Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Stories



It is getting late, and as luck would have it, there is a storm coming in, lovely thunder, and lightning. No one died today in tho making of the electric fence, but it is not far along, so there may be some excitement yet, but I don't think it is ready for it's own entry.

We've been all over the garden, and covered the Bengals. Mim says she thinks it is a night for more stories. Here's one...

Love and nighttime,
Lorraine

Haunted Stories


I will tell you stories tonight, as you lie in the darkness. You cannot much move yet, and you breath air that is cleaner than one can find here on Earth these days. But you can listen, and even if it hurts, I will make you laugh., and I will make you dream. , and I will make you believe, even if what I tell you is lies, and the stuff of fairy tales. Or truth so true, no one would believe it.

I could tell you of a boy who grew up in a Graveyard, and tho it will be a well known tale soon, very soon, at the moment there are not many who have heard it, and I was the first. But for one. You will love this story, and make many friends in the hearing of it.

I might regale you with the history of King's Mistress's. There were many, and they were always, then and now. They had the better end of the deal than did the wives. It was not so good to be born a Princess. In the fairy tales, they were beautiful, Damsels constantly in distress, awaiting rescue, by brave and handsome Princes. The truth is not so pretty. And neither were they, poor dears. And you had best bear a male heir..Or lose your mind, and your head for it.

I know why Romania draws people. I know why it is magic. I was there a log time ago and I knew those people. I built those cities, or caused them to be built, I knew the ones that lived there then and the ones that live there now. Some of them that were there then, are still there now. Walk softly around them, and when I tell you their tales, I will speak very softly. And only you will hear this. Listen...

Some love cats. Some think them fiends from Hell. And not the nice part. Demons, balls of fluff, claws ripping and tearing, purrs so soft they will lull you to sleep, where you WIll dream. Cats remember. Everything. They knew the first stories. They remember when they were worshipped in Temples, and sat upon bits of paper, on which were written all the prayers, the hopes and the history, of everything that has happened, or will happen one day.

Bast told me this, and I believe her. It is not wise to do anything else. Even for me. Or for you.

Do you want more stories?

I could tell you stories with my violin. That thing knows some rare tales. I could make you believe in anything. Everything. Or nothing. There are tunes that are not of this world. There are tunes that can take you, well, elsewhere. It's not fair, sometimes, I think, hen I play. They have no chance. Bit at least they are happy. For a time. They see, something. They hear, something. And they are happy. They are magic. For a time.

As you are always. Are you comfortable? Are you tired, my dear? It is not yet sunrise, and there are many more stories that can be told...

I could tell the tale that is you. And that is me.

But that is a tale for another time.

47 Comments:

At 10:24 PM , Blogger spacedlaw said...

Good mornevening!
Maybe the storms will do away with fires?

I think the Damsel constantly in distress was some tpe of scam, to have gullible (and clumsy) knights feed the dragons and the not so clumsy ones feed the damsels themselves. I wonder if they had to undergo special "getting in distress" ability classes?
I would love to hear a story from your violin...

 
At 10:31 PM , Blogger Chantrelle said...

I love the tempting of a tale...I can't really put into words right now (bedtime and all) what makes me love it but i'll try. It's the way the reader has to fill in the blanks of the stories you *could* tell (although I'm one of the lucky that knows the rest of the boy in the graveyard so that one was easy to complete), and the words your violin could speak, and the meaning of those looks from my cat--what does he know?

That one really struck me...nice goodnight story...thanks!

Briefly updated Foodporn.com tonight--inspired by all that food talk yesterday! :P

 
At 10:33 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Morning Nathiie, I think you may well be right. History is what is remembered. Stories now...

Fods, I had some thoughts, but Venus and Mim just went from zero to un-heard of in seconds....Must go throw some mousies...

I would tell you stories with my violin whenever you want. It's one of my best tricks.

 
At 10:39 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Hi Chantrelle, you slipped in there. Foodporn.com is indeed the coolest and best, we are so there!

(we can supply you with any amount of things you might find fun, and am glad this is inspiring you!)

And thank you, the very best bits about posting these is hearing what you think, how you feel and your thoughts. Seeing if what I was trying for is coming thru. I do need want the reader to fill in the blanks and make their own story...

 
At 11:50 PM , OpenID kali-licious said...

Grr..blogger ate my comment:P

Lorraine your stories get more intriguing (and addictive) as they go. There's something about not telling everything in the story that's reminding me a little of your old bandmate Steve Brust, which is a Good Thing, because I love these kinds of mysteries and puzzles in story.

Spacedlaw I love that theory about the damsels and the clumsy knights. I'm giggling while imagining what "Getting In Distress" class is like.;)

 
At 1:34 AM , Anonymous Marjorie said...

