Fiction Friday 04.03.20

The herd of dusty taupe Vespa scooters stampeded out of town. It was the last full moon of winter. There were sacred ceremonies to perform for the Cider Society. There was still a chill in the air as they rode. The members were bundled up in an assortment of gear. Fluffy down coats, raggedy old blankets, even a cloak built from ratty old towels. 

Their little club had formed mostly by accident or maybe it was the whiskey to blame. The purchasing manager, Timothy, at the little dealership in town made a mistake on an order form. He ordered thirteen dusty taupe vespas instead of the one that he had intended to order. The small bottle of whiskey in his drawer was the most likely culprit of his clerical error. When the herd of Vespas arrived on a flat bed truck the salesman all stared in horror. They didn’t have much demand for Vespas in the tiny town they lived in, nevermind ones in the most boring color of beige you had ever seen. Timothy shrugged it off. For fear of losing his job, he bought two of them himself. Timothy gave the pair to his wife and her best friend. They were a wild pair and they soon became an inspiration to the town. The Vespas didn’t fly out of the showroom but within six months they only had five left. Timothy considered it a win. He schemed with his wife on how they could get the last five to move. She came up with the idea of the Cider Society. They had patches made up and delivered to the other Vespa owners with a letter welcoming them to the exclusive Cider Society. There was an invite at the bottom to meet at the local diner on Tuesday night for gravy fries and a drive around the town. It took another four months to sell the last five Vespas, but they all sold. Timothy watched the last one drive away with a pang of sadness. He had bought into his own marketing ploy and was sad that he wouldn’t get to be a member of the Cider Society.

When Timothy arrived home that night, it had been a Tuesday and the last full moon of Winter. His wife and her best friend were snickering in the kitchen. They handed him an envelope. Inside was the keys to the last Vespa and his very own Cider Society patch. He had laughed and hugged them both. They all rode down to the local diner for gravy fries. The ten other members of the group welcomed Timothy with open arms and declared him the Emperor of the Cider Society. He was given a cloak made of ratty old towels and a crown sticker for his helmet. Timothy had laughed heartily and made his first decree. 

“As newly crowned Emperor of the Cider Society, I propose our first sacred ritual. Follow me to the edge of town!” He stood up and marched out to his Vespa and the rest of the Cider Society followed. 

Now they were standing beneath their fifth winter moon. The ritual had changed over time. The rest of the Cider Society pulled their playing card crowns out of their saddlebags. They howled up at the moon above them. Then they began their last dance of the season. The strange little band of outsiders formed a circle around the cow statue at the edge of town. Timothy placed the wizard hat on the statue. They began their dance around the Wizard Cow. A large jug of honeycrisp apple hard cider was passed around. The dance eventually devolved into giggles and the entire Cider Society wound up passed out beneath the Wizard Cow. When the sun’s rays rose over the horizon, Timothy would wake up the members of the little band and they’d all take a hungover ride back into town for a breakfast of biscuits and gravy. 

The prompts for today’s story:

  • last dance 
  • honeycrisp apple cider 
  • band of outsiders 
  • playing cards 
  • dusty taupe 
  • vespa 
  • wizard cow

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Copyright 2020 Klaudia Grady

Day 48

#quarantinechronicles

This is how my day is starting:

I am attempting to read through a book on marketing. My daughter is in my lap watching YouTube videos about Super Mario.

Life used to be:

Everyday I’m hustling…

Now it’s:

Everyday I’m juggling…

This is a page in my oldest son’s agenda. He spent almost 12 hours yesterday on and off getting caught up on work. I still have to add new work for this week to his planner. I’m a pretty organized person (stop laughing, I am in my own sideways way 😂) and I’m struggling to keep up with this. I’m an adult (again, stop laughing I totally am) and I’m overwhelmed. How are our kids supposed to manage this? 😫

The level of angst I have over my children’s distance schooling is close to the level I had when I was IN SCHOOL as a child.

Fortunately I am now an ‘adult’ and have….

Cheers to making it halfway through the week!

