Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Don't Panic Picture Prompt: April 25th

Silly me.  I totally forgot to actually post this last night!  We had three great stories that came out of last week's prompt.  What can ya'll do with this one?  Remember - 500 words or less, relatively PG, inspired by the picture, link up or add your story in the comments below, and due by Sunday, May 1st at 11:59 pm CST.  Show me what you got!

This was taken on a snowshoeing expedition with my family to Rice Lake State Park in January 2016

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Random Sunday - Musicals, Thunderstorms, and Mud

My son was in a musical for church this Sunday.  Now, keep in mind, he’s three years old.  What I found particularly cute and funny was his performance.  He’d been practicing his part of the musical for several weeks now.  Instead of going through it like I know he can, he stood up there goofing around instead.  Not naughty, just looking around and waving and taking his shoes off and starting to pull one arm out of the sleeve of his shirt and the like.  It was great humor even though my son was the only one up there doing it.

I love the rain.  I woke up early this morning to the sound of thunder rumbling around and it was perfect.  Not the dangerous storms where damage and harm are done.  This was the kind of storm that you think of when you think spring showers.  I love these storms where the thunder bounces around the clouds and echoes in my body.  The lightning stays up in the clouds and illuminates the contours of the darkened clouds.  These are my favorite storms and what I got to wake up to this morning.

I had an interesting adventure this weekend.  My family and I love to go hiking and such in the state parks.  Well, we went to Moose Lake State Park and did the Rolling Hills trail.  Because it’s about a two-mile hike, we brought my son’s jogging stroller along so he didn’t have to actually hike the whole thing along with us.  I discovered that there were some low spots in the aptly named Rolling Hills Trail.  These low spots also happened to be where there were a number of trees with roots now exposed due to the water and mud.  This does not make for a good combination with a stroller.  Several times it took two of us to get my son and his stroller through those spots.  I felt bad putting his stroller back in my aunt’s brand new minivan.  At least the mud had mostly dried by then.

Studio 30 Plus: The Deal

I haven't visited Studio 30 Plus lately and, with the first spring thunderstorm here, felt the need to revisit the Weather Riders serial.  So, Studio 30 Plus gave us lagniappe or bonus this week.  I kept it just under 1,000 words.  Let me know what you think!  Also be sure to check out other responses via the button below.

                A commotion rattled out in a quick staccato from the front.  Edward and I cut around the corner, not bothering to go back through that death laden house.  Two motorcycle riders were just cutting the engines of their mean looking bikes.  With the black leathers and matte helmets with tinted face shields, I couldn’t even tell if they were male or female.  I presumed male simply because the bikes looked to be the kind men would ride – big, heavy, powerful.
                “May I help you?” Edward’s voice sounded too loud in the silence.  His arms were crossed and he moved toward the riders, blocking their way to the house.
                The first rider reached up to remove the helmet.  In that instant before I saw the rider’s face, I knew it was Caiden.  I’m not sure if it was something in the way he moved, or if I’d grown telepathic powers in the time since I was abducted, but I was so certain it was him I staked my life on it.
                I ran past Edward.  His arm shot out to block my way, but I ducked under.  I missed Micah, though.  He’d been angling behind the bikers and managed to tackle me just short of my goal.  Caiden.
                “Let.  Her.  Go.”
                I’d never heard Caiden’s voice sound like that, not that I’d spent all that much time with him.  That tone was one I generally put high on my “do not mess with that person when I hear that tone” list.  I also noticed in that moment that the temperature was dropping.  From my position half twisted toward the sky I realized the sky had grown to an ominous dark greenish yellow.  Any good Midwesterner knew that meant nasty storms and tornados.
                “I do not know who you are, but you are on private property and I must ask you to leave.”
                Edward was sealing his fate with that statement.  A bolt of lightning arced down to connect to the ground just a few yards from where this vignette played out.
                “I didn’t offer an option.  Let her go.”
                Edward stood for a few seconds studying Caiden and the other biker.
                “Let us negotiate a deal.  Her value to me is greater than you can imagine.”
                The way he said that, I knew Edward was trying to angle for his little ceremony to go off before he let me go.
                “Fine.  Let us parley.”
                “Ah.  The old terms.”
                “I know who you are,” Caiden hung his helmet from a hook on the rear of his bike and swung his leg over, “Now.  Let the lady up.  If you know the old ways, treat her as she deserves.”
                Edward ducked his head, “Touché.  You have caught me out.  Micah, help her to her feet please.”
                “But- “
                “No, Micah.  It does not matter what she did.  A lady does not merit such treatment.”
                Micah helped me to my feet.  I jerked my arm away from him when he held it a little too long after I stood.  Dusting the dirt and grass off, I watched as Edward and Caiden bent their heads together to speak in low tones.  After several minutes of this, Caiden gestured to the other biker, who got off the bike and joined them, still helmeted.
                I tried to inch my way closer to hear what was being said, but Micah stopped me, “That is parley.  It is not to be interrupted or attended by any who are not leaders.”
                “I am my own leader, thank you very much,” I said trying once again to inch my way closer.
                “Not here you’re not.”
                I sighed and gave up.  Micah would likely call his crony in if I kept trying to push it.  So, I started to mull over the whole deadly illness issue Edward had abducted me in an attempt to address.  While I didn’t know that much about Weather Riders and such, my parents were both doctors and I knew a decent amount about illness.
                “Micah, what happened to start the illness?  Who got sick first?”
                Micah stared at me for a long moment saying nothing.
                “Come on!  I’m trying to help here.  That is why your boss kidnapped me.”
                “Whatever.  Are you going to answer my question?”
                Micah scrubbed his hands over his face, “There was an ancient ceremony.  It was meant to bring an end to the drought that’s been killing us as surely as this is.  But, there had to be a sacrifice.  Jana volunteered.”
                “Wait a minute.  Ya’ll killed someone?”
                “No!”  Micah looked as if I’d slapped him.  Hard.
                “You said you sacrificed someone.”
                “Sacrificed, yes.  Killed, no.  Jana was ill.  Her powers were a burden to her, so she volunteered to sacrifice her power in order to fuel the ceremony.”
                “Then what?”
                “People started to get sick after that.  We tried the healing ceremony on our own first.  Marcus volunteered his power.”
                “Was he ill too?”
                “No.  Old.  Nearing the end of his time and he said he didn’t feel like he’d miss the power.”
                An idea was starting to form in my head of what may have been happening to these people.
                “It didn’t work, did it?”
                “They started to die.  Even when we brought outsiders here for the healing ceremony, it didn’t work.”
                Caiden, Edward, and the biker gestured for us to join them.
                “We’ve struck a bargain for your release,” Edward said.
                “Is it a done deal?” that idea blossomed into a plan, “Or can I add a bonus to the deal for not harming me?”
                “A lagniappe?  That has not been done in centuries.”
                Caiden grabbed my elbow hard and whispered in my ear, “What the hell are you doing?  We need to get out of here!”
                “I need to save these people first.  At least the kids, and I think I might know how.  Help me!”
                Caiden shook his head and let go of my arm.
                “Yes.  She is offering Lagniappe.”