Good morning.
I love this one - all the gaps to be filled with our own imagination, and the explanation for why cats insist on sitting on pices of paper is inspired. (I've only read very quickly, as I'm in work, but I shall be re-reading this one when I am at leisure..)

Glad to hear no-one got electrocuted. I also re-read Mr Milne's pome last night and it does seem to refer specifically to Bears in London, so the not-stepping-on-cracks may not work on rural bears (although I think you should tell the bees not to step on any cracks, just in case)

 
At 5:23 AM , Blogger Dan Guy said...

I am very curious to find out what happens next in this Haunted story!

I think I may have found the starting point for my Haunted Garden story this morning. Hopefully it'll still around long enough for me to find time to write it.

 
At 6:42 AM , Blogger Phiala said...

The garden is not haunted.
Leaves rustle only from the cool night breeze.
Those flowers bloom at night for moths, not pixies.
No gnome lives in the hollow tree.
A row of garlic keeps the nonexistent vampires at bay.
Those glowing eyes definitely do not belong to a zombie.
I will go in to bed now.
The bed without the monster underneath.

 
At 6:53 AM , Blogger Jess said...

I could teach a Getting in Distress Class. ;P

Hurrah for stories and starting points! Go Dan go. And Go Lorraine, also! Lovely nod to the boss there in the second paragraph. :) I'm also liking how you're sustained the second-person voice through all of these sections. Second person is really tough to pull off; it's much harder to narrate the setting and circumstances vividly. It does help that it's dark! But it's also that the stories the speaker tells have a lot of vivid and specific sensory description.

I have this odd feeling in this section that the Listener-character has either got trapped under something, or fallen down a well, maybe, and the speaker is keeping him or her company... either through the night, or until the listener isn't able to hear. I'm not sure whether that image is coming from the story itself or if I'm simply imposing something on it... but it's sort of a haunting and lonely thought either way.

So what is everyone's favorite short story? I like Lorrie Moore's "Amahl and the Night Visitors" because it starts, Understand that your cat is a whore and can't help you. :)

 
At 6:54 AM , Blogger Jess said...

Wow! That poem rocks, Phiala! \o/ I love that.

 
At 8:05 AM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Kaali, thanks! I adore Steve Brust, and that's quite a compliment.

I am glad you are likeing them, and want more. I shall try and oblige you.

Only bears in London, eh? Good thing we have that fence....

Yea Dan! And good luck to you!

Phiala! Really lovely goodnight!

Jess, yup, nodded. I was deep in th emist of transcribing when I wrote that one.

I never thought about the whole second person viewpoint. It just seemed to be the way they were comeing out.

Impose whatever you like on them, see what you will.

Favorite short story? I will have to think on it...

I know the second scariest I ever read, that's one by Lisa Tuttle, out of Nest of Nightmares, I'll have to look up the title.

(First is hands down Snow Glass Apples.)

I willponder this, after I get to work and get some tea. How hard IS it to remember to buy MILK????

 
At 8:14 AM , Blogger Starshadow said...

I am falling in love with every tale that you post. Each word just draws me in until I reach the end, and then I tilt my head and try to imagine what things you've left unsaid. This makes for a magical, entertaining occupation!

"Cats remember. Everything."

Indeed they do!

::passes you a virtual mango tart::

:)

 
At 9:50 AM , Blogger Jess said...

Love "Snow, Glass, Apples"-- I love a fairy tale turned so completely on its head. My favorite of Neil's is actually "Bitter Grounds, " though-- I think because I can't really explain it. Okay, obviously zombies (Who doesn't love zombies?), but there's a lot more going on than that. It's one of those stories I always come back to, and which always leave me feeling a bit unsettled.

*waves to Starshadow* :)

 
At 10:27 AM , OpenID kali-licious said...

*looks over at her bookshelf where Neil and Charles De Lint and Terri Windling's faerie tale collections and the Borderlands books live*

Jess, I don't think I can pick just one..I kind of have a plethora, and I love them all.;) And I'm a Libra, which doesn't help.

Nice one, Phiala:)

 
At 10:51 AM , Blogger Chantrelle said...

I've always been a huge fan of Babycakes just for how disturbing it is. I really love Crazy Hair too although it's only out in audio form at this point...my son listens to the cd :) I have a terrible memory for things I read though so mostly I just can't remember what I've liked!

Change of topic...i have a pile of aforementioned early girl tomatoes from my garden, fillets of sole from the farmers market and, at this time, am completely uninspired...the eggplant thread was so helpful, i thought I'd throw this out! :)

 
At 11:10 AM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Thank you Starshadow! And for the mangos...