Day 47

Not a bad day. Not a good day.

My oldest started today FOUR FUCKING DAYS behind on schoolwork. As in this shit was due YESTERDAY. (Yup. I yelled. Repeatedly. This is the child I hand write out the assignments for. Zero excuses. Incidentally. He also gets zero game time moving forward. Funny how that works. 😈 #meanmom)

My daughter is…intense…today. An afternoon quiet time and she’s back to the bubbly side of her personality. Thank goddess.

Middle son is conveniently forgetful about school work. As in: Oh! I’m supposed to turn in things marked ‘assignments’??? I’ve done it a hundred times but this time I didn’t know what to do… 🙄

Husband made me go for a drive. He was right. Don’t tell him. 🤣

An hour of driving the car with the top down running bullshit (but socially distanced) errands felt FANTASTIC. I’m much less cranky.

Anyone else’s house loudly announce KIDS LIVE HERE from at least 30 feet away? There are plastic toys everywhere 😳

I hope you are all surviving well.

We stand together… six feet apart 😘

7. The Chariot


Tarot Sentence:

Upright:          Dominance      attains             with victory.

Inverted:          Rebellion         riots                 with defeat.


☆ Special Guidance:

MundaneYou will soon have a new perspective and attain great peace or satisfaction. 

EsotericAll paths lead to the same place and we are all doing what we are supposed to be doing even when we’re wondering if we should or shouldn’t be doing it or think we’re making mistakes or going astray.  The real issue is, will you overcome or be overcome.  Will you choose “aliveness” (even if there are no safe spaces) or will you choose “deadness”?

Best Course of Action: Look to your inner world, change the way you react to events, and choose to be happy.  When you let go of fear or doubt, success will come.

Outcome: Though nothing may have changed significantly in your outer world, you’ll have changed dramatically, and you will be revamping your objectives or your approach to life as a result.


Keywords: magic, movement, forward motion, travel, speed, war, warriors, battle, conquest, triumph, victory, parades, your chariot awaits, will and control, direction

Reversed: delays, opposition, stasis, objects at rest that tend to remain at rest

Archetype: A vehicle for forward motion and change.

Astrological Sign: Cancer

Planet: Moon

Hebrew Letter: Cheth

Element: Water

Affirmation:

I conquer my instincts and emotions with the intentions of my higher self and achieve physical goals.

I am stability and movement, able to keep my balance in the midst of change and competing desires.

I have the courage to steer a middle course, to struggle with opposing thoughts and feelings and combine them in creative ways.

I am focused attention, determined to find ways to reconcile difficult issues and contradictions.

I am in control of my instincts and passions, able to harness their energy and direct it in positive ways.

I have confidence in my instincts and abilities; I look forward to a positive outcome.

Gem: Opal

Rune: Ehwaz – Movement

Card of the Day 04.25.20

You are hiding in dreams. Thinking instead of doing. You feel stuck.

– 9 of Voices

Very soon you’ll take that first step. You’ll start the chain reaction that will get you where you want to be. Let the dominos fall. It’s time.

– 3 of Inspiration

The Muse Tarot

Fiction Friday 03.27.20

The Grand Tower stood tall on the shore. No one knew who had built it. There was no visible way to reach the top. It stood tall on the white sands as a monument to some long lost deity or queen. Travelers came from miles around to lay their sweet sorrows at the base of the tower. They were tired and grungy from long days of walking. Dried carnations and worn love letters littered the ground beneath the tower. Every high tide they were swept away to the depths of the ocean. 

One cold and blustery morning a woman walked around and around the tower. The few pilgrims who had camped near the tower watched her with suspicion. The woman began to sing. The words were unknown to everyone who was assembled their but it tugged at their hearts regardless. She sang until the sun was overhead. She held a small bottle in her hand and let the sun’s rays imbue it with their warmth. The woman walked to the ocean side of the tower. She poured the heart oil into her hands and she wrote her beloved’s name on the wall. A loud screech echoed from the top of the tower. The woman continued to sing. She traced the name of her lover over and over again. The onlooking crowd gasped in horror as a crack traveled up the side of the tower. The woman didn’t flinch. 

