his legs wouldn't respond. He pushed himself up into a sitting position with shaking arms and looked around.

He was not on the lawn outside the research building. He turned his head and his eyes bugged out. There was no buildling behind him - none in sight. He was in a small meadow at the center of what appeared to be a lush, green forest. Sunlight peeked down from between tall tree limbs.

Craig stood up and brushed his clothes off. He knew that it couldn't be a real forest. They had all been destroyed years ago. Now only halo projected trees could be seen if one paid enough. Craig took a few steps forward and reached out towards the tree. His hand did not fall through thin air as expected, instead colliding with rough, hard bark. He shuddered.

"Unnatural." He whispered. "Freakish. Wrong."

The man turned in a circle. He breathed and smelled dirt, grass and all manner of unusual smells. He felt for his coat linning and the object within. He did not know what it was he had been comissioned to steal, but he knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was responsible for his arrival in this place.

His fingers shook as he pulled it out. Flat, gray, no writing. It looked the same as it had when he had taken it from the thrice protected vault. It had been his most difficult job and now he wondered if it might have been best to have skipped this one. Craig's mouth fell into a thin line.

"What are you?" He asked the thing in his hands.

Quite unexpectedly, it responded in a monotone voice. "I am The Time Machine."

His body spasmed in surprise and he almost dropped it. "What?"

"I am sorry, you must restate your query. I do not understand."

"Did I travel through time?" He asked.

"Yes. eight hundred years, three days, two hours, four minutes, fifty-seven second -."

"Enough!" He said fearfully. He ran a hand through his hair. This had to be a mistake, he thought. "Where am I?"

"I am sorry, you must restate your query. I do not understand."

He growled. "Where have you taken me?"

"I have taken you nowhere. You are where you were."

This confused him. He looked around again. Nothing looked familiar. Nothing looked the same. How could he still be where he had been? The research building was gone. His fear began to grow quickly.

"Can you take me back?"

"I am sorry, you must restate your query. I do not understand."

"How do I get home?"

"I am sorry, you must restate your query. I do not understand."

"Take me to the future, where I came from."

"I am The Time Machine. Only the past is accesible through me."

Craig swore.

This could not be happening. He clenched his hand into a fist and tried to push down the impulse to blast the tiny machine into oblivion. This had cost him a sizable payoff. His buyers were skitish - too skittish. If he didn't show up at the meeting place within five minutes of the prearranged time they would split and never look back. To lose their anonymous status was not worth it.

The man knelt on the soft, green covered ground and slammed his empty fist into the Earth. This natural entity that had betrayed him. Craig wanted to shoot something, he raised his palm-pulse and aimed it at a random tree then squeezed.

An explosion of splintered bark echoed through the forest. Immediately he was surprised by the sound of many woodland creatures rushing to escape. It was a strange sound that his ear had never heard. The soft flap of a flock of birds flying away and pounding feet from a nearby buck now running scared in the opposite direction. Craig unfolded himself and straightened to his feet.

Nothing about this place felt right. The constant hum of technology that had run through his viens since childhood could no longer be felt. It's absence frightened him and fear, being an unforgivable weakness, angered him. Craig clenched his jaw and tried to reign in the feelings.

He refused to be bested by a forest. He spat at the ground in disgust, this motion made him feel more in control. He could insult the ground, he was the master. He took a step forward.

"You!" A strange voice shouted to his left.

He turned, automatically aiming his palm-pulse at the speaker as he did so, and saw a young boy exiting the trees. The young man appeared to be no older than sixteen and he wore a strange cloth suit of dark green. Long blond hair fell over his blue eyes and he swept it away with a dirty hand.

"What are you doing? You scared away my prey. I have been after that stag since before dawn!" The boy said angrily.

Craig watched the boy's lips move in unfamiliar patterns and thanked the gods that he had worn his ear translators that morning. He knew that without it he stood no chance at understanding whatever language was being spoken at him. As it was he felt glad to meet another human.

The history books had never mentioned the many races of space faring beings that had recently become allies, but Craig had always figured that they had been there, in the shadows of the world's governments. Some of them were plain meddlesome.

Humans he could deal with. Slipping the Time Machine back into the lining pocket, he walked towards the youth. If he was to find a way home, he needed to be someplace safe where he could better study the machine that had sent him into the past.

"I am Craig Danielson. I didn't mean to scare away your...prey." He said soothingly. A velvet voice could do wonders to convince gullible ears. "I need a place to stay. You wouldn't happen to know of one would you?"

The boy looked at him blankly. "Excuse me, sir, I had not realized that you were a foreigner. I will take you to the knight's - they will want to see you." The boy bowed and backed away fearfully.

Craig watched this all, calculating. Obviously the boy thought that he was someone important and this worked well for the man. The mention of knights sparked no recognition in his mind. He had never heard the term before. He assumed that they were the local leaders.

He chose not to speak, the boy would not understand him anyway, and instead motioned with his arm for the boy to lead and nodded encouragingly. The boy smiled and turned on his heel.

A bit hesitantly, he followed into the forest. It felt closed in and alive. A disconcerting feel in the extreme. It gave Craig the shivers and he hurried faster. The sooner he was out of the horrid forest the better.

"The knight's will be glad to see you. They always love the strangers." The boy chatted amiably, his earlier anger apparently forgotten. This was fine by Craig, he let the boy talk.

