Saturday, August 31, 2013

Never Assume That The Thing Clawing At Your Ceiling Is A Squirrel

Presenting an excerpt from my 2011 Camp NaNoWriMo novel "Sand In The Worcestershire In The Embalming Fluid."  Still there?  Okay.  Let's take a peek at chapter five...

Scratching.  At three fifteen, Dun was gradually drawn from sleep by the sound of scratching.  He lifted his head in an attempt to locate the source.  It wasn't either of the windows in this guest room, where they had bedded down in a deliberate attempt to minimize their exposure to the outside world.  It was coming from the ceiling.

"Oh shit."  Dun said, matter-of-factly.

Lucy stirred, and Dun held her closer.  After a few seconds, she could hear it, too.  "Oh shit!" she gasped.  "Is that in the ceiling?"

"There's an attic.  I forgot all about the attic.  I am just not equipped for this horror movie stuff." he muttered.

"Do you think it can get in?  Is there like, one of those drop-down doors with the folding ladders, or an access panel, or what?" she turned on a light and pulled on a t-shirt.

"I don't know.  How strong are squirrels?  They're so small - how strong could they be?" he reasoned. "As far as I know, the only way up there from inside the house is the big door in the ceiling, out in the hallway."

The distinctive sound of tiny claws digging and scratching at hundred-year old wood - or maybe it was on the ceiling's sheetrock - stopped.  Before either of them could say anything, it resumed, only now it was at the other end of the room.  Then it ceased again.  Dunstan, having quickly climbed into his jeans and Hog's Breath Saloon t-shirt, took the broom they had brought upstairs with them and gave the area where the sound had been a gentle poke.  Then, a firmer poke.  There were a couple of odd banging sounds from above him, then some more scratching, now apparently out over the hallway.

They stepped just outside the bedroom, near the top of the stairs and directly beneath the trapdoor to the attic, and they listened.  The noises seemed more frantic and haphazard than they did evil.

"Well, it doesn't seem to be interested in the door," Dun whispered. "We could probably just leave it until morning."

Lucy wrinkled her nose.  Dun thought for a moment that that may well have been the cutest thing he'd seen her do, so far.  

"I don't know," she said.  "Even if it doesn't want in, those little assholes love to chew stuff.  We had a family of them in our attic once, and they cut the phone line - and a few minutes later, one of them got into an electric main line and ZAP!  Blackout for us, fried squirrel mama in the attic, and two little stupid orphan squirrel babies running around.  It was a mess."

"Oh.  Right.  Forgot about the chewing.  Should we just call 911 again and let them deal with it?"  After three days with Lucy, he was already fairly certain of what her answer to that question would be.

She stared thoughtfully at the ceiling.  "It's a squirrel.  I'm pretty sure we can take him."

"You think so?"

"I do.  I mean, look at our size advantage, and these giant brains we have.  Are there any donuts left?" she asked, eyeing the broom Dun was still holding.

"At least one.  Glazed, I think.  We'll need something to trap it in, though - like a trashcan or a box."  he thought aloud.

"I got it!"  Lucy scampered into the bathroom at the end of the hall and emerged a moment later with a large towel.  "Do you have a hammer?"

"A hammer?  What for?"

"You know, like in 'Christmas Vacation?'  I'll throw the towel over it, and you hit it with a hammer."

"Ew!  Wait.  They only said they were going to do that, and somebody's mother fainted and the thing ended up just running out the front door."


"So, it's an untested strategy.  What if we--"

"'An untested strategy?'  If they had actually done it in the movie, it still wouldn't really be a test of the strategy, would it?  I mean, it's a movie."  Lucy was having fun with this, which was helping immensely Dun's fight against succumbing to panic.

Eventually, they agreed on the rough outline of a plan.  Lucy would pull down on the cord connected to the attic door and hold up a donut-topped mop handle, while Dun would stand ready with the broom and a can of wasp and hornet spray (Dun had thought he might be able to at least stun or temporarily blind the rodent with some extra-strength Raid).  While he whacked, de-wasped and um, swept the critter into submission, Lucy would throw a laundry basket over it.  They would then scoot the upside-down basket over to the top of the stairs and drop their prisoner into a metal roasting pan, slam the lid on it and throw the whole thing out the front door, possibly after giving it a good shake, to ensure a stunned and disoriented little Bullwinkle sidekick would emerge.

