Friday, 27 September 2013

Family Dynamics/ Common Courtesy

Family dynamics is a term used to describe how families communicate and exist together. Every family has a distinct pattern of relating to one another.

Part of family life is establishing house rules. It’s important to keep the list of rules simple, limited in number and to use positive “Do” rather than negative “Don’t” language. House rules might be something like “Be kind to one another,” or “Respect others’ belongings”.

Those are good rules, but there is another dynamic that helps the family function smoothly…chores. Life requires regular work and children who are assigned chores learn responsibility as part of the family.
Chores might need to be done every day, or weekly and could include such things as loading the dishwasher or doing the laundry.

But there are a lot of other things that need to be done in the home, not big enough to be called a chore, but are more of a courtesy.

Did you ever read the comic strip For Better or For Worse? It was written by a woman named Lynn Johnston and chronicled the life and times of the fictional Patterson family.

The characters aged just like Lynn’s family, from the time it began in 1979 until it ended 29 years later. The comic strip is being published in the newspaper once again, from the beginning.

The web site is . This is an interesting site; complete with character profiles, an archive of cartoons and even a games section. If you like a word search game, you really should try Word Roundup, it’s different and fun.

Under the section titled Characters, I found this quote from Elly Patterson, the comic strip Mom. “It’s okay to be human while juggling life’s demands…even when your Super Woman t-shirt is in the laundry.”

This was one of my favourite cartoons, the mother ranting about how her family fails to do the simple things to help out around the house, such as putting a new roll of toilet paper in the holder when needed.

The cartoon gives other examples of  household ‘chores’ that cannot be assigned, but should be done when needed as a courtesy to other family members. I wonder, did I have an Elly episode in the past where I found myself sitting in the bathroom, sans toilet tissue.  I think, as this cartoon has stayed in my memory, that I had numerous occasions where I felt as overwhelmed as Elly. Most mothers would agree, sometimes the Super Woman t-shirt let's you down.

There should be rules for those little jobs, like you empty it, you fill it.

In my husband’s family one of those unwritten rules was to replace the bag of milk if you were the one to drink the last of the quart in the plastic holder.

We know kids will always find a way to get out of chores, and my husband and his brother were no different. Their trick, to get out of replacing the bag of milk, was to leave just enough in the bottom of the bag so they could claim the bag wasn’t empty.

Years later, the brothers lived a distance apart and only saw each other at family events or at the summer cottage. I hate to tell you how many times one brother would leave the milk bag near empty, just to tease the other. It became an ongoing thing, a childhood memory they relived as adults.

What can I say, boys will be boys.

I’m sure my brother would have some equally silly stories about growing up with two sisters. Though I find that hard to believe, I’m sure we were always courteous and polite.

Family dynamics. There may be moments of drama, disappointment and disagreement, but hopefully, also a lifetime of love and devotion.

It’s the stuff memories are made of, memories that come to us out of the blue because of something we saw, or something we did. Something like an empty toilet paper holder.



Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Out Sick Today

Ick words

There are certain words, whether you hear them, or read them, that just give you that ick feeling.

I don’t like the word vomit, though it is a good descriptive word for the action. In a related way I don’t like spew. It always makes me think of Linda’Blair’s character in The Exorcist, ‘cause she really spewed in that movie.

Today on television I heard the phrase, ‘scared the snot out of me’. Now, unless I’m referring to a snotty nose kid, of which I’ve seen my share, snot is another word I dislike. I probably would have said-‘scared the shit out of me’- another word some might find unattractive. For some reason, I prefer shit over snot.

You would think, after thirty years of nursing, that words related to bodily fluids would not bother me. But there’s just something about those words, nouns or verbs, used to describe mucousy expectorations. I can deal with mucous, even sputum, but I don’t like phlegm. I especially don’t like that action of hoark and spit.

You’ve all heard it. Some man, (and I am being sexist as I’ve yet to meet a woman who can really hoark it up), drawing in that deep breath, sucking up all that crap from his lungs, and spitting out some hideous gob of phlegm. Nasty.

It’s a change of season and I have a cold. Must be, as I’ve been suffering from all of all those nasty words, why I’ve thought of them. My harsh and irritating cough has turned into a productive one. I can hear the mucous roll when I cough, but I can’t get it up. Productive is therefore a relative term, for I’m not producing anything.

And is there anything worse than that slow slide of a post nasal drip, and again, I’m unable to relieve this congestion. Thank goodness as women we can at least blow our noses.