** *** **** ***

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Hotel Is Where The Heart Is
By Ebbtide Cheque

Sam sat in the Winchesters small hotel room, another seedy, cheap place to cook up their latest crazy idea to hunt the yellow-eyed demon. The younger Winchester blew his breath out in a hollow protestation to his current surroundings. Dirty clothes were strewn about the room, magazines folded over chair backs, relevant newspaper clippings taped or tacked to the wall. Yep. It was a messy place, but that was not what Sam was getting angry about. Sure, Dean could try and pick up a little, instead of leaving empty pizza boxes stacked in a precarious heap in the corner by the TV, but Sam knew it was not likely to ever happen. His brother was a slob. That did not bother Sam…much…anymore.

Seven months after their fathers disappearance at Jericho had brought the brothers close again. No, what Sam found unbearable was the fact that they were IN a hotel room. Again. In yet another small, unspectacular city. The same environment he had learned to call home during a long, tumultuous childhood.

“Unbelievable.” Sam shook his head, snorting at the irony.

Just eight months ago he had been happy and absolutely certain that he would never see the inside of another hotel room…ever. A tired, sad frown turned down the edges of his lips. He would have taken Jessica away for their honey moon, but it would have been a beautiful hotel, not anything like the crappy places he and Dean were forced into. They had to hide, stay places where their identity couldn’t be easily tracked. Sam knew that, but it still irked him that all his years of hard work at college had lead him to this. Right back where he had started.

Sharing a ratty hotel room with his brother Dean.

A smirk grew across his face as he voiced a bitter thought. “Hotel is where the heart is.” He stated in dry humor.

With a shake of his head, Sam flipped open his laptop and started checking the area for suspicious obituaries. Dean would come back from his “walk” in another hour and then they would have dinner. Just another day in the life of the Winchesters.

THE END.

Angel Take Me Away
By Tina c.

Angel take me
Away to be
With another time
A different rhyme.

A story I
Should star in
But never did

In my mind
I made it
Out of here

In my mind
I deserve better
Than the here
Than the now
Than my world

Angel take me
Away to be
Another human being

Help me write
My true story

Angel take me
Away…

ETH DEN

Pieces by Tina c.

A sliver of illumination shines
On our shadow-formed faces
We are the creatures unknown
Deep inside the hearts of everyone
Pieces of broken psyche
Clawing to get out, to be free.

A realization illuminates us
Our shadowed forms discuss
Between ourselves, a verbal mire
In secret whispers the hearts desire
Pieces of a shattered soul
Longing to be re-cast in a mold.

To be reborn, these pieces of humanness

(Unsure of what the last line should be. Thoughts?)

THE END.

Sunday, September 14, 2008



Thursday, September 11, 2008


9/11

9/11....Never forgotten.

Monday, September 8, 2008

SCARED by Tina c.


As the hour drowns on
Drawing away my soul
I sit and try to clear my
Mind, scared thoughts.

I know inside somewhere
That all of this will mean
Nothing in the tomorrow
Morning, then I see them.

A friends, friend in front
Staring at me, who is it?
I stare back and try blink
But the enigma stays in.

My sight is filled with an
Vision of strangest ideas
But I ignore their solidity
This friends, friend can I.

Faith given freely to him
Her - It - them ultimately
I decide to trust this new
Presence in my twirling.

Mind that will not stop
As I try to clear my head
Scared by the nonsense
Left of all my logically.

Thought through naivety
I sense the endless site
Of my growing obsession
With this new face - them.

Scared of what could be
Scared of what has been
Scared of all that is inside
Of me and my mind, them.

Scared of the them I don’t
Know good enough yet to
Decide if the trust was a
Good idea. Good choices.

Will they leave me, like all
The other ones before them?
I reach out to be touched by
Them and their supportive.

Nature, idealism, empathy,
Sacred, righteous soulless
Kneeling gift. I see there is
An illusion inside their plea.

Scared to give in I turn away.

TdHnEe EtNhDe

Sunday, September 7, 2008

COPYRIGHT PROTECTED


CHAPTER TWO: Visiting Home

A cold September wind rushed through the quiet valley where the Wright homestead sat calm in the face of impending winter. Terra Wright stumbled up the last few feet of a steep hill until she could finally see the site of her childhood. A grin stretched across her face and she laughed aloud. It had been almost seventeen months since her last visit home and she had began to wonder if she would ever return. Yet, here she stood, looking down at the buildings and pastures that had been her home for twelve years.

“Mom! Grandpa! Michallai!” She could not contain the yell of greeting.

The wind snatched her words and drown them out, but this did not dampen her mood. She felt almost radiant with happiness. She would see her loved one and enjoy three days of heaven.

“I’m home!” She yelled down into the valley.

She waited another moment, watching for any movement outside the buildings, as she caught her breath and then she was running down the hill. It was only a short quarter mile to the first building - her Grandfather’s barn - and she sprinted the entire way. Reaching the barn she peeked inside the open door, it was empty. She paused, leaning against the doorway and then another jolt of adrenaline fueled energy sent her down the path to the main house.

No one knew that she was coming. Terra had wanted to surprise them, but now she regretted not sending a letter ahead. What if the men had gone off on a hunting trip? What if the women were out picking herbs? The thought of missing out on seeing even one of her much loved family members made her anxious.

“Mom? Dad?” She called as she reached the front door of her parent’s home.

