Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Power of Recognition

Prompt: Put this into your story – “Time out! Time out! We can call that, right?”

Authors Note - This ties in with my recent Rromani stories and will feature in the next update on The Astonishing Adventures of Captain Juan.

Marcus pulled at his white satin doublet uncomfortably. The red and white corded lacing felt as though it may slowly strangle him. Cautiously looking about the Doges palace, he felt a stab of jealousy at the opulence and obvious wealth accumulated. Although not as famous or powerful as the Doges of Genoa or Venice, Doge Raimondo of Pisa called upon favours from both church and old nobility with his economic saavy clearly demonstrated in the surroundings. Marcus adjusted the gold trimmed red cloak which slung fashionably over one shoulder. On a younger or more distinguished frame, it would look dashing, but coupled with the tall black hat festooned with a feather, Marcus looked overstuffed and pompous.

After traveling to Florence on the pretense of purchasing merchandise for his gentleman’s outfitters, he’d had word to undertake an important task in readiment for the week long memorial celebrations planned for his long lost, and assumed dead, father.

As his first semi official duty as an heir to the DeLume name, Marcus was not willing to present himself in anything but the height of fashion and courtly manners. He initially had doubted his half brothers true intentions but felt the rush of power that this token task had given him and was keen to prove his worth.

The guard suddenly grasped the door mechanism and effortlessly pulled the large wooden door open. The impoverished face of an acolyte nodded at the entrance and motioned Marcus to follow him into the chambers.

“Doge Raimondo” Marcus bowed grandly, “blessings from Spain and from my family.”

Upon the giant wooden chair, the richly be garbed figure motioned Marcus forward. “Welcome Brother Marcus, it pleases my heart to see the small incidents in Roma have been forgiven and you are united publicly with your family.”

“Not quite your Eminence. I no longer belong with the church. Though your sources are astute in their findings about my family, but nothing will be truly public until after the Ball.”

“Please accept my condolences on the loss of your father. A devout Christian and tireless politician. I suppose there is the time that one must accept he will not be returning from the New World. And of course for the shocking recent loss of your wife.”

“Thank you my Lord. Dreadful business on both accounts. She was a faithful and beautiful bride and I am still heartbroken at the manner of her death.”

Marcus managed to squeeze moisture from one eye and he dabbed it with his handkerchief.

“The authorities never managed to find the deranged culprit who desecrated her body like that?”

Marcus brought his lace handkerchief to his face and feigned grief, shaking his head and bewildered at the speed in which gossip and planted evidence was able to travel.

“She’s with the Lord now Marcus, she is at peace.” As he leant forward and patted Marcus on the hand.

Marcus stuffed his handkerchief inside his doublet and stared at the large chair, unable to pick the wood it was made from.

Noticing the interested look, the Doge replied, “Alder. A water loving tree and mostly used in Venice these days for their foundations and bridges.”

“An interesting choice of wood for your seat of power your Eminence.”

“It has certain qualities I find valuable. So you are here for official business as well I see?

Marcus nodded. “The Gypsies.”

“Rromani tribes. They gather here for our annual games and …… I believe you will be selecting some of the performances to entertain at your celebrations?”

“Yes your Eminence. My…brother Earl Fedele wishes me to handpick the best to travel to our estates and enchant our guests during the week long memorial for our.. father.”

“Your celebrations have caused quite an interest for many of the tribes, some traveling long distances to vie for the honour.”

“Gypsies have no honour, my pardon, your Eminence. They are heathens, thieves and liars.” Despite himself, Marcus spat the sour note from his mouth. He could see Rubys flashing godless eyes and almost smell the basket of barbarian herbs and potions she carried around.

“And they are welcome guests within my realm.”

“Of course your Eminence. Begging your forgiveness.”

“Time out, Marcus, Time Out”

“We can call that?”

“Right away. Whilst you are a guest here you will be civil and you will observe the laws of Time Out with regards to the Rromani. I would suggest you adopt these guidelines when you contract your performances for the De Lume Estates.”

Doge Raimondo motioned with his bejeweled left hand and a servant darted in from the side holding quill and parchment.

“These are the terms of agreement you must sign before you can engage any of the Rromani. You will notice that the letters of travel you supply must be dated for a year.”

Marcus sucked air in quickly. “That would appear a long time for rag tag band of jugglers to stumble less than 40 miles to La Spezia.” Granting letters of travel allowed the bearer to migrate freely within the country, answering only to the Lord who issued the papers. With the new residency laws established with Spain, many Rromani had been evicted due to their lack of ties to a province and were keen to gain some protection.