I apologize. Too much information, right?
It must be a touch of fever that has my mind going in this direction. I’m not feeling well, and not feeling the least bit creative.

I think I need to lie down, I'm sure I hear my bed calling. Catch you next time..


Friday, 20 September 2013

An Internet Golf Gadget

The Fed Ex Cup is the PGA Golf Tour's playoff event. Players earn points based on performance and when the regular season concludes the top 125 players advance to the Fed Ex Cup Playoffs, a series of four tournaments.

The Barclays began with 125 players, the Deutsche Bank with the top 100, and last week at the BMW Championship there were 70 players to start.

September 19th was the first day of the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia. The top thirty golfers are all competing for the final $10,000,000 prize.

Last week's tournament was do or die for many players hovering around that thirty mark. The list changed day by day, hour by hour, hole by hole. Players who were ranked in the top ten to fifteen might have been safe to continue...but, if they played poorly it created opportunities for others to advance if they played well.

To win at golf depends on many factors, skill aside. How you play and how others play is one factor. You can have a good day while others play poorly, so it would be to your advantage. I remember hearing a player say in an interview something like 'if I play well, and the leaders play poorly, I might have a chance of winning'.

Weather and tee off times are other factors. When play starts on a Thursday players are assigned a morning or afternoon tee time. Friday they start off the opposite. This is done, I assume, to make things fair as course conditions can change throughout the day. Often it's the luck of the draw, especially if the wind picks up in the afternoon, or the rain that held off all night finally lets loose in the morning.

Players who don't make 'the cut' are done at this point, and don't play the weekend. The remaining players are assigned Saturday and Sunday tee times by the standings. The players at the top of the leaderboard tee off last.

I love 'watching' golf on my laptop. The PGA Tour website has this fun thing called Shot Tracker. There's the leaderboard, a list of all the players with their score for the day and the tournament. You get a colour coded, play by play representation of their shots per hole complete with yardages.

At a glance you can see who is playing well, and who is not. Dark green (the fairway) followed by light green (the green) is the what you want to see. Blue (for in the water) with red ( a penalty) is not. There's also a green/black that means the rough and brown for the bunker. Not sure I've ever seen the orange for Out of Bounds.

The leaderboard is constantly updated, and you can see the lines move up or down according to the score and the ball move side to side for each shot.

I got curious about other options and discovered I could customize 'My Leaderboard' so I don't have to scroll up and down to check the status on my favourite players.

There were some blue figures at the top of the leaderboard...Players Full Field or Groups Full Field. I found this gave me the pairings in order of their tee off times. Not only do you get the same stats, you get a layout of the particular hole, with colour coded lines representing the location of each player's shot.

Back to the Full Field Leaderboard. If you scroll to the top there's a section called 'Players on Course'. This gives the pairings and what hole they're currently on. I discovered when I clicked on the names I got a 'Group Closeup'. You get a larger image of the hole, and a closeup of the green. Each player's shot is colour coded and numbered. There's also a play by play description with yardages and a scorecard for each day of the tournament.

Lots of people consider golf slow and boring, but I can kill hours flitting back and forth between these options, with a quick check of my E-mail, a run through Pinterest or whatever.

I check Shot Tracker when there is no televised golf. The TV stations pick up the day's play for the last few hours only, and I like to see how my favourites are doing after their early tee times and before the broadcast.

What can I say, it's a toy, and I have fun with it. I leave it on sometimes even if I'm watching the tournament. I never just watch TV, I'm always doing something else, like reading, knitting, painting, or writing. I rely on a change in the background noise, like the cheering of the fans, or the excited voice of the commentator to alert me to pay attention. That's the good thing about sports, they always offer that instant replay.

I guess when golf goes into hiatus for the winter I'll have to go back to watching my favourite movies over and over again. Except I have this other new toy, a PVR, personal viewing recording or DVR, or whatever it's called.

Now I can watch, or listen which is more apt, to my favourite shows while I'm doing something else. Maybe I have an adult form of ADD, as I have this need to multitask.

Or I like playing on the internet.


Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Movie Quotes

Have you ever noticed how words and phrases coined by the movies are passed into our common everyday language? These quotes are overused and parodied in popular culture, almost becoming quote clich├ęs. We work them into our conversations, and they become running jokes in our lives.

Some examples:

“What we’ve got here…is a failure to communicate.” Cool Hand Luke 1967

“Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.” Gone With the Wind 1939

“I’ll be back.” The Terminator 1984

Sometimes it’s just the title that gives an explanation far beyond the words spoken, like Catch 22 or The Bucket List.