Now I have to go find Bitter Grounds, can't recall it. (Don't Tell!)

When I first read SGA, I said to Boss how extremely scary it was, and he said, "It's just (The Fairy Tale)? And that is JUST it! Exactly.

Only the person who told it lives on the side of the street where all the lights are burnt out.....

Crazy Hair will be out soon I believe, I have seen the proofs...

Tomatoes and sole? I am not very good with fish. (OK, read: Crap!) But you might cook them down with onions and garlic, perhaps spinach, and serve it as a side for the broiled fish....

Googleing "Dover Soul Tomatoes" produces an astonishing aray of option...And not just for food.

 
At 11:56 AM , Blogger Rubius said...

I haven't spent enough time looking at your writing to be able to express myself about your stories yet. I am trying to let it sink in so I can come up with relevant and accurate statements about how I feel about them. I had a busy weekend and I haven't caught up on the past blog posts yet (too stressed to put pleasure before business right now) Hopefully I will have some time soon.

In the meantime though... tomatoes!!! ach.. I must admit that I have been dreading a 'recipe for tomato' conversation here (I could see it was coming from a long way back) since I am pretty sure that I am allergic to tomatoes and I have been assiduously avoiding them for the last year or so... you see the problem is that I LOVE tomatoes and all the things you make with them (like pasta sauce, tomatoes on sandwiches, lasagne, tomato based soup, veggie drinks, ketchup (okay so I don't love ketchup but I like it), pizza, etc)... and I am suffering without them.

That said... one of my favourite things to do with tomatoes comes from my mom. She grows her own basil and tomatoes so when she wants a snack to go with dinner she places large fresh basil leaves on a plate, places slices of tomato on top, then drizzles oil and vinegar lightly over the whole thing and sprinkles salt and pepper to taste.

That is what I would recommend if you have the ingredients. Dead simple and VERY tasty.... that or make bruschetta (groan... now this is torture.. thinking of all these dishes).

 
At 12:03 PM , Blogger Chantrelle said...

Oh no, sorry to hear about the allergy. I've got a good friend who is deathly allergic to tomatoes... like end up in the hospital allergic. Not a fun allergy to have!

my early girls don't have the texture I like for just slicing and eating although they do work for bruschetta. I was going to make bruschetta with the eggplant pate recipe i posted in the other thread. Maybe I will just make a basic tomato sauce to put on the fish... sigh... I still have hours until dinner, maybe something will come to me.

 
At 12:06 PM , Blogger spacedlaw said...

Gougeonnettes de sole meunière?
Cut each single filet in two, dip quickly in flour and sauté in butter, serve with lemon juice. Simple but excellent AND does not cover the very subtle taste of sole-
Now if you want to do something a little more extravagant, ypu'd need to chop onions finely (say one onion for about 3 soles) and some mushrooms as well (my recipe says 8oz).
Fry onions, mushroom with the zest of one lemon and fresh thyme in butter.
season your single fillets and curl them loosely in buttered ramekins (not sure if that is an English word as well) then tuck the onions/mushroom mixture in and dot with a knob of buter. cover each dish with a slice of lemon. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
You could make a version of this with the white of some leeks (thinly sliced) or spring onions and a little grated ginger instead of the more robust onion and mushroom mixture - it would respect more the taste of the fish, I think.
Tomatoes can be eaten in a salad or sliced in two and sprinkled with salt and let to drip they excess water before cooking in a low oven for 2 hours (with oil and rosmary on top).

 
At 12:19 PM , Blogger Phiala said...

" Only the person who told it lives on the side of the street where all the lights are burnt out....."

Lorraine, you put it so perfectly!

Glad y'all like my garden bit. That sort of thing is why I love walking to work - gives me some braindrift time, and occasionally I dredge up something interesting.

 
At 12:26 PM , Blogger Chantrelle said...

Oooh, i like that ramekin idea...a new approach :)
Maybe I'll do that. I was just looking at the ramekins in the cupboard thinking I hadn't used them in a while!

yesterday I made a simple syrup with lemon verbena from the garden... I put it over strawberries last night. I think I may use it for a drink tonight -- Yum!

Okay, I'm hungry and it's lunchtime!

 
At 12:27 PM , Blogger spacedlaw said...

You could pour it over plain yoghurt (or vanilla) ice cream...

 
At 12:42 PM , Blogger spacedlaw said...

And I have just put the aubergine and rice cake recipe up.

 
At 1:11 PM , Blogger Chantrelle said...

Just made a simple verbena soda...the syrup and pellegrino. yum.
Ice cream was my first thought last night and we didn't have any...i have to get milk at the store (I too forgot...really, how hard is it?) and maybe i'll get ice cream while i'm there.