The Doge arched his eyebrow.

Marcus stumbled, “Your eminence, it seems a little excessive; going through this paperwork, just in order for me to view their performances. They are common gypsies, landless.”

Doge Raimondo retrieved the parchment and held it in the air. “You are of course welcome to find your entertainment elsewhere.”

An icy dagger stabbed Marcus as his body crept cold with dread. Earl Fedele had issued him a simple task as a public acknowledgement of his trust and acceptance of his half brother. Was he to fail in his first role?

“Aldo, Why are you doing this?”

The figure straightened in his chair, breathing in quickly and stared at Marcus for long moments. “I have my own reasons. Just as I am sure you and Fedele have your own for planning this week long fa├žade. Eyes will be watching Marcus. Ensure you step lightly.”

Marcus dropped his eyes and meekly reached for the parchment understanding the thinly veiled threat.

“When you have been officially recognized within the family, come back to see me Marcus. You’ll need a suitable wife and introductions. I owe you this at least.”

Marcus bowed and kissed the ring on the Doges outstretched hand.

“Unless your tastes have changed, you will be warmly welcomed in your rooms when you return. The competitions and performances begin in two days. Until then, please make yourself at home.”

The sweeping arm signaled the large wooden doors to open and Marcus’s audience had been called to a close.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

All the Fun of the Show

#26 Review a Fun Fair or Show

A Writing Prompt from
to encourage a wider variety of writing techniques.

Links between community rural and urban lives continue to unwind with the death of agricultural shows. Insurance, maintenance and on day running costs coupled with the severe drop in competition have been major factors in the demise of our once proud heritage.

The traveling side shows were once the only access people had in thrill rides, but now with permanent theme parks being within easy access to the majority of the population even these once proud traveling families have either limited or stopped their wanderings. It has been years since I have seen the boxing tent with the banging drums and men standing high along the roof line beckoning in the local lads. Our heritage is poorer for its passing.

The rural sector has suffered through subdivision, drought flood and wild animal attacks and urbanized migration. Its therefore heartening to see one long standing agricultural show continue to open its gates in its 135th year within the Granite Belt – less than two hours drive from Brisbane.

Entries in most sections were substantially down with the lack of interest in and skill levels to maintain the once high standards in cookery, artwork , craft needlework and floral arrangements. With most entries by competitors who have been involved with the section for scores of years, it was pleasing to see some younger children turning their hand to the sections.

The saddest sight was the once heaving sheep and wool pavilion as it lay bare with lonely sheep staring forlornly over the gates at the sparse audience as they shuffled past.

In saying this however, a day for the family could easily be filled watching the skills of the sheep dog trials, the exciting camp draft competition, the fashion parade supported by local boutiques and models, the ever young dodgems, ubiquitous dagwood dogs, the showjumping, dressage, ‘you beaut ute show’, the very necessary unusual and comical vegetable display and a new section pairing fruit and vegetables with the artistic eye of school children; all this culminating in a huge display of fireworks. A special note on the display as it was the best I had seen in years. Exploding colours in the sky set to rowdy music with the backdrop of the sheepherders bar behind open till the last cocky stood; bringing back many memories of shows long past.

Support these community gatherings, not only as a link to your past; but as a show of solidarity for the rural sector. The Stanthorpe Show, like many around it has reasonably priced day entrances with adults $10 and children $6. Seek out your local show and look at it with new eyes.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Whispering Exit

Prompt: A high-priced prostitute suspects that one of the best customers is falling in love with them.

Bare feet whispered over the plush carpeting as two bodies, slick with perspiration and entwined in a seething, dance of passion; found a place upon the floor.

The dimmed lights within the apartment allowed the flickering candles on a small table on the balcony to intermix with yacht lights twinkling like stars upon the harbour waters in the distance. Plates of half eaten gourmet pleasures sat patiently underneath carelessly thrown crisp linen napkins.

Brittney arched her neck and allowed him to kiss it; shivering as he traced his way with hot breathy touches down to her naval.

She grasped his face gently and pulled it up towards her, enjoying the slither of their bodies together as he shifted his weight over the top of her. Travis kissed her deeply and then smiled at her concerned look as he pulled away.

“Why didn’t we go out tonight? I thought we had tickets to the ballet.” Travis lent on his elbow and brushed the sodden fringe out of her eyes.

“I thought we’d prefer a more personalized setting tonight.” Brittney smiled slyly, flickering her eyes between the hardened muscled torso and his face.