They were well-pleased with their plan.  It was a brilliant plan.  It made them want to high-five and kiss and crack open some champagne.  They even had a contingency plan for failure to get the basket over the squirrel, or for losing him down the steps.  Dun would keep after it, using the broom as a kind of hockey stick, and she would assist with the mop handle and the garden shovel they had retrieved from behind the kitchen.  They would usher the thing out the front door and onto the porch - then out the porch door, if things were going well.  Then, they would have awesome celebratory sex and go back to sleep, assuming that the on-again, off-again sirens could stay off-again long enough to allow the latter.

"Ready" she said.

"Wait," he pointed at her bare feet. "We should have shoes on.  Don't want to get bitten during battle."

"Dun, I have nothing on but this t-shirt and some deodorant... and a little foundation... and maybe a hint of blush... and... You're right - jeans and shoes required!"  She located her jeans while Dun fetched their sneakers from downstairs.

"Okay.  Now are we ready?"  She stepped up to him and looked into his eyes.  "Listen, if I get bitten and rabid and dead, I want you to know..."

"Yes?" he smiled expectantly.

"I want you to know that I really, really like you."  She kissed him.  "Now, let's get that varmint."

I wrote this two years ago, and hadn't revisited it until tonight.  I was writing-prompted to do so by the second of this week's two STUDIO 30 PLUS prompts, "SCRATCH."  I figure that posting it here is probably the only way I'll ever get it to see the light of day, so... why not?


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Keeping Your Woman Happy In 5 Easy Steps

For No Reason

I'm often asked by no one just how it is that [Maris] and I have such a ridiculously, effortlessly, splendidly wonderful marriage.  Well, I would be asked that, if people could move past their shock and, in some cases, disappointment at the fact that we've made it beyond the year they all gave us - almost thirteen times over, at this point.  Let me tell you, it hasn't been easy.  Relationships are hard work.  Hahaha, what?  Oh, if I had a nickel for every time I've heard that.  Rubbish!  Relationships can be hard work.  Ours is not.  Why is this so?  I've thought about this for a very long time - over an hour, now - and I've come up with the answer to that question.   

It boils down to five simple steps that any man can take to ensure his mate's happiness - and therefore a smooth and loving relationship.

1.  Be with the Right Person.  Notice I said "be with" and not "find."  Being with is easy.  Finding - I have no idea how to go about finding.  I know this sounds simplistic and easy for me to say and well, stupid, but it really is just about the only thing that makes it all go.  I've been in a few relationships, some of which were really good - one of which was a short marriage to a wonderful woman - and I can tell you that any one of them could have been made to work, but only [Maris] was - and is - the Right Person for me, making this the right relationship.

Now, before you even get started - yes, I know this is a ludicrously oversimplified view of relationships.  I'm only keeping it this way to make a point.  I hear so much bitching about lazy, immature husbands/boyfriends, and so much grumbling about nagging wives/girlfriends.  Power struggles,  conflicting interests, recurring arguments and on and on and on...  Here's the thing.  Some people need that.  Others can't stand it, and would rather die than fight.  When I say be with the Right Person, I'm not saying be with someone who never disagrees with you, any more than I'd say be with someone who is your total opposite.  I'm saying be on the same page.  If you both need to be with a complementary opposite, do that.  If you need to agree on as much as humanly possible, that's cool, too.  As long as you're both on the same page.  

2.  See #1.

3.  Grow up.  You can't know if your mate is right for you if you don't know yourself, and you can't know yourself - at least, not very well - until you grow up.  Sorry.  It is the way of things.

4.  Flowers.  Anniversary flowers, event flowers, "just because" flowers, and flower flowers.  Even flowers from the grocery store florist count, if you get them often enough.  Unless she hates flowers, in which case we can broaden this rule to "stuff she likes."  Find out what she likes, and DO THAT.  If she likes rummaging through the city dump, guess what.  If she enjoys GRILLED food every night, then get grilling, buddy.  If she likes lasers and electric guitars, do this:

(devil horns)

This is not rocket science.  Well, not if you've followed step #1.  I know that even in 2013, there are a lot of men who will scoff at that, and call me unpleasant words like "whipped."  This amuses me, because really, why wouldn't you want a happy woman?  They tend to be just SO much more fun than the unhappy ones.  Is it me?  It must be me.