Famous and popular movie quotes have survived the test of time due to late night re-runs, DVD’s and You Tube. Some famous lines are not what you think they are. Words that are commonly recited, endlessly repeated often become misquoted.

You often hear “Houston, we have a problem.” The movie quote is really “Ah, Houston, we’ve had a problem.” The line is from Apollo 13.
From Field of Dreams the line you hear is “If you build it they will come.” The true line is “If you build it he will come.”

One of the most famous quotes is from the Dirty Harry movie. The actual quote is often shortened to “Do you feel lucky, punk?” But fans of the movie still get the meaning; the full quote is “You’ve got to ask yourself one question. Do I feel lucky? Well do ya punk?”

A few more movie quotes that might be found in conversation: “Love means never having to say you’re sorry,” from Love Story 1970. Or maybe “You talkin’ to me?” from Taxi Driver. How about “I’ll have what she’s having,” from When Harry Met Sally?

How many of the following quotes do you remember?
Can you name the movie?

  1. “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”
  2. “Snakes. Why’d it have to be snakes?”
  3. “Yippee Kay-yay, motherf—ker.”
  4. “We came. We saw. We kicked its ass.”
  5. “You make me want to be a better man.”
  6. “Show me the money.”
  7. “It rubs the lotion on its skin.”
  8. “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!”
  9. A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?
  10. “I’m gonna to make him an offer he can’t refuse.”
  11. “You can’t handle the truth.”
  12. “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”
  13. “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.”
  14. “I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody.”
  15. “We’re going to need a bigger boat.
Here are the answers. How did you do?

  1. The Princess Bride, 1987
  2. Raiders of the Lost Ark, 1981
  3. Die Hard, 1988
  4. Ghostbusters, 1984
  5. As Good as it Gets, 1997
  6. Jerry Maguire, 1996
  7. Silence of the Lambs, 1991
  8. Network, 1976
  9. War Games, 1983
  10. The Godfather, 1972
  11. A Few Good Men, 1992
  12. The Wizard of Oz, 1939
  13. Casablanca, 1942
  14. On the Waterfront, 1954
  15. Jaws, 1975
“Live long and prosper.”

Monday, 16 September 2013

Movie Therapy

It happened again.

Last week I was on Google searching for pictures for Wednesday’s post, and hours later found what I was looking for, and so much more.

Did you know there was such a thing as Movie Therapy?

Well there is, Movie or Cinema Therapy it’s called. Proponents of this kind of therapy say that movies can and will change the way we think, feel, and ultimately deal with life’s ups and downs.

Movies affect us powerfully, the impact of music, dialogue, lighting and sound effects enable a film to bypass our ordinary defences, and draw us into the viewing experience.

Watching certain movies with a conscious awareness allows us to use that film for insight, inspiration, emotional relief and natural change.

Choosing the right movie can help you work out personal issues, have a good cry to release bottled up emotions or explore positive role models. With repeated viewings you can pay attention to your physical reactions, what makes you tense, or what makes you smile.

Popcorn Cinema Therapy is primarily watching films that may result in a needed emotional release. We might feel down and in need of a good cry, but don’t allow ourselves to give in to our emotions Watching a sad movie, indulging in a crying jag offers us an opportunity for a cathartic release.
Evocative Cinema Therapy helps individuals connect with story lines or characters, thereby learning about themselves, and can be a catalyst for healing and growth.

Two examples of Cinema Therapy categories are addiction, with movies like 28 Days and When a Man Loves a Woman or domestic abuse and films like Enough or Sleeping with the Enemy.

At there is a list of categories and specific movies that pertain to that need or issue. Under the category ‘Inspiration’ there is a list of movies to do with overcoming a challenge. One is the musical Footloose, another the dramatic film, The Horse Whisperer, and even an animated film The Lion King. Something to appeal to every age and interest.

I have to admit this concept works. I’ve been using movies for years, as my own version of self-help counselling. You only have to look at my personal film library to verify.

I’m just not sure what need my fondness for action/ adventure/crime movies is supposed to meet. I don’t think I have any deep seeded hidden homicidal tendencies...I just like chase scenes.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Movies and the Memories

Last Friday afternoon I was lying in my bed, my back so painful I couldn’t sit or stand. Wallowing in a bout of feel-sorry-for- me blues, I scanned the television guide for something to take my mind off my aches and pains. What I found was the movie Chill Factor.