The door was unlocked, so at least she knew someone would be there to greet her. There were low voices coming from the kitchen. Terra felt her heart jump as she recognized her mother’s soft tones.

“Mom!” She screamed, unable to contain her excitement.

There was a crash from the other room and Terra ran. She saw her mother standing over a shattered glass bowl, her Grandfather sitting on a stool by the counter. Terra gathered her mother up in a tight hug.

“Surprise!” She said, her voice muffled by her mother’s shoulder.

“Surprise is correct.” Her grandfather commented good naturedly. “I thought you wouldn’t be here for another month.”

Terra finally released her mother, hugging her grandfather before replying. “The Queen let me leave to visit early. She is expecting the baby in day now and once the Prince is born there will be no chance for me to come.”

“I see.” The old man nodded.

“So, it is to be a son then? The entire kingdom is filled with every kind of rumor regarding the Queen’s pregnancy.” Gioderva said.

Terra gave her mother a peck on the cheek and picked a golden apple out of a basket of fruit on the table. She took a bite, famished from her long walk from the castle.

“Yes. Well, that’s what the physician is predicting, at least. No one can know for sure.”

Terra looked around the room. She remembered learning how to bake cookies in that room. The fifteen year old smiled at the memory. The apple was quickly eaten and she took another.

“Your father and cousin are out getting fire wood. They should be back in time for dinner.” Her mother said.

Grandfather Darryke stood to his feet. “Until then you can help me in the barn. I’m just finishing up a new painting. If you want, of course.”

Terra grinned. She loved spending time with her grandfather. He always had a story to go with his many paintings. Although they did not bring in a lot of money, he painted out of love of the art. Terra unsung her journey bag from her shoulder and motioned towards the ceiling.

“I just have to unpack my things, but I can meet you out there.”

Her grandfather nodded. “You’ll like this new painting, Terra. It’s for Michallai’s birthday.”

“Oh! That is tomorrow.” Terra slapped her forehead. “In all the excitement at the castle I totally forgot. I didn‘t bring him anything. Ugh.”

Gioderva chuckled. “You are present enough. He will be overjoyed to see you.”

Terra frowned. “I guess.”

The teenager took a last bite of her second apple and threw the core into a wooden scrap bin. She turned to her grandfather.

“I’ll be out there in a few minutes.”

“Then I will wait for you out in the barn.” He said, moving towards the door.

She turned and hurried up the stairs to her second story room. It felt so good to see her old, pink bed spread with the hand embroidered flowers. She remembered watching her mother slave over the blanket, a present for her eleventh birthday, all those years ago. She sighed and threw her bag onto the bed. Breathing deep she took in the smell of cooking food, dust and old wood. It felt so good to be home again.

Two years had went by since she had last stood in the small room. The shelves were covered in a film of dust, but she did not see that. All that she could see were the hand carved dolls with their small, fancy dresses that she had helped her mother sew. So many memories were tied up in the room it was almost overwhelming. This happened every year when she returned after long months at the palace.

The Queen was nice enough, but some days it was like there was another person inside the royal mother. It was like a split personality that only surfaced on rare occasions. Terra had learned to fear it. The Queen could be a little demanding on a good day, but when this second side came out there was no telling where her temper would go or what she would need done. Terra was just glad to be away from the stress of the castle. The other servants were another problem. After her initial training as handmaiden, Terra had been shunned by all of the girl’s working in the palace. She knew that it was because of her predecessor, Sarah Gardner. The older girl had spread many awful rumors about Terra and her family.

To be away from all of it meant perfect bliss. If only for the three short days she was allowed to stay. The Queen would have agreed to longer if it had not been for the lateness of her pregnancy. The baby was already a week overdue and when it finally did come there would be the naming ceremony. Terra wondered why her country was so passionate about tradition and ceremony, personally she had always thought it was a little ridiculous.

A choosing ceremony, a naming ceremony, a birthing ceremony; she shook her head. To her, family was more important than traditions. She had wondered why the Queen would spend her first days with her baby in the public eye when she could just as easy dismiss the old traditions. After all, she was Queen of an entire nation.

As much as she would love to sit on her bed and stare out the window to the horizon of familiar foothills, Terra knew that her grandfather was waiting for her in the barn. His painting studio was set up next to her father’s leather work station. It made for some interesting tack on occasion. The teenager smiled as she remembered a particularly colorful saddle that had emerged from her grandfather’s room. Her father had sold it for over one hundred silver pieces.

“Terra, be sure to come inside in time to help me with dinner.” Her mother called out to her as she skipped down the stairs.

“Yes, mother.” She shouted back as she breezed through the door and back down the path leading to the barn.

Terra entered the barn and breathed deep. She could distinguish many the many familiar smells, old wood, horses, dry hay and molded straw. It was a medley that had come to mean home for her over the years. At the palace when she became too homesick to stand, all she needed to do was walk into the stables. The smell alone would trigger many happy memories of time in her grandfather’s barn helping the old man, hearing stories and talking.

“Grandpa.” She called.

“I’m back here, Terra.” His answer floated into the corridor from a converted tack room half-way down the aisle between stalls. It was just the right size for an art studio, enough room for all of his equipment, but not too spacious. She loved to help him with his art.

The red head hurried into the work room and found him sitting on a tall stool in front of a canvas stand. The painting was turned away from her so she could only see a partial view of the picture that he was creating. It appeared to be of the sea. Grandpa Darryke patted his knee.