5.  Understand and accept that happiness is never guaranteed.  No matter how perfect the match, no matter how meant it is to be, no one can be happy all the time.  If your mate is happy all the time, there is something wrong with him or her, and professional help should be sought immediately.  Just try to keep the naturally-occurring bits of unhappiness to a reasonable minimum, fight against the external forces of meh as a team, and follow the steps above to ensure that said unhappy bits are not your fault.  Actually, they can be your fault every once in a great while - it happens.  Also, remember that happiness is a journey, not a destination.  This is true when one is alone, and so too is it the case with couples.  It sounds simple, I know - like a cheesy motivational poster at work - but it is absolutely true.  You never arrive at happy.  You either are or you aren't. 

There.  If you study these simple steps, practice hard, and send 10 new visitors to my blog, you too can have a happy woman.   Wow - relationship advice is easy!

Finally, if all else fails, there's a secret bonus step...

6.  Marry [Maris].  Ha!  Too late!  Mine, mine, mine!  Seriously, though - being with the Right One really does make all of the above just ridiculously easy.

This post started around the idea of how my wife's love of GRILLED food plays right to one of my strengths.  It was prompted by my amazing fellow bloggers at  STUDIO THIRTY PLUS.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

88 Lines About 44 Hoboes

Inspired by a band called The Nails, here are...
  • Guesstimate Jones was never sure how long a trip would take.  He often showed up two days late.
  • Celestial Stubbs knew all the stars by heart.  Fairbanks, Durante, Bogart shared a sky with Pluto, Mars and M-31.
  • Persuasive Frederick was never told no.  He wooed his bride on her wedding day.
  • Chrysler LeBaron always rode topless.  His bindle was made of rich, Corinthian leather.
  • Strictly Local Henry Bobtail never hopped a coal train.  No one hopped coal trains.
  • Bee-Beard earned his hobo moniker exactly five minutes before his death.  He had no idea he was allergic.
  • "Medicated Shampoo" Jonah Jump didn't want to talk about it.  It was itchy and embarrassing.
  • Bean-Hoarder Newt was plump and jolly.  His friends could attest to that, if they existed.
  • Joachim Bat-in-Hair was good for a laugh.  His hobo comb was covered in tiny bite marks.
  • The Freewheelin' Barry Sin had no time for commitment.  What he did have was syphilis.
  • Linty Sullivan, the Lint Collector was the hoboes' tax man.  No one knew how he got that job.
  • Mastiff Mama was adored but never kissed.  She chased dogs away from hobo camps, but had a bit of a drooling problem.
  • Lord Winston Two-Monocles was an idiot.  They're called glasses, Lord.
  • Stick-Legs McOhio could only walk with special shoes.  He had a few extra toes.
  • Ghostly Nose Silvie wasn't scary.  It should be pointed out, however, that there was a bank of fog where her nose ought to be.
  • Tearbaby Hannity Stoop's back always hurt him mercilessly.  He also made babies cry just by looking at them.
  • Overly Familiar Fung ate from his friends' plates and tried on their shoes without asking.  He also laughed at other hoboes' inside jokes.
  • Slo-Mo Deuteronomy was always a half-step behind.  He invented "wait, what?"
  • Cleats Onionpocket invented a completely enclosed sandwich.  Look for them in your grocer's terrible food section, today!
  • Bill Never-Uses-a-Cookbook was like most hoboes.  He couldn't cook - or read.
  • Shakey Aitch The Boneyard Concierge was indispensable.  He could get you whatever you might need during your dirt nap, and he always refused tips.
  • Salty Salty Friday's friends returned on Sundays.  He boiled his clothes on Saturdays.
  • Feminine Forearms Rosengarten wore a burlap coat, even in summertime.  Mainly, this was to hide his black satin elbow-length evening gloves.
  • Constantly Sobbing Forrester lost his true love Eleanor to Polio.  Hobo Nation lost Constantly Sobbing Forrester to his unceasing melancholy.
  • Slam Dance Dooze moved to music unheard, as dancers often do.  His best moves were mistaken for acts of aggression.
  • Gin-Bucket Greg walked with the care of a new parent.  Wait 'til he discovers that that is no longer gin.
  • Markansas could no longer remember his parents faces, but he knew whence they came.  Mum was from Baltimore, and Pa was from Little Rock.
  • Lolly Hoot Holler loved owls to distraction, and often tried to feed them sweets.  She had hideous scars on her hands and arms.
  • Jokestealer John Selden thought it was funny that escalators were never out of order, but merely became stairs.  He had a dog named Stay.
  • Pith-Helmet Andy thought he was on a never-ending safari, and that the Florida Everglades were in fact central Africa.  He met his fate at the dangerous end of a double-barrel shotgun in the hands of a burly man yelling "Get off the property!"
  • Bix Shmix suffered from a rare and traumatic speech impediment that caused him to rearrange his words, but only within individual sentences.  Ironically, several lives were saved when he tried to say "Train for that look out," but instead said "Look out for that train!"
  • No one noticed when Molly Bewigged cut off all of her long, naturally curly auburn hair.  She used it to make a wig, and looked exactly as she had before.
  • 50-Tooth Slim had exactly five teeth by the time he was twenty years old.  Sometimes hoboes were mean when they named each other.
  • The Damned Swede didn't want to go to hell - hobo or otherwise.  He atoned so long and so hard that he had no memory of any of his sins.
  • Mr. Whist was one of the saddest hoboes.  He had a complete deck of 52 cards, but no one ever wanted to play with him.
  • Unpronounceable had a shrink in Beverly Hills.  You know the one.
  • Candle-Eyed Sally was as useful as she was luminous.  You could read by the glowing flames set within her porcelain face.
  • Billy Butterfly Net, it was said, wouldn't hurt a fly.  However, he was hell-bent on carrying out some sort of bizarre vendetta against Danaus Plexippus.
  • Amanda Until told everyone that she planned to go back to the real world, one day.  She never did.
  • Crispy Whiskery had ice in his beard.  He looked like Sir Edmund Hillary - except for the fact that he had a beard.
  • Of all the hoboes ever to walk or ride the rails, Knee-Brace Kenny knew the deepest, truest and most abiding love.  Unfortunately for him, his love was Ol' Barb Stab-You-Quick.
  • Sweet Daddy Champagne dreamed of becoming the first hobo pimp.  The lady hoboes were not amused, and hung him from the trestle over Wills Creek in Hyndman, Pennsylvania.
  • Golden Neck tried to touch the sun one day.  He said there was magic in her rays.
  • Right now, I love Buck Mope the most.  I chose him to end this post.