An action/adventure movie made in 1999, Chill Factor stars Cuba Gooding Jr. and Skeet Eldrich. It’s a chase thriller, with the two unlikely heroes racing to get a chemical weapon to the military while eluding a group of terrorists. There’s a lot of action, plus some comical moments between the two main characters.

I watch this movie whenever I see it listed, for emotional reasons more than for the movie itself. At the time this movie was out and in the theatres, I was in Florida. My siblings and I had gathered in a hotel to oversee funeral arrangements for our grandmother, age 99, who had recently passed away. To kill some time one afternoon, we went to the movies.

Now, every time I see that listing, or watch this movie, I think of my grandmother, and remember what a wonderful person she was.

Movies can do that for you. Something about the movie itself, or maybe who you were with, or where you saw it the first time, brings back memories. It made me think about other movies that I link with people or events in my past.

My father and I had some favourite movies that we watched on television when they happened to be on. We are talking pre VHS, in the olden days when you couldn’t buy a copy to watch any time you felt like it. Maybe that’s what made those times special, it was impromptu, and chances are if we could have watched that movie when ever we wanted, we wouldn’t have made the time.

For Dad and I it was Errol Flynn and the movies Captain Blood and The Adventures of Robin Hood, two excellent swashbuckler films for the time. As the years went on we had others that became must-watch-movies, like High Noon with Gary Cooper and Shane with Alan Ladd.

I’m sure it’s the same for everyone, when you have a favourite movie that you’ve watched over and over again. There’s one line or one scene that you wait for, that makes it all worthwhile.

From Here To Eternity, was a World War II movie starring Burt Lancaster, Deborah Kerr and Montgomery Clift.

The scene my Dad liked took place in a bar where a group of soldiers were sitting around the table, one the company bugler, toying with his bugle. Montgomery Clift’s character, turns with exasperation, grabs the instrument from the man’s hand and stands up, letting go with some pure jazz notes, to the surprise of everyone.
My Dad would laugh as he loved the look on the soldier’s face when he was handed back his bugle. A dumbfounded “I didn’t know it could make sounds like that” kind of look.

After I went away to school, I wasn’t home as much and missed those times with my father. I think maybe he did too, for on one visit home he and I went to the show and saw the movie Where Eagles Dare. Another WW II movie, starring Clint Eastwood and Richard Burton, it’s considered one of the greatest war movies ever made.

Dad loved the scene when the British team, after parachuting into the Bavarian Alps, got their first look at Schloss Adler, a castle built on the top of a mountain. Their assignment to penetrate that German fortress seems impossible.

Von Ryan’s Express is another excellent war movie, starring Frank Sinatra and Trevor Howard. Though it may seem strange, my husband and I watched this movie in a hotel in Watertown, New York, on our honeymoon. We were married on a Friday evening and didn’t travel far as we only had the weekend away before returning home to our new apartment and my new job.

I loved this movie and used some of the feelings it generated for a character in one of my books. In the movie, soldiers both American and British were prisoners of war in Italy. When Italy fell, they attempted to escape only to be recaptured by the Germans. On a long train ride through Italy on route to Germany, they planned another daring escape.

It has all the required action and chase scenes, and stands the test of time.
I watch movies over and over again, just as I read books over and over. The selection of what I watch, or what I read is based on my mood at the time. I thought that was just me, but then I read an article about something called Movie Therapy. More on that next time.

Tonight I think I’ll watch The Bourne Legacy. I love the Alaskan scenery, the huge old house in the woods, and the contrast when it moves to the streets of Manila. It’s got everything, action, chase scenes, and a love interest with a happy ending.

I’ve watched it a few times, and when I watch it later I’ll multi-task and finish the crochet project I’m working on for a friend. I don’t want to be too distracted, I might drop a stitch.





Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Genre Prompt...Erotica

Okay, okay, the challenge was to write outside our comfort zone, and I tried it with fantasy and horror. Mystery wasn’t such a stretch as I have written a couple of murder stories. But this last week I’m beginning to think the draws for who does what genre are rigged. You wouldn’t do that, would you Carol?
Erotica? Give me a break. Sorry it's so long, I kind of got into it. LOL