His eyes never left her face as he traced the outline of her cheekbones down to her throat. “I don’t understand why do you do this?”

She lay staring at the ceiling, “We’ve been seeing each other for months, I hadn’t pegged you as the curious type.”

“You aught to be doing something else, boyfriend, husband not doing this.” He nibbled her ear and flicked his tongue around the lobe. Brittney moaned. Travis continued to trace his hand around her throat and ventured toward her breasts.

“Do what exactly?”

“This. Us” Travis hand found her inner thighs and circled tiny touches in a pattern.

She stopped and stared into his eyes looking for a deeper question or emotion, the thrill of his casual word ‘us’ sending a shiver through her nervous system.

“Maybe I like it. I might ask you the same.”

“You are beautiful, a body any woman would scratch your eyes out for and one every man hungers for. You don’t need to be doing this, not with me in anycase.”

Brittany pushed herself up onto her elbow and ran her over his regular face, not the square cut jaw of romance novels, nor the piercing blue eyes of a god. His sensuous mouth smiled with an emotion that reached his muddy brown eyes. Brittney’s heart beat faster as she willed her breath to even out.

He slid his hand along her arm and clasped her hand, loosening her grip on his face; guided it down over his chest. “Roll over onto your back.”

Travis traced his fore finger down her back, stopping in the small of her back and then spread his hand out to slide his fingers around the shape of her bottom. He needed time to think, rather than be distracted by her face, her questions, her evasive answers.

A small beeper on the side table flashed discreetly.

“A call out this late? Did your boss forget where you were?” Travis questioned as his hands stopped their massage.

Ignoring the jibe, Brittney reluctantly crawled to where her dress lay and hunted for her heels. “You know what clients can be like.”

“Brittney, you need to get out. Get yourself a boyfriend.”

Brittany stood and slithered her figure hugging dress over her head. “I don’t have time and I doubt it would mix with my work.”

She slammed a large note on the dresser as she picked up her keys from the dresser.

Travis glanced up at the noise and looked away quickly. “You have an account, you don’t need to do that.”

“I don’t want anyone else. Even if I have to pay for it, I want you. Even if you don’t mean it afterwards, you have only eyes for me when we go out. You call my name when we make love. You make me feel as if there is no-one else for you. It’s a small price to pay, a tiny piece of your heart for a tiny part of your time.”

The door closed behind her whispering departure.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Noah and his ark for the little ones - Review of a Toy.

#25 Review a Toddlers Toy

Fisher Price have long been the bastion of quality educational toys promoting safety and durability. Within their Little People range, are a delightful series called Peeka Blocks. Noahs Ark features as an add on play accessory to this interchangeable set.

The Ark includes Noah, two elephants, lions and zebras and giraffes – where all the animals and blocks store inside the ark.

The pieces are easily grasped by chubby hands with doors and movable pieces easy to manipulate. Activities for the younger child includes discovering cause and affect and imitation of the noises found aboard. The toy encourages cognitive abilities by fostering thinking skills as they discover different ways to activate the sounds within the ark. Motor skills are enhanced through staking and sorting blocks and animals.

As they grow older and embrace the imagination stage, the animals will partake in staged events and storytelling. Additional blocks and animals are available to build the variety within the ark.

Made from durable hardened plastics, Noahs Ark is easy to keep clean, though if subjected to oozing mess which hardens with time, there are corners which might prove difficult to extract all mess from. Noahs are is not orientated toward one or the other sex, though this reviewer would have preferred Noahs wife to feature as well. Storage might be an issue as its an odd shape and once the collection grows, not easy to pack away altogether.

Whilst the set is not cheap, the sturdiness and durability of the toys must be taken into account. Especially for a family who are encouraging the Christian faith as an inclusive lifestyle, this toy proves an invaluable learning tool. Fisher Price toy as available in most quality toy stores and online.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Prompt: Four college bandmates who haven’t seen each other in years travel back to their former campus for a reunion.

Authors Note: I have taken liberties with this prompt as certain characters from my Rromani storyline have been waiting patiently to be allowed their space, but have now demanded to be heard. The prompt is held with my story in essence.

For stories which link before these events

A Lost Name

The last Safe Gathering

These characters will collide on a few occasions with those from Captain Juan.

Tired legs trudged over the rock strewn road. The horses smelt it before they saw it. Over the crest of the hill, the travelers stopped momentarily to gaze at the sprawling town in front of them. The river they had been following, snaked around the walls, widened, allowing for the port and jetties finally plunging into the sea.