Thanks for making it all the way to the end!  And yes, I'm aware that there are 45 hobo names here, but the extra one isn't the subject of those 2 lines, so chill.  Watch for future "88 Lines" posts - not about hoboes - possibly to include my first attempt at rhyming, metered verse (or, equally-possibly, sheer and utter chaos).  Stay tuned...

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Worst Thing

[DISCLAIMER AND WARNING:  What follows is not mostly harmless.  It's not harmless at all.  It is quite horrible.  If you're new here, I promise that Everything Else On This Blog is fun, silly, and Mostly Harmless.  Okay.  If you're still here, let's proceed...]

Two days.  It seemed bizarre to have taken two days for a police officer to appear in my hospital room, seeking an official statement.  There had been a half-dozen doctors and countless nurses - most of whom just wanted to know where my pain was, on a scale from one to ten.  It had yet to fall below nine.  There was even a reporter, but she had been pulled from the room by hospital security before she had managed a single question.

The policeman identified himself as Detective Jeremy Singer, and he confirmed what the doctors had already told me about Colleen and the kids, then asked matter-of-factly whether I could remember what happened, and if so, could I tell him in my own words.  My own words?  Who else's words might I have the option of using?

I started to answer, but promptly choked on my own words.  I wished I had someone else's.  I know what happened.

Colleen stood glaring at me from the porch of her over-sized new house in the hills near Berkeley Springs, West Virginia.  "You're late."  

I held up my phone to show her.  "Three o'clock, on the dot."  To Colleen, anything later than ten minutes early was "late."  Since three o'clock was "on-time" to the lawyers, and to the judge who approved our shared custody arrangement, I always ignored her admonitions and just kept making damn sure I was there at precisely the appointed time.

She knelt on the porch and hugged and kissed the real victims of our divorce, Caleb and Morgan.  Caleb was a shy and somewhat undersized five years old, and tow-headed, fearless Morgan had recently turned three.  The kids took their own little backpacks inside, and I carried their suitcases, putting them on the floor of the foyer, as was the routine.  "Okay, well.  Great talking to you, Coll.  See you in a week..."

"Wait, Stan.  Kids - new toys!  On your beds.  Go get 'em!  Your father and I have to have grownup talk in the kitchen for a minute, thanks to that phone call from your teacher, Caleb."