“Come here for a moment. I would like to show you what I have been working on.”

Terra obediently complied. Once settled down on his lap she turned her gaze to the picture. It was of an ocean. In fact, it looked exactly like he had described his hometown so many times, Smalliae. A great jutting rock stuck out from the water causing waves to crash angrily against it. The painting seemed almost alive and Terra let herself imagine she could see the tide ripple and twist.

She smiled and leaned back against her grandfather’s chest taking in the picture and thinking of all the times she had wished to see the great ocean.

“It’s beautiful. I wonder if I’ll ever get to go there.” She thought aloud.

Terra reached forward to touch a fingertip to a dry section of the picture. The young girl wondered what it would be like to swim in that water. So blue and clear and warmed by the bright sun. Grandpa Dryyke sighed softly.

“Maybe after the war is over, you will be able to make the journey.”

Terra looked up at the old man. “What? Grindale isn’t at war.” She pointed out.

Terra wondered if her grandfather was getting too old, after all. He was obviously wrong about there being a war. Terra worked at the palace and if anyone would have heard news about a war it would be the servants at the palace.

Her grandfather stroked his beard reflectively. He seemed deep in thought and for a moment did not say anything. Then he put his hands on her shoulders and turned her so that she could look at him fully.

“You are still young. You do not yet fully understand.” Grandpa Dryyke wrapped his arms around her in a loose hug. “War has been weighing heavily on this country and our neighbors for many long years. All of the signs are there if you understand where to look. Neither they nor us will admit it though.

A tenuous peace is still in place, though it is in writing only. Last month a raid of our western border was executed by the Hillendale special forces. I fear that the future might lead to more outright attacks.”

Terra’s brow wrinkled as her young mind tried to understand all of the things her grandfather said. She trusted him above any other, but war was a big word and even if she was young Terra felt a fear at the mention of something so terrible.

“How do you know? How do you know that the raiders were from Hillendale? How do you know there’s a war?” She asked.

The teenager looked up earnestly into his wise brown eyes. The old man smiled sadly and brushed her long bangs behind one of her ears. A knowing light shone in his eyes.

“It will be alright, Terra. I did not mean to frighten you.”

“But how do you know?” The red head pressed.

He shook his head and pushed her gently off his lap before reaching out to cover his painting with a white cloth. He stood, old bones creaking and groaning under the strain of age, and motioned for Terra to follow him as he walked out of the workroom.

“Maybe being in doors was not such a good idea.” He said with forced cheerfulness, changing the subject. “Perhaps we should help your mother after all.”

Terra wanted to ask again, but when grandpa Dryyke would not meet her inquisitive gaze she decided not to press the matter further. If he did not want to tell her then he would not and she knew there was nothing that she could do to stop it. He would never do anything to hurt her and so she decided to put the questions of war out of her mind.

As they exited into the sunlight Terra leaned her head against his side, hugging him tightly around the waist as they walked towards the house.

“I really missed you this year, Grandpa.” She admitted.

“I missed you too, Terra.”

“And that was a really great painting. I just know that Michallai will love it.” She beamed a smile up at him.

“Thank you, it has been a most enjoyable project.”

When they entered the house it was to the greeting of not just her mother but Michallai and her father as well.

“They returned moments after you left the house.” Gioderva explained as Terra exchanged enthusiastic hugs with the two men.

Michallai was a year younger than Terra, but already he was turning into a hardened farmer. His body tanned and muscled from working every day in the fields and orchards. Terra punched the blue eyed blond lightly on the shoulder.

“You could lift an ox with those biceps.” She joked.

“I don’t know about an ox.” Michallai replied with a mischievous grin. “But I know that I can lift you.”

With that he lunged in her direction and effortlessly swung her off her feet and into his arms.

“Michallai!” Terra shrieked in surprise. “Put me down!”

He laughed. “Only after you’ve told me all about your year so far.” He threatened in mock severity. “Then I’ll let you go.”

“Hmph.” Terra’s shoulders slumped in defeat. “Alright, you want all the juicy gossip, you got it.”

She rolled her eyes when he immediately released her, his eyes bright with excitement. Although the two cousins were close in age they were radically different in almost all other areas, but that had not stopped them from becoming best friends. Michallai was closer than a brother to her and she was like an older sister to him. Terra took his hand in hers and pulled him towards the stairs.

“Come on, I’ll tell you everything that you want to know.”

Michallai’s grin grew broader. “You said it.”

They spent the rest of the afternoon laughing and talking to make up for all of the months they had been separated. As her best friend, Terra knew that she could talk about anything with Michallai. The things that her grandfather had said earlier in the barn still bothered her and so she decided to see what he thought about it.

“Have you ever heard of any Grindalle raids?” She asked him after a brief lull in their conversation.

She sat crossed legged on her bedroom floor and he lay on his back, reclining on the bed. Michallai was silent for a moment.

“I don’t know what you’re asking. Everyone’s heard of the raids. The Grindalle special forces used to prey on the southern regions of the country.”

“That’s not what I meant. Have you heard of any new raids.” Terra clarified.

The boy turned onto his stomach so that he could face Terra. “I might’ve.”

“Might’ve?”

He nodded.

“Yeah. When I went to the village with your dad a few weeks ago one of the men there mentioned some farms were ransacked and burned. It was a few counties over so I haven’t thought about it much, but it could have been Grindalle forces. In the old stories they used to burn the houses, right?”