The golden roof of the tower fell off and landed in the sands. A lightning bolt came out of the clear blue sky and struck the tower. There was a loud heartbeat that pounded three times and then a creature launched itself from the tower. It’s wings were so large they nearly blocked out the sun. The onlookers ran for shelter as the shadow of the creature fell over them. The woman still clung to the tower, singing, and tracing her lover’s name on the cracked wall.

The creature circled three times before landing beside the woman. The woman turned and acknowledged the monster before her. “Lenora. I’ve come to free you. The monster is dead at last. Come back to me.”

The creature let out a scream that had everyone nearby covering their ears. When they looked up the creature was gone and in its place was a woman. She stood shakily. Her clothing was rags. Tears glistened on her cheeks. The two women embraced, laughing and crying. They walked up from the tower and headed off to the east. The tower cracked and crumbled with every step they took. The onlookers watched the tower become a ruin within the space of a few minutes. The two women never looked back. They walked hand in hand. The oldest woman in the crowd walked towards the tower. She surveyed the ruins and whispered an old nursery rhyme.

“The love that gave you wings will become your prison bands, until the tower falls to the sands.”

The prompts for today’s story:

  • grunge 
  • heart oil 
  • sweet sorrow 
  • wings of love 
  • the grand tower

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Copyright 2020 Klaudia Grady

Day 42

A regular site on my table is a basket full of bandannas and masks.

It’s comforting because I have something to protect my family. 😊

It’s disturbing because there is a need to protect my family. 😫

Today my daughter’s kindergarten class is arranging a google meetup. It’s giving me anxiety and I don’t know why. I haven’t decided if she will participate. It feels like an invasion and I also I don’t want her to miss out.

Day 40

40 days and 39 nights into this madness.

Broke down and bought my kindergartner a tablet. I haven’t seen her in 23 hours. First rule of quarantine is there are no screen time limits…right?

I’m on my 7th box of wine. I think. Everyone is drinking every day, right? #askingforafriend

I’ve changed the schedule at least six times. The sooner I let go of the before, the more likely I will be able to survive this insanity. Time holds almost no meaning here anymore. I’m just as likely to be working on a Saturday morning as a Thursday late night. I just keep sliding my work into the between spaces.

Somehow, I’m always worried we will run out of food. Our cabinets are stocked. We are ok. But the worry is constant. What will be unavailable next? Somedays I feel blessed that I’ve survived a long time on whatever is in the fridge. I make dinners out of weird leftovers and somehow they still get eaten. I’m making my husband bizarro salads without lettuce and he loves them. I never would’ve considered making a salad out of cauliflower, carrots, & celery before topped with cheese and lunch meat. Weird quarantine food is weird.

I am both lonely and never alone. I video chat with my loved ones as much as possible but they are also juggling families and work and homeschooling.

Some of my loved ones have had close calls with the virus. Others have had it and recovered. Others are currently fighting the virus.

It’s been a weird day in a long line of weird days.

6. The Lovers


Tarot Sentence:

Upright: Affection * unites * with happiness.

Inverted: Disharmony * separates * with frustration.


Special Guidance:

MundaneSomething is going to change your plans or the course of your experience, something that may look negative on the surface but will later prove to be a blessing in disguise. 

EsotericThings don’t have to go according to plan in order for you to benefit from them.  It’s time to drop “support”systems and depend on the Universe.

Best Course of Action: Look beneath what appears to be… Fate will bring serendipity.

Outcome: You may suffer through unavoidable consequences or predicaments (or as a result of another), but you will do the right thing or come to the right conclusion and someone or something will correct the problem or remove you from it.


Keywords: emotional life, love, romance, attraction, desirability, flirtation, communication, choices, consideration, caring, duality, opposition, partnership, choices

Reversed: infidelity, suspicion, jealousy, obsession

Archetype: They embody the twin principles of opposition and attraction.