"What teacher?" Caleb asked, alarmed. "I didn't get in trouble."

"Upstairs, guys.  Go," she ordered.

I remember sitting at the kitchen table, drinking some of Colleen's godawful mixture of instant iced tea and frozen lemonade concentrate.  I think she was telling me that Caleb was acting up in school again, but it's all fuzzy.  I woke up in a basement, duct taped to a metal chair that was chained to a steel pole.  I was naked, with a towel over my lap.  My head was spinning, and my senses were slowly turning back on.  There was one bare light bulb burning coldly near the rafters, a concrete floor, some old toys, Christmas decorations, and want sounded like a furnace behind me.  I wasn't even sure it was Colleen's basement, until I heard the kids, playing upstairs.  

I tried to call to them, but there was duct tape over my mouth, too.  My legs were taped high enough on the chair legs that I couldn't touch the floor, so I shook the chair as much as I could and grunted into the tape.  Morgan came scampering down the steps from the family room, smiled at me, said "Hi Daddy - why are you naked?" and scampered back up the stairs yelling, "Daddy's up!  Daddy's up!"

A minute later she bounded back into the basement, followed closely by Caleb and then Colleen, who was carrying a duffel bag and wearing a bizarre grin.  She looked like Bozo The Clown, only more manic and somewhat prettier.  I was stupid enough to be relieved that she was okay, that we weren't all the victims of some home invasion robbery, but my relief was short-lived.

She removed a large hunting knife from her bag and handed it to Caleb.  "Here's your magic collapsing knife, sweetie.  Now pretend Morgan is the bad guy, and she's about to hurt Daddy."

Morgan let out a playful roar and took a couple of steps toward me.

Caleb looked at the knife, then at Colleen.  "This isn't my fake knife.  This is real."

I could feel my eyes straining to launch themselves from their sockets, mostly in disbelief, but also in a strangely petty-feeling rage that Colleen was letting him play with knives, when she was always adamant that I was never to let the kids so much as point gun-like fingers at each other.

"It's even better than your knife, honey.  See?  It's more realistic.  Come on - just like we practiced.  Get her!"

He lunged at his sister and jammed the knife into her stomach.  She gasped, fell backwards and yelled "Ow!"  Then she looked down.  Only the knife's handle was visible outside her favorite Minnie Mouse t-shirt, and blood was already soaking the fabric.  She screamed and looked plaintively at her mother, then at me.  I tried to scream, and struggled against the chair, but I couldn't move.  

"That's not how we practiced it, Caleb.  Here - like this.  Watch Mommy."  She gripped his wrist tightly with her left hand, and with her right she pulled the knife out of her daughter and stabbed her again.  And again.  

I screamed so hard, the duct tape pulled free of my bottom lip, taking some skin with it.  "Stop!  No!  Colleen!  What the fuck are you doing to my daughter - OUR daughter!  Stop!  You're killing her!  What the fuck!  Look what you've done!"

Morgan screamed and cried, coughing up blood and grunting with every blow.  Her stomach, her side, her cheek, her neck.  She vomited and convulsed and blood went everywhere.  Caleb sobbed and struggled and yelled at Colleen to stop, and at me to help.  I couldn't budge.  I tried.  I never stopped trying.  

"Colleen!  Please!  Kill me, if you want to kill someone!  What is the matter with you!!  Oh, God.  Look at her..."

After at least a minute of slashing and stabbing, I could tell my four-year old daughter - my joy, the light of my heart - was dying.  She had stopped crying, and was sputtering and moaning.  Colleen's insane grin faded for a moment.  She put the knife up on a shelf, then pulled a gun from her bag.  She glared at me and said, "You made me do this, you know," then stepped over to Morgan and shot her through the head.  The sound was deafening, and my ears were ringing, but I'm pretty sure she said she couldn't stand to watch her little girl suffer any longer.

I fought the duct tape around my wrists and ankles, and I heard a pop, but the lightning bolt of pain told me that all I had managed to do was break a bone in my lower leg.  "Let Caleb go.  Kill me if you have to, but leave the boy alone.  What is wrong with you?"