“Yes, they did.”

Terra felt a growing concern for her family. If grandfather Dryyke was right then a war could mean an attack on their farm. The Wright land was only two hundred miles from the borders between Grindalle and Hindalle, it would be directly in the path of any enemy army. She shuddered at the thought.

Michallai sensed her mood and swung his legs over the side of the bed, moving closer to her so that he could lay a hand on her shoulder. The girl’s blue eyes were clouded with worry.

“Everything will be alright, Terra, you’ll see.” He said.

She looked up at him. “I hope you’re right.”

As the sun set on her first day home Terra let herself forget the idea of war. She would ask around once she returned to the castle. Until then she would enjoy every last moment at home with her best friend.

***

The next day as evening replaced the early day hours Terra heard the approach of a horse, the clip, clop of it’s hooves on the gravel road outside loud enough for her to through her open window. Brow furrowed, Terra looked curiously outside and saw an old soldier pull his horse to a quick stop directly in front of the house door.

Gioderva walked into view, she talked with the man for a moment and he handed her a folded piece of paper. Then the man turned his horse and rode away as quickly as he had arrived, a cloud of dust trailing after him.

“Who was that?” Terra called down to her mother.

Gioderva turned tearful eyes upward to see her daughter leaning out her bedroom window. “Come downstairs and I’ll give this to you.” She held the paper aloft.

Terra was worried. Her mother was not a woman who cried easily. It must be something terrible, she thought. Pattering down the stairs she met her mother in the living room area. Two couches and a wooden rocking chair were places around a low table. Terra perched on the edge of a couch arm as she opened the paper her mother handed her with unsteady hands.

“Mother, what did that man say to you?” She asked as she unfolded the paper.

It was a message from the palace that held the Queen’s seal in red wax at the bottom. It read: The Queen has given birth to a healthy baby boy. Due to this, and the coming naming ceremony, she is recalling you back to the castle three days ahead of schedule.

Terra felt as if her heart had stopped beating. Her breaths came in great gasps and it was only minutes later that she realized she was sobbing. She felt her mother’s arms come around her in a tight hug. Terra clung on to her mother for support.

One week a year, that was all of the time she had with her family. It was those visits that kept her going during the long months in between and now she was being forced to cut her visit short. Her shoulders shook with each heart wrenching sob.

“What’s going on?” Michallai’s concerned voice broke through her grief.

“Your cousin just got a message from the palace. They need her back in two days.” Gioderva answered for Terra.

Michallai took a seat on the couch beside his cousin and rubbed circles on her back. He knew how much his friend needed these days away from the palace. It hurt him just as much as he knew it was hurting her right then.

“I’m sorry, Terra.” He said softly.

“It-it’s a-a-awful!” She stuttered between heavy sobs.

“I know, but at least we got to see each other for a little bit, right?”

She nodded tearfully.

“And I’ll be going to the palace for the naming ceremony. I know that it’s difficult, but everything will be okay, I promise.” He continued soothingly. “I got my birthday wish. You were able to make it here. Even if it wasn’t for the whole week.”

Terra moved her arm to include Michallai in the hug she shared with her mother. His words helped to sooth the anger and hurt that filled her heart. She knew that it would be harder than ever to walk away from her childhood home, but Michallai was right, they would see each other at the naming ceremony. It was a tradition for local people to gather outside the castle walls during the ceremony. Some came from farther and camped out, sometimes for weeks, just to witness the historic event.

“I’m going to miss you, still.” She said, her voice thick with emotion.

“We’ll miss you too, cousin.” Michallai squeezed a little tighter to emphasize his words. “But it’ll be alright.”


“Sure.” Darian answered uncertainly. He gently reclaimed his arm from her grip. “You can find out. He’s letting you go.”

A squeal of joy erupted from the young woman and she jumped to her feet. “When? Did he say?”

“As soon as I can locate 0-7 to help you with the packing. I wanted to let you know first. Congratulations, Snowflake.” He smiled down at her. “This is what you have always wanted.”

A troubled grin flashed across 0-9-9’s face. “What if I don’t fit in?” She shrugged. “You know…I’m not exactly normal.” Her eyes looked up at him from under her blond bangs. “What if I’m not accepted.”

Darian felt his heart go out to the girl. He could see the justifiable uncertainty and fears cross her face to disappear behind a closed-off expression. He took her hand in his own and sat down on the edge of her bed, the white bedspread folding softly under his weight.

“Listen to me, Snowflake.” He started earnestly. The clone paused, his brown eyes flickering around the room as he tried to find the right words. “You are special.”

A self-deprecating snort interrupted. “Duh!”

The man shot her a glare and she countered the look with an innocent smile. Darian shook his head and rolled his eyes. 0-9-9 always had an attitude, almost from birth. Darian found it comforting. A familiar reaction that he could expect no matter what the situation. Clearing his throat, the man continued.

“There is no one else out there like you. None of your sisters….no one can ever be who you are. What I am trying to say is that you do not need to conform. If those on the outside cannot accept you for who you are then you need to accept yourself. That is all that you can do, really. You can only control your own choices. It doesn’t matter what anyone else says or thinks about you.” He squeezed her hand in encouragement. “I have faith that you will be able to make it out there. . .and you will have friends. People who see you as a unique individual - a special girl unlike any other.”