“Seems so much bigger than I remember.” Victor grunted, wiping his brow and leaning on the cart.

Nelu threw a waterskin down to him. “Always is when you’ve been away as long as you have.”

“We’ll not do anyone good by standing here gawking. Lets find the others and let the games begin.”

Newly hewn stone guard gates stood in place protecting the entrance into the markets. Bored guards lounged on their spears. One picked his teeth with a dagger whilst another leered at the women as they struggled hauling their goods through the gates.

Gitano kept his eyes to the ground ahead of him and followed the cart. Although they had stripped their caravans of all insignia and donned their plainest clothes, the troope still looked Rromani. However, with the Spanish court legislation ordering the expulsion of all travelers, cities along the main routes were populated with those in hiding; so theirs was not the only strange caravan to pass through the gates in the last month. One of the guards shifted his weight, the clinking of his weapons sending a shot of adrenaline through Gitanos system. He felt the pressure of his throwing knives against his calves and readied his tingling hands to engage them; if only to allow confusion and time for the younger ones to escape.

The guard hawked and spat at the ground in front of Gitanos foot, the mucusy glob coagulating with the dust on the cobbles. Gitano looked up through his eyelashes at the guard. A tidy beard and stylized moustache atop the sneering lip. Defiantly Spanish. He could take him with a single dagger and the other guard wouldn’t even see it.
“Keep your eyes down and keep walking lad. Don’t rise to it. We don’t want trouble.”
Victors stubbly chin brushed Gitanos cheek as he whispered his advice and kept walking.

After Margarinas prophesy at the Lovers Gathering in February, fear had gripped each tribe. No-one had lingered at the closing of the ceremonies. Although not illegal in Italy, yet, they feared even a small gathering of Rromani may bring unwanted inspection to the tribe. Perhaps it had been foolish to travel to this gathering, so close to the main travel routes and to a city populated by the arrogant Spanish.

A barefooted lass who moments ago had been playing with friends, ran up to Victor and handed him a smooth rock. He bent down and plucked a leather necklet from behind her ear and presented it to her, grinning at her astonishment.

Victor motioned to the caravan and tribe walking. “We’ll make our way to the Torre pendente di Pisa. We are one of the last ones to arrive. Others will already be assembled witin the Piazza del Duomo. Despite our unwelcome status in Spain, the Doge has long welcomed our “entertainment”. There is space within the Church grounds to set camp before the competitions and exchange of knowldge begin.”

They all grinned at the irony of a large contingent of the followers of the Goddess setting up residence in Christian grounds.

“We’ll need to make our way past the markets, the Torre pendente di Pisa is beyond it. You can’t miss it.”

“Victor there are towers all over the place here – how will we know which is the right one?”

Victor roared with laughter. “Lets just say the tower in question is not as upright as the others.”

The cobbles within the township were worn smooth from the high traffic it experienced; allowing the horses to rest from their constant battle over the previous rough paths and tracks. Nelus steady hands on the rains calmed the steeds fear as they snorted and stamped at the multitude of smells and noise from the bustling marketplace.

They passed merchants displaying their wares from the back of carts and on makeshift tables. Poultry sellers rattled wooden cages; the inmates squawking and quaking in protest. Women sat on small wooden stools surrounded by fruit and vegetables. Gitano stared openly at one of the vegetable sellers. The lacing on her bodice edges were a long way apart, falling almost from the shoulder edge, with her underdress shown clearly through it. She caught his gaze and smiling, shifted a marrow, exposing a glimpse of her calf. He blushed at her brazenness and studied the pumpkins in front of her before moving on.

Toward the end of the market region, three figures stood on blocks of stone, their hands locked inside a wooden box which had been chained to the wall behind them.
“Dear Goddess!”
Two women stood quietly wearing head gear made from leather and wood which covered their features. Crude carvings of oak leaves sprouted from the top of one and both had long red tongues protruding from the bottom of the mask. The male figures mask sported a long snout and real bone tusks.
“Shame Masks. We want to be careful not to let you sing anywhere. You’d be a prime candidate for one.”

“Enlighten me.”
“It’s a punishment, the mask showing everyone what the crime was. These people have to stand there for hours on end as public displays of their shame. Anything from gossiping to bad musicianship. And they call us barbarians.”

To the side, as if to utilize the masked people as a source of constant entertainment, a gathering of stools and overturned barrels served as an open air bar. Farmers and merchants gathered about each nursing their ales; exchanging news and gossip. The low conversation stopped momentarily as they eyed the travelers suspiciously as they passed.