Astrological Sign: Gemini

Planet: Mercury

Hebrew Letter: 

Zain

Element: Air

Affirmation:

I love both the feminine and the masculine parts of myself and wish to share my integration with others by demonstrating how accepting I can be.

I am loving union, the coming together of two parts to create a greater whole.

I am integration and wholeness, a synthesis or reconciliation of old and new, masculine and feminine, intuition and reason, body and spirit.

I am relationship and partnership, the ability to open oneself to another, to trust, make commitments, and forgive myself and others.

I am turning points: difficult choices between old and new, security and risk, respectability and non-conformity.

I accept life’s limitations; I have learned that it is often necessary to reject one thing to obtain another.

Gem: Agate

Rune: Gebo – Partnership

Fiction Friday 03.20.20

Blanche wrapped the guilt quilt around her shoulders. Every patch held a worry or a wish and it was stitched together by her fears for her children. She rocked quietly in the corner of what used to be the nursery. Many little ones had come and gone through this little corner of her home. Every one of them had left a little piece of themselves behind. The ethereal forgotten pieces of childhood were stacked neatly on the shelves. A whimiscal elephant that was missing one eye that Sammy had carried around for her entire babyhood. A bird hotel built by Johnathan as a class project. A marble scale that Henry had treasured during his mad scientist phase. Glow in the dark stars tracked across the ceiling from when Joanie was afraid of the dark. Blanche just rocked and rocked. Her Mother Bear days were over. Her cubs were all grown. They’d found homes and lives of their own. They all piled into her house on Sundays to devour six pizza pies and their mother’s homemade cookies. 

When they left there was an emptiness. A wild thing stalked the silences in her home. A longing that had nothing to do with diaper changing or house wrangling sat deep inside her heart. It grew. And grew. It grew without bottle feeding. Soon it learned to walk, with no input from Blanche at all. It scared her how this longing grew. After raising four babies she had the rhythm of helping another grow to their potential. But this thing in her heart broke all the rules. She could feel it doing backflips in her chest when she wandered the aisles of the grocery store. It made it hard to sleep at night as she laid in her big bed alone. She talked to her daughters more. She visited her sons for lunch. Nothing stopped the growth. Nothing slowed it. Soon she felt as if her skin was too tight. The wild thing whispered to her at night. Forgotten dreams. Lost ideas. She turned the music up while driving and tried to drown its whispers out. 

Then one day she found herself in the school supply aisle of the grocery store. She bought a coloring book and crayons. When she got home and was unpacking the groceries she laughed at the whim that had inspired her to get it. But later that night as sleep refused to come she opened the book and colored a picture of a giraffe. The voice of the wild thing was silent the entire time she colored. Within a week she had filled the entire book with color and ordered several more to be delivered to the house. Then she upgraded her cheap crayons for fancy pencils and it delighted her the way they scratched across the paper. 

By Autumn the wild thing in her chest was almost silent. Except when she walked past the old nursery. On one beautiful fall day she opened every window in the house and began to deep clean. She reached the Nursery and she sighed. The wild thing howled at her. She took a deep breath and dragged everything out. She gathered up her children’s lost toys to be dropped off to them. She dragged a table and a chair inside. Her favorite stained glass lamp was settled into the corner of the table. Blanche gathered up her pencils, paints, coloring books, and sketchbooks. She tucked them all neatly into a side table and stacked her current work on the table. The room took a deep breath and let it out. It felt lighter. Autumn forgot about cleaning and spent an hour doodling instead. She stood up to stretch and went to leave the room. As she reached to turn off the light, she smiled at the transformation of the tiny room. All traces of her children were gone, except for a few glow in the dark stars. Tiny spots of light scattered across the ceiling. The wild thing in her chest was gone. 

The prompts for today’s story:

  • Blanche Autumn 
  • star track 
  • mother bear 
  • ethereal 
  • guilt quilt 
  • bird hotel 
  • marble scale 
  • whimsical elephant 

Join the Grady Guild to get your story fix! These stories will be delivered to your inbox the same day they are written!

Copyright 2020 Klaudia Grady