Darian smiled.

“Then I guess we should go find 0-7, shouldn’t we?” The girl asked with a glowing smile in return.

“Yes, that does sound like a great idea.”

Standing, Darian let her pale hand drop away as they walked out the door and into the wide, marble-floored hallway outside. It was the length of the entire west wing of the mansion, hundreds of identical doors leading off it into rooms occupied by other Snowflake Gurls. Those many clones of the former Alice Dillin-Moore.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Just A Dream by Tina c.

A dream inside of me,
A dream trying to get free.

Attempting to change the world
That is my own to shape and mold.

Sequins and silk, tied tightly
Around the throat of opportunity.

Whoever thought they could hold me back
Had no idea how strongly I would react.

A dream to show to the world
A dream to show who I am.

Attempting to reveal it’s truth
Inside my deepest heart, soul, body.

Wolf Poem **Blood And Chocolate inspired**
By Tina c.

A wildness shines from my eyes
An animal soul I cannot hide
Wolf reflexes, naturally given
Keep me one step ahead of heaven

My heart a twisted, time-wasted thing
Unable to beat to a loving tune
I know that this is only one of my skins
In this, our age of lies and half-truths.

A wolf lurks in my soul with hungry eyes
Consumed with a desire to escape
Into my own body, a skin to hide my secret
Another soul shares my eternal heart.

A wolf is inside of me desperate to claw out
An animal being, a part of myself
I sometimes hate this double spirit inside
But to live alone would be perfect torture

I need this part of me - this mythic miracle
The werewolf side with it’s chains and manacle.
No way to ever separate it from myself
I hide it away … from the light of the day.

“I don’t want to let her down. After all, it’s still Alice.”

Darian nodded his head in obligatory agreement. “Yes, sir.”

Mr. David Dillin-Moore paced back and forth across the small strip of floor behind his large, oak desk. “Alice would have wanted this for her…for this Alice.”

“What you are saying is true, sir.” Darian nodded his head again, a nervous motion.

A cool breeze fluttered through the closed, white blinds and caused them to hit quietly against the window frame.

“Shut that.” Mr. Dillin-Moore waved his hand in annoyance at the source of the distraction.

Darian shuffled around the edge of the desk so that he could reach the window. He shut and latched it, his gaze lingering on the outside view for a long moment, then with a self-conscious blink he turned his back and walked with quick steps to his usual place in the center of the room. He held a clipboard in front of him, pen at the ready to jot down any of Mr. Dillin-Moore’s daily itinerary.

Once again absorbed in his personal dilemma, Mr. Dillion-Moore stroked his short, black beard in a repeated, aggravated flick of his wrist.

“For Alice…I think I can risk it.”

He stopped pacing, his shoulders relaxing as he made the decision aloud.

“Yes. I will let her leave the mansion.”

Darian raised an eyebrow. He had not been expecting to hear those words for at least another year.

“She’s your daughter, sir. Perhaps it would be better if you started her on a gradual basis. Instead of…letting her leave.”

David Dillion-Moore clenched his teeth in anger. He hated being questioned, all the more when it was his clone. He stepped out from behind the desk and came to a stop directly in front of his counterpart.

“You’re my clone, not my advisor. Now go make sure that she gets packed - let 0-7 help her with the clothing.” He added the last as an afterthought. “She has impeccable aesthetic tastes.”

Darian swallowed, hunched a little, gaze averted after the reprimand. He turned and left the room, head bowed. Mr. Dillin-Moore watched him go, gray eyes smoldering with repressed anger. He really hated the fact that his clone was so assertive. It should have been conditioned out of the him - the scientists had promised.

There were some scientists that he would be questioning closely in the coming days and if he didn’t like their answers then they too would be leaving the mansion.

***

Snowflake Gurl 0-9-9 followed the motion of the rainbow twirling across her bedroom wall. A soft, cool breeze shifted the glass necklace she let hang in her window, the bright sunshine outside doing the rest of the work. She smiled wide and traced the multi-colored wonder with her fingertips. It was beautiful.

A knock sounded on the door.

“0-9-9, are you decent?” Darian’s voice called through the door.

Rolling her eyes at the interruption the 17 year old girl pushed herself off her bed.

“Yes, Dare.” She replied. “Come on in.”

The door opened hesitantly and the man peeked in as if to be certain before stepping fully into the white room. All of the furniture and decorating were of the purest white. Each Snowflake had their own color code preference and 0-9-9 had chosen white at a very young age.

Her light blue eyes, ringed by a hardly visible pink edge, shone with laugher. She giggled and pulled Darian’s suit sleeve, bringing him over to the wall.

“Isn’t it great?” She asked, pointing to the rainbow on the wall.

He cocked his head to one side a confused frown marring his Asian features. “What is it?”

“A rainbow! I read about how to make them on the web.” Her smile got even wider as an energetic enthusiasm took over. “See!” She pulled him over to her desk where a white computer sat on a white desk.

Darian looked at the page she had referred to and his brow furrowed. “How is it that I do not know what this is?” He asked in confusion.

0-9-9 waved it away with one hand and pointed at the screen with the other. “Does it really matter? I mean, just look at this! It’s amazing…and beautiful.” She sighed softly. “I wish that I could see a real rainbow. Outside. It says that they generally show up after or during rain storms. I would love to be in a rain storm. Don’t you think that would be fun?”