Erotica: Fiction that deals with sex or sexual themes, generally in a more literary or serious way than the fiction seen in pornographic magazines.
A Shoe Story
Needing to update the shoe store window, he had to ask himself, how many ways could you display a pair of shoes?
Bored before he’d even begun, he glanced through the store window. The minute she walked out of the coffee shop, he was captivated. Her face was beautiful, framed by sable coloured hair that fell in waves down her back. She wore one of those skinny tops with the skinny straps that left her arms and shoulders bare. Tall, she had legs that seemed to go on forever, shown at their best in the short red skirt and matching red pointy toe sling backs. City, her clothes and manner said city.
With her drink in hand, she meandered between the wrought iron bistro tables crowded together on the sidewalk. The outdoor patio was new. Something the owners had added hoping to attract customers to sit and enjoy a cold beverage on a hot summer’s day.
She found a table to her liking in the corner, and sat, her back to the window, seemingly oblivious to the glances sent her way by people passing on the street. And who wouldn’t look? She was stunning.
He took his time with the display, paying more attention to the view across the street than to the one in front of him. He watched as her eyes scanned the window, finally connecting with his through the glass. She shook her head and gave him a look of disgust.
What was that all about? He saw her point a finger in his direction and looked at the plain brown brogue he was adding to the display. He held the shoe up and saw her mouth the word ‘no’.
He was intrigued, and couldn’t look away as she stretched one long shapely leg out in front of her. She reached down to touch her shoe and sat back, slowly drawing her hand up her leg in a sensuous caress.
He eyes opened wide and his mouth gaped as he watched, unaware he’d dropped the shoe he was holding. Then he laughed, and turned back into the store to select another pair of shoes and returned to the window. This time he held a python print sandal, with a 4 inch heel and criss-crossing ankle straps.
She nodded her approval, raised the glass of iced coffee and took the straw between her lips. He could see the slight movement in her mouth as she sucked on the straw, in her throat as she swallowed, her eyes holding his captive.
With the slightest hint of a smile she released the straw, her tongue licking away a lingering drop of coffee from her lips. In one fluid movement she stood, set the glass on the table and walked away. He was inspired, and suddenly decided the window display was going to get a whole new look.
Tuesday morning he stood in the window, fiddling with the display he’d left half done the day before. As he glanced across the street he saw her immediately, sitting in the same chair, drinking that same iced coffee.
Today it was a sleeveless top, tied at the waist, teasing him with a hint of skin when she moved. His eyes trailed down the expanse of leg to the wedge heeled denim sandals that matched the denim cut offs. “Who wears short shorts?” he murmured, the words to an old song immediately coming to mind. “She wears short shorts.”
Again, she seemed to stare across the street, maintaining eye contact, keeping his attention on her and her alone. She raised her hand and slowly undid the top two buttons of her blouse, spreading the collar wide, as if feeling the heat of the afternoon sun.
She picked up the glass of iced coffee, and tilting her head back, slowly rolled the cold glass across her neck. He swore he could see the drops of condensation transfer to her skin and drip down her chest to disappear between her very ample breasts. He knew it was impossible, his vision wasn’t that good, but his imagination was excellent.
As she had the day before, she set her glass on the table and strode off down the street, never looking back.
He was hooked plain and simple. The next morning he kept his face glued to the window at every opportunity, hoping she’d be back. Customer service be damned, he hurried his clients on their way, irritated that they were interfering with his watch at the window.
As he ushered his one and only customer out the door he saw her, the same air of mystery, the same chair, the same iced coffee. Today she wore some flirty kind of dress, a barely there kind of dress. Short and strapless, it was stark black, the only colour a red sash tied around the waist.
She smiled openly this time, and he knew he was grinning like a fool back at her. No window display, no glass between them today. He could feel the heat rising off the pavement, and with some embarrassment realized that was not all that was rising to the occasion. He was completely under her spell, enticed and enthralled.
He watched as she unwrapped the sash from her waist and placed it across the back of her neck, the ends hanging down in front. Her hands were in constant motion, pulling the ends of the scarf down on one side then the other, stroking across her breasts each time. He was hard, and so in lust, it took everything he had not to rush across the street.
Sitting, legs crossed, she tossed the scarf out, letting it drape across her ankle, and the black peep-toe pump dangling from her foot. Ever so slowly she gathered it back, sliding it up her leg. When she had it in her hands, she raised her arms to tie the sash about her head, holding that magnificent mane of hair off her face and neck. Fascinated, he watched her unencumbered breasts sway with the movement of her arms.
The spell was broken when a couple of kids raced ahead of their mom and into the store. They bumped into him, knocking him back to his senses. He turned to follow his customers into the store, and caught a glimpse of her feline smile as she walked away.
He’d been in a state of semi arousal since he’d first seen her on Monday. If he didn’t find some relief soon he was going to go out of his mind. The chair across the street remained empty all morning and he wondered if she’d be back. As he worked he ran through the names in his mental ‘black book’, wondering who he could call last minute. He couldn’t go another night like this. He’d even spring for dinner if it bought him some relief.
Just when he thought she was gone for good, he saw her. Dressed all in black, she wore ankle high boots, a short leather skirt and a bustier, her bosom rising over the top, barely contained. She was standing on the curb, hands fisted on her hips, legs apart, looking like some modern day Xena warrior.
He made his way to the door of the store, needing to see her with no glass to blur his vision. He was immediately hard, aware of nothing but her, his breathing ragged his heart pounding.
He watched as she waited for traffic to clear and boldly marched across the street to stand before him. She smiled and edged close, their bodies touching. “You’ve been waiting for me, haven’t you?” she said, her voice raspy and low. Sliding her hand between their bodies, she wrapped her fingers around his throbbing erection. “Ready and waiting?” she purred.
He couldn’t speak, couldn’t move.
With a quick shove, she pushed him back into the store, and laughed as she turned to close the door, turned the ‘Open” sign to ‘Closed’ and locked the door.
She grabbed hold of his tie and led him through the store to the backroom. Shoving him in a chair, she placed one booted foot in his crotch, applying gentle pressure.
“I have a bit of a foot fetish,” she admitted as she began to release the buttons of her bustier. “And I think you may just be the man to help me with my problem. Do you think you can make my feet happy?”
He took hold of her foot and slowly drew the inside zipper down, rubbing his hands over her ankle and caressing her foot as he pulled the boot off.
“Black leather, 4 inch stiletto heels, ankle strap Jimmy Choo’s,” he said and felt her tremble.
He thanked the shoe gods that new stock had been delivered only the day before. He watched her undo the last button that bared her breasts, at the same time he freed her other foot from the black boot.
He reached for the stilettos on the shelf, teasing, holding them just out of reach, and looked at her in question. She smiled and reached for the zipper of her skirt. “Anything, for you Jimmy.”
And to think he’d been bored with selling shoes, he thought, watching his now naked customer slip into the sexy designer shoes.
He just needed to find the right shoe, and match it with the right customer.
And when the shoe fits….