“I’ll catch up with you at camp. The tower is straight ahead. I’ve just seen someone I need to speak with.”

Victor slid away from the group and leant his back on one of the brick walls near the bar. He watched the small group of farmers amazed faces as the tall man in their midst pulled coins from armpits and mice out of their beer. His handwoven, brightly coloured shirt set him apart from the dreary washed out colours being worn about him. His long curled locks were held from his forehead with a silken scarf and swayed along his back as he moved.. They cheered loudly as a potato was retrieved from someone’s behind. Silently dropping coins into the open hand of one of the barmaid as she handed him a warm frothy mug of ale, Victor breathed in its yeasty redolence eager to taste the contents. From that momentary lapse of concentration, he lost sight of the figure he’d been watching.

“How much do you want to win this?” The detached voice came from beside him.
Victor allowed a slow grin to spread across his face as he took a sip of his drink.
“You are as slippery as Beng and bring as much bibaxt as he would to any gathering you go to.”
“And yet here you are, about to ask me to join you. Beng doesn’t bring bad luck, he brings opportunities.”
“Jordan, my friend; its been too long.”
They clasped arms and slapped one another on the shoulder.
“I’m impressed at your little flame trick. I see we will need to exchange ideas.”
“Victor, you know the laws. You need to be taught by your master or work it out yourself.”
“Given Emilian has passed and he had taught both of us everything he knew, I assume that trick is your own discovery?”
Jordan smiled, his eyes glittered with secrets. “This gathering, how much do you want to win?”
Victor took a long swig of his drink and wiped his mouth with his sleeve. “Not a matter of winning or losing – not this time. The winners are being hired to entertain at the week long celebrations on the Castle grounds of the Marquis De Lume in La Speza.”
Jordan spat and made a protection symbol in the air about him. “Rromani, the last free people; being hired as entertainment. What low depths we have sunk to.”
“Lower than pulling a pototo out a farmer arse?”
“Have you seen the others?”
Victor drained his mug. “Hoping to see them at Piazza del Duomo”
“You’re sure they’ll come?”
“Separate tribes we may be. But no-one refuses the summoning of the Mistress Drabardi. They’ll be here.”
“You never answered my question. How much do you want to win?”
“Our lives depend on it. If we are chosen to attend the festivities, we carry legitimate paperwork for travel for up to a year. It will buy us time.”
“To look for them? The brothers? The enemy of the father? Victor, as much as I revere your Drabardi and her prophesies; surely one sighting shouldn’t send ripples through all the tribes. No-one else has had a sighting like this. You don’t even know who the brothers are, nor who this enemy is. Needle in a haystack my friend.”
“Margarina is not our Drabardi – she is her own person – as you are Jordan. She will be here to give witness and The Mistress Drabardi will govern our next moves as a people. You think Spain will be the only place we will be hunted? We have been given an insight into the future and opportunity to avoid the inevitable. For the sake of my tribe, for the Rromani, I am pursuing it.”
“Well my friend – it would seem you need the luck of Beng on your side.” Jordan clasped Victors hand tightly. “You won’t win this competition without me”

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Crickets Song

Prompt: A man is given the ability to go back in time and change one event in his life.

This story has been removed for further editing and refining.. Hopefully it will be submitted to competitions and perhaps an Anthology...

thanks for popping by when it WAS up.. and leaving your comments

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Beginning

Prompt: A secondary character says this somewhere in your story; “He’s the cutest little boy. Makes it that much sadder, doesn’t it?”

Her hair sodden with sweat and arms fatigued from straining on the bedsheets which now lay torn about the room; Marilla rested her head back on the pillow and controlled her ragged breathing. The tiny, bloodied wet form lay between her breasts, its heartshaped face looking up at her with undisguised love.

“We have little time Lady Marilla. We need to get you cleaned up. Destroy the bedding. Cally will be here shortly to help me bind your figure. It will reshape back into your former slim self soon enough and you can be rid of the bandages. You should be able to walk out of here with your usual grace. You hardly tore at all; no need for stitches..” The shapeless figure in flowing robes busied herself about glancing only momentarily to the heaving body upon the bed.

Marillas dark eyes looked at wonder at the little form she had endangered her family, herself, her social position to be here and yet when she held him the agony and fear around labor, the months of hiding her changing shape, the cruel whispers about court were all worth this moment.