“Sure.” Darian answered uncertainly. He gently reclaimed his arm from her grip. “You can find out. He’s letting you go.”

A squeal of joy erupted from the young woman and she jumped to her feet.

videoAlright, I've tried EVERYTHING to record me playing the piano. lol. And ALL that I have is this little clip of me...that I never intended to share, but since it's THE ONLY ONE I'll go ahead and share it anyway. ;). Just don't look at the mess....or my hair....or my clothes.....or anything. Listen to my song and let me know what you think.

Oh. I recorded this right after I moved up here. . . so, it was about six-seven months ago. ;). I'm better!! Haha! :D. lol. You all have a great day. ;).

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Snowflake Gurl
by Tina c.


Starring out the window,
into the storm
I start to wonder,
Why it's so calm.

Each snowflake falls,
different, but the same.
falling against our faces,
they give me my name - Snowflake Gurl.

No one calls me that,
no one knows.
But that's how I feel,
and nobody knows.
this aloneness can kill.
That's why I'm called - Snowflake Gurl.

Each snowflake falls,
different, but the same.
falling against the faces,
of others with my name - Snowflake Gurl.

All of us seem the same,
But none of us are.
We all share a name,
Even though no one knows.
The time has come,
To know each others name - Snowflake Gurl.

That's my name,
That's how I feel
Different, but the same.
And it makes the aloneness
seem like it could kill.
Me and you together.
even though we're alone.

That's why my name,
Is Snowflake Gurl.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Alright by Ebbtide Cheque
Disclaimer: I do not own them, just having a little fun at their expense. ;) Enjoy the angst!!

Author's Note: This is NOT a Daniel/Jack relationship piece...no romance here...this is a FRIENDSHIP piece. Granted, it is a deep friendship and feel free to read into it whatever you want, but it is written strictly as a gen friendship story. ;) . Also, it kinda stops abruptly. I would like you to decide how it ends.


----
You come to me with scars on your wrist
You tell me this will be the last night feeling like this
...
This is the last night you will spend alone
Look me in the eyes so that I know you know
...
The last night you will spend alone
I will wrap you in my arms and never let go.
...
[Skillet]
----

Dr. Daniel Jackson stumbled on the welcome mat set outside the door to Jack O'Neill's home. The sandy haired archaeologist caught himself on the door frame and held on tight, his hand turning white from the death grip. It felt like his entire world was swirling around him in a whirlwind of emotion and pain. Too much had happened in the past week, too many bad experiences...he needed a friend to help him before he gave into the darkness. In some deep recess of his subconscious he had chosen Jack as that friend.

He raised one hand and rapped three times on the door in quick succession. He waited, hoping that the man was home. A hysterical giggle escaped at the idea that he had spent twenty minutes agonizing over knocking on the door to an empty house. But no, the house was not empty, he could already hear the approach of familiar footsteps. He would recognize them anywhere.

The door opened and a confused Jack was looking out at him asking why he was there.

"What, can't a man visit his friends?" He heard himself answer easily.

----

Jack could tell that there was something very wrong with his archaeologist. For the last few weeks SG-1 had been going strong on a string of perilous missions. This was their first real downtime of the month and it looked like Daniel needed it more than the rest of them. Dark bags under his eyes spoke loudly of a lack of sleep. Insomnia usually meant nightmares and if anyone understood the effect that bad memories could have on a soul, it was General Jack O'Neill.

Jack opened his front door wider and motioned Daniel in. It was obvious that the younger man needed a friend.

"You wanna beer?" Jack asked, already heading to the kitchen to grab one for himself. He would need it if the blank expression on Jackson's face was any indication of the true problems behind this little "visit".

"Yeah, sure."

Jack hated to take out the second beer, because he knew the archaeologist would hardly touch it - what a waste - but he had been the one to ask so with a sigh he reached into the fridge and pulled out a second cold one.

He opened both bottles and tossed the caps on the floor with a flick of his wrist, then walked back to where Daniel sat on the living room sofa. Jack handed the other man one of the beers and then took a long drink of his own.

"So, what brought this little visit on?" He asked, wiping a hand over his mouth.

Daniel didn't answer and Jack wondered if the man had even heard his question. He opened his mouth to break the silence with a smart comment, but he was interrupted when the man in front of him burst into tears.

----

Daniel felt like a dam inside of him was about to burst and allow all of his pent up emotions out in an unstoppable flood. He tried to shove them back into the corner of his mind where the "bad things" went, but he couldn't this time. There were too many, there was too much pain. He felt the tears falling before he was aware of his body convulsing in silent sobs.

He felt someone pull the beer out of his shaking hand and then the same firm, gentle hands were rubbing circles of comfort on his back. He leaned into the touch, wanting so much to be safe and loved and if this was as close as he was ever going to get...He cried harder. A blanket appeared around his shoulders and those hands tucked it neatly around him so that he was enveloped in warmth. The hands pulled him back against a strong body in a hug. He closed his blue eyes then and let all of his pain voice itself for the first time in years.

How long he sat there sobbing into Jack's blanket, with those hands rubbing circles on his back and a low voice murmuring soothing nonsense in his ear, he did not know. It could have been minutes or hours, but at the end of it he felt too drained to move. Tears were still running down his face and there appeared to be no end to them in sight, but the convulsions had stopped and his breathing had evened out. For the first time in so long, he felt clean, free and liberated all at the same time. His eyes still closed, he relaxed against his friend.