Monday, 2 September 2013

Genre Prompt...Horror

Horror, stories incorporating supernatural and/or unexplicable elements intended to arouse fear and dread.
A Ride on the Carousel
The face of evil often hides behind a mask, waiting, watching, for an opportunity to strike. He lurks, his presence unknown, his victims unaware, until that moment he shows his true self.
Does evil beget evil, the man wondered. For he had been born to evil, had lived with it all his life. For him, evil wore the mask of father, and only he knew what was hidden behind the mask.
There were no ‘once upon a time’ fairy tales in his life, no happy childhood memories. Some might say he had a choice, once he was old enough to run, to escape from the life he’d been born to, but why, he asked, would he want to.
He’d endured years of abuse at the hand of his father, but it had served its purpose, had taught him about the pain, and the pleasures, of living on the dark side. He had learned and listened well. He’d found his ’project’ and proved himself a worthy Devil’s Apprentice.
The beautiful carousel in the park looked benign, a silly and simple ride on a summer’s afternoon. The music could be heard for miles, a charming arrangement of notes that lured his chosen victims close, where he seduced them into a complacent and willing obedience.
The devil’s playground, he laughed.
The young women had smiled as they rode his painted ponies, round and round, wanting to be seen, expecting the attention. They were so full of themselves, and yet he found them vacuous. They had been enslaved by their own vanity. One by one they were drawn to the mirrors on the inner panels of the carousel. They prepped and preened, feeling entitled, feeling smug with their perceived superiority.
He had drawn them in through the mirror, and given them what they wanted most, admiration and endless beauty. They had made their deal with the devil.
There were now twelve lovely horses, riding in a perpetual circle, up and down, round and round, his collection complete.
The horses appeared to be carved of wood, caught forever mid stride, as if trying to run away. Their manes curled, decorated with flowers, their saddles shone with a gilded touch. Beautiful, yet their eyes had a wild look, their expressions frozen in a grimace, their mouths open as if to scream.
He stroked his hand down the neck of the white horse, as a man might stroke a lover’s back. “You’re looking a little worn here, Belinda. Those nasty children, they’ve kicked and scraped at your golden reins. I’ll have to touch it up for you. Wouldn’t want you to look less than perfect now, would we?”
One by one he greeted his ‘herd’, his ladies as he liked to call them, and inspected them for any imperfections. He smiled, the crowds would soon be arriving, and he wanted his fillies to look their best.