Without looking up from her tidying, the midwife commented, “It can’t see you, you know – you’re just a blob”

Marilla ignored her. The gaze was so intense. So full of hidden messages.

“Cally will be here shortly to take.. it away. You’ll have your life back again. Here, hand me … it…., I’ll wrap it up and get it ready to go.”

Marilla held her breath as her heart hammered. She clung to her baby.

“He needs me I can’t give him away. Not now.”

“Lady Marilla, you are talking nonsense; if you beg my pardon. This has been agreed, spoken about. Your parents have gone to great lengths to conceal your…indiscretions. You owe them.”

“My indiscretions? Is that what this about? I am to be punished for….”

“I’m sorry my Lady. I have my orders .You have your duties. God has punished you for your indiscretions with the pain of labour. You must hand over and return to your place.”

“I can’t. I can’t abandon him. Not after what I have just been through. There has to be another way.”

With eyes cast down the figure replied, “Lady, I am one of the only tolerated midwives within the great city now. No-one….. has babies the way you have just done, not now. They have their new ways.”

“Has anyone though that these new ways might not be the best ways? We are supposed to be at the pinnacle of civilization but our lives are controlled at every step.My eyes have been opened. Its as if I can truly see now.”

A thin wail erupted from the small form.

“Why is he doing that?”
“He’s hungry Lady.”
“Well ……feed him.”
“If you are going to keep him, then you will have to feed him”
“What? How?”

The midwifes shoulder slumped. Even the most basic knowledge of birth and life had been lost to this big city and its new ways. She looked into the fiercely determined eyes of Lady Marilla. For one of them, she mused to herself, she had shown more courage during her labour than she’d ever seen before. Perhaps there was hope.

“You want to keep him? Do you understand the dangers you will put your family and yourself in if you do? Do know what they will do to you if they catch you with a less than perfect child?”

With a new determined jut of her chin Marilla pleaded. “He’s so helpless I can’t leave him. I have to keep him. There has to be a way to integrate him. They’ll never notice in a few years. He’s so perfect…. and no manipulation or interference. Certainly flys in the face of…..”

“Lady, I must remind you of the citys laws. What you…..what I …. have done is treasonous. If we were to be caught here…..”

“I understand.” Mechanically she droned the edict thrust upon her from a young age. “A new life has to be genetically manipulated and the final design passed by the council. At each stage, it is manipulated, rejected if not perfect, surgically removed at its due date and raised by The Nursery until they are nine months old. Its only then that the are returned to the mother……. This is the way we have all been told it is with life. But what I have just done. Doesn’t that count for anything?”

“Even though I am tolerated within the city, I know my time here as a midwife is limited. My kind is simply no longer needed. We have the new ways now. Come now – hand him over. The less you hold him the better for both of you.”

Marillas eyes desperately searched her midwifes face.“So we have to hide him for nine months. I have already hidden away for near that time.”

“Your parents Lady. I have my orders.”

The midwife couldn’t look into Marillas pleading eyes any longer.

“I’m sorry, of course. I understand how tenuous your professional standing must be with these laws. You have risked your position enough as it is.”

A soft knock at the door broke the silence.

Opening it a crack, Jodi nodded to the figure outside and allowed her to slip in.”Its Cally. Lady Marilla. She has come to dispose of your indiscretions. Your parents will want to see its been properly taken care of.”

With an awkward bob, Cally breathily murmured, “Lady Marilla. I hope your experience wasn’t too…… “she cleared her throat and looked away. “I’ve come on my orders.”

She held her arms out toward the baby. “He’s the cutest little boy. Makes it that much sadder, doesn’t it?”

Marilla clutched him closer to her chest. “Hes not leaving with you. I’ll deal with this.I’ll leave the city, do anything, but I won’t give him up.”

Callys brow furrowed with concern and confusion, looking towards Jodi for guidance.

“Go to the Nursery, find one of the discarded bodies and take it as proof to the parents. They won’t question it. Then come back here. We have to plan a long nine months of subterfuge”

With her free arm Marilla touched Jhodis shoulder. “Why are you helping me? Why now? What about my parents?”

“Like you said my Lady. They control all aspects of our life. As a midwife I am living on borrowed time as it is. You have reminded me that birth isn’t a medical experience; that it doesn’t have to be perfect. Who has the right to tell a woman what is natural or right with the creation of life?…What will you name him?”

"Turion… the battler."

Authors Note: some background history which has come to me about Turion - in no particular order here are some of the other short stories about Turions world.
Wish you were here
Pining for the moon