----

Jack looked down at Daniel, the man seemed to have calmed down somewhat, and he saw the starts of a smile curling up the corners of the archaeologist's mouth. He reached down and tucked a loose corner of the blanket up against the man's body. O'Neill knew how drained and emotionally spent his friend was now - he had been in that position more than once himself.

"Everything is going to be okay, Daniel." He murmured for the hundredth time that night.

"No, Jack, it's not." Daniel spoke up softly. There was a despair in his tone that scared the General.

"What do you mean?"

Daniel pushed himself up and disentangled his arms from the blanket and held them out, palms up, towards the General. "This is what I mean." He pulled up the sleeves of his long sleeve shirt.

O'Neill tried to hide his surprise at the harsh red cuts leading up the pale arms. He couldn't help but stare at them for several moments, blinking rapidly, as his mind tried to come to terms with the sight. Finally, he pulled his brown eyes away and locked gazes with Daniel.

"Why?" He asked weakly.

The General knew that things had been hard on his friend in the past few weeks - years really - but nothing so horrific had happened recently that this would seem a viable option. At least, that is what the General kept telling himself whenever SG-1 left without him to come back battered and bruised. Daniel's confession obviously showed him how wrong he had been about everything.

He tried not to wonder how long this had been going on. Not all of the cuts were new, there were old pink scars that lead from the man's wrist to his elbow. It shook Jack to his core to see this.

"Do you need...help?" He asked, unsure of what Daniel wanted from him.

The young man made a disgusted sound deep in his throat and muttered something to himself in Arabic.

----

Daniel growled deep in his throat, annoyed with himself for having exposed his weakest secret to Jack O'Neill. He could tell that the older man was lost in this situation. What had he thought the General would be able to do about it? He asked himself angrily. Wave a magic wand and take back years of hurt and pain? Daniel knew better than to hope for understanding.

Jack waited patiently for him to explain, but now that the emotional explosion was over Daniel didn't really know what he was doing there. He couldn't even tell himself why he was there, it had been nothing more than a desperate attempt to stop the cutting. To stop the pain. His traumatized mind had reasoned that Jack O'Neill was the answer. So here he was in Jack's living room ruining the precious downtime the General treasured like Simpson re-runs.

Daniel wiped at the tears on his cheek. 'I'm sorry, Jack. I should have never bothered you. I'll - I'll go now." He tried to stand, but Jack took a strong grip on his shoulders.

"No you don't. You aren't going anywhere until I get some straight answers." Jack announced firmly. "Now, what is with -." He waved one hand at the archaeologist's wrists. "This!"

Daniel hung his head. "It started a few weeks ago. It was the anniversary of Sha're's death and I just...couldn't take it anymore."

"Ahh." Jack said.

"I know it was stupid and I should have gone to someone for help. It isn't like there's no therapists at the SGC." Daniel joked weakly. "There's a regular funny farm on level 30."

Jack studied his angst ridden friend. "You came to me." He said quietly in realization. "You came to me."

Daniel quirked a smile. "Yeah, yeah, I did. This afternoon I was thinking about Abydos." His face fell. "I can never go back there, Jack. It's all gone - andit'sallmyfault!" He added in a rush, the tears returning in full force.

The young man felt his arms itch for a blade and he rubbed them instinctively. Jack saw the motion and his heart beat quickened as he panicked. Just the thought of Daniel ever using a blade on himself was nauseating. He reached down to stop the man from scratching his skin anxiously.

"We'll get over this." Jack said softly, looking deep into his friend's crystal blue eyes. "You don't need to hurt yourself anymore, Daniel."

The archaeologist latched onto his friend and Jack hugged him back, trying to exude an aura of strength for his friend. They would get through this. There was no way that he would ever let Daniel hurt himself ever again.

"We'll get through this." He repeated quietly.


----

.THE END.

False Hope

Please, help me from this place
This place called false hope
I can't keep up the pace
I'm hardly able to cope.

'Cause I am in bondage
A slave to the uncaring
Stuck inside an invisible cage
Trying to just keep on living.

Sunshine hasn't shone on me
For so long - I am unsure
Of what I would see
If I could no longer endure
If this cage was to let go of me.

Forgiveness is now impossible
Forfeit and unreachable.

Because I am in bondage
A slave to the uncaring
Stuck inside an invisible cage
Trying to just keep living
To keep dreaming.

Save me from this false hoping
Save me from this life...

Spirits of Freedom
By Tina c.

Wind rush, cold drought of water
A peaceful heaven here

Cloud cover, a shade in the heat
Basking on a grass seat

Berry bushes, the smell of roses
A heavy dew freezes

Winter near, Summer will finish
Icing the fish streams

Each element guarded jealously
By the Spirits set free

They patrol the world forever
Always there to serve

A fever rushes another Spirit
From this mortal Earth

Content to roam, a new guardian
For the mere-mortal men

Spirits of freedom, they come
Down on the unjust some

Who would cheat the innocent
From inherent freedom

Shallow water, toes in the sand
A Spirit’s helping hand

Unseen, hardly left unchallenged
Our Spirits of Freedom

There to protect and to preserve
The freedom we crave

In all the colors, budding flowers
See the ascended Spirits

Once men, now immortal - elemental
They protect those still alive

.THE END
HET NED..