Colleen had been the one caught cheating.  Colleen had been the one to ask for a trial separation in lieu of counseling.  The divorce was her idea.  My lawyer hated my guts for how much I left on the table, settlement-wise, and the custody process had been almost cordial, with every point seemingly negotiated with only the children in mind.  If I had been able to think in those moments of hell on earth, I absolutely would not have been able to come up with a reason - even a crazy person reason - that my ex-wife had turned into the blood-spattered monster before me.

The wretched clown-like rictus returned to her face.  "Your fault," was the second-to-last thing she said to me, followed by, "And I will not kill you.  You get to remember this forever.  Your fault, babe."  She pulled Caleb to her, pressing his back against her pelvis.  She leaned over, kissed the back of his head, put the gun to the same spot and pulled the trigger as I screamed and closed my eyes.  When I opened them, she still had her left arm wrapped around his limp body, and most of his head was gone.

I tried to scream again, but puked instead, and then passed out.  I don't know how long I was unconscious, but I awoke to a dull tugging sensation, and something cold around my penis.  The room came reluctantly back into focus just in time for me to see her slam the handles of a heavy-duty bolt-cutter together, severing the head off my dick.  Another flash of pain, this one nuclear, and I passed out again.  I woke to the sensation of being punched hard in the face, the searing pain between my legs, and the fuzzy image of my once beautiful former love, grinning that hideous circus grin at me.

"I'll bleed out and be dead before you, you bitch from hell," I spat.

She held up a steaming hot clothes iron.  It had a small, round, sticky black mass on it, smoking and smelling as I thought maybe damnation might smell.  I looked down.  She had cauterized the wound.


She carefully placed the iron on the floor, calmly picked up her blood-covered gun, put it into her still-smiling mouth, and pulled the trigger, showering me and half of the basement with blood and bits of her head.  Her body dropped to its knees and fell onto Caleb's, blood dripping rapidly from a gaping hole in the top of her head.  I puked again, in an indescribable mixture of horror, pain, disgust, hurt, and rage.  Lots of rage.  I passed out again, as the sound of a siren made its way into the basement from outside.

When I woke up, I was high on painkillers, though still in pain.  The doctors said for the first eight hours, all I could say was, "Why?"  There was apparently no note, nor a clue of any kind as to why.  Maybe I'll find out when I see her in hell.

The minute I'm out of this hospital, I am going to kill myself.

[This wretched post was written - hastily, so I wouldn't know what it's about - in response to a truly wicked writing challenge posed by my bloggy friend Cheney at  FRIDAY FRIGHT WRITE.]  
The Friday Fright Write

Monday, August 5, 2013

A Sort Of Homecoming

February 13, 1942

My Darling Buckingham,

     I hope this letter finds you well.  I hope this letter finds you, at all.  I heard that you were working the orange and grapefruit groves again, this winter, so I have employed the services of Juan The Southernmost Finder to locate you and deliver my message.  I am also counting on him to convince you to read it, or to read it to you, chasing after you, if necessary.

I am leaving New York City.  I could write for you a long list of reasons for my decision, but paper, as you may have heard, is scarce.  However, I have space enough to share with you three of my principal motivations.  

First, I cannot abide for a single additional day the overwhelming sensation of being a rat at the bottom of a labyrinth of trenches in France in either this war, or the first one.  Glimpses of sunshine - or even of sky - are few, far between, and tortuously brief.  I can't breathe.

Second, and I am well-prepared for - and deserving of - your "I told you so," but I have found that success as a designer of couture hats is as tenuous and short-lived as the rays of light that reach my face in these canyons of concrete.  I can still find buyers, but I can't ever count on when or where that happens.  It's a terrifically-exciting lifestyle for some, but it just makes me nervous.

Finally, I have realized that happiness for me has proven twice as elusive as sunbeams and success in the big city.  It peeks into my lonely soul just enough to remind me that I had once mastered it completely and set myself up for a lifetime of it.  The "once" of which I speak is, of course, the time I spent as your dusty drifter wife.

Happiness, it seems, can flit and fly and scurry away and hide, but what cannot do any of those is my unflagging love for you, my dear, destitute migrant laborer.  

So, there you have it, Buckingham.  I will find you.  I pray that your heart has not fully hardened to me by the time I do.

Walk safely, and remember to look both ways, my husband.

Yours Always,
Mildred The Mad (Former) Hatter

This post was prompted by the word "FLEETING" and my good and supportive friends at  STUDIO 30-PLUS, and is inspired by (although not a part of) my 2013 Camp NaNoWriMo novel.  Thanks for stopping by!