 
At 1:37 PM , Blogger Jess said...

Thing is, in a Boss Story it's the sodium-yellow lights you have to worry about, not darkness. Nothing good happens under sodium-yellow light. :D

The best poems happen in braindrift! Yay for drifting brains.

Mmm, another foooood thread.... *drool*

A tomato allergy is a terrible thing to have! Practically everything I like to cook has tomatoes in it... I would have suggested simply roasting the fish with the tomatoes, but that's because I lean toward one-pot meals. Throw it all together in the oven and walk away: that's my philosophy. :)

Seems like a good time to put up the curry recipe we did last night, though. For two, with leftovers:

1. Cut up a chicken breast, peel and mince three or four garlic cloves and a walnut-sized piece of ginger, mix it all up in a bowl with a little olive oil (say a tablespoon or two) and leave it to marinate in the fridge for at least two hours.

2. Chop up one or two red chilli peppers (depending how nuclear you like your curries), an onion, and any other veggie you'd like to throw in-- an eggplant, or a small summer squash, are both good. Saute the onion and the eggplant or squash till everything starts to go tender, and the onion's begun to caramelize a bit. Add the chillies and a teaspoon or so each of ground cumin, ground coriander, and turmeric. Stir for a minute or so. Try not to sneeze when the chilli fumes hit you in the face.

3. Dice two large tomatoes and add to the pan-- or a 14 oz can-o-tomatoes with their juice, or one of each-- and simmer for 6-8 minutes. If you're using fresh toms, you might want to add a little water.

4. Stir in the chicken with its marinade, add a little more water if it looks too dry, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes till the chicken is cooked through. Garnish with fresh cilantro if you've got it and serve with steamed basmati and some nan bread. Om nom nom.

 
At 2:15 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

You guys may be able to cook, but I just successfully registered for college, starting next week!!

And I may have been a little naive about the entire process, apparently one does not just waltz in and sign up, but I did it. HA!!!!

And made a lot of new friends in the process, they will not forget me soon...

 
At 2:28 PM , Blogger Rubius said...

Congrats L!! How could anyone forget you??? You do have a commanding presence you know.. I remember the first time I saw you. I was on the 3rd floor of the Balticon hotel wandering off to the conchair's room and I looked out a window and there you were on the ground floor in a courtyard, dealing with work stress on your cell. I thought 'That's HER!!!' THE Fabulous Lorraine!!! Could tell right away. Your presence in the courtyard DEMANDED that my eyes look that direction, and I smiled my secret smile.

Tomato allergy sucks, it is true, particularly since it makes the prospect of drastically increasing my veggie intake difficult (no more canned soups or veggie drinks since they ALL have tomato in them) but I really shouldn't be complaining (and I don't mean to complain here anyway) particularly since I am not at the deathly allergic phase. I know someone who is allergic to the sun, chocolate, milk, citrus (including especially kiwis and strawberries), metal and her own cats... now SHE has allergy issues. I truly don't know how I would be able to deal if I had her allergies. And she is the one who is helping me deal with mine. What a friend.

 
At 2:31 PM , Anonymous Marjorie said...

Well done on registering - is this the French class you were takling about, or something new?

 
At 2:32 PM , Anonymous Marjorie said...

Or talking, even. Must stop trying to type late at night...

 
At 2:41 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Hee-hee, glad to hear about this commanding presence!

I was dealing with Crusty Older Man who did not seem to be either a people person or a yes person. SO when he said "Garland, ha, you related to Judy?' I said, kid you not..."yes. They call me LIZA, short for Lorraine, and I am a bloody celebrity, and I'd appreciate it if you would start treating me like one"

His next words? "HA! I like you. Give me that" faxes my Paper, Fod knows what it was for, and gets on the phone and I hear...Yea, enter this now, she's a CELEBRITY I'll get you an autographed photo....

Weird world.

We nearly de-railed once again when they needed my high school info. Uh, right, and then I thought, Like they are going to CHECK???And made it up.

Yes, this is all for my French. I will speak this. Oh yes.

 
At 2:42 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Where are you that it is so late at night , Marjorie? And not to worry, I can do that ANY time, day or night...

 
At 2:48 PM , Blogger arwenn said...

Congrats on registering!! I just finished my long-abandoned bachelors degree online while also attending community college for paralegal classes and working full-time. So, it can absolutely be done.....good luck!!

I found it challenging but very empowering...plus getting graded is kind of a trip after so long out of school.

 
At 2:53 PM , Blogger Rubius said...

Now THAT's the way to deal with Crustier Old Men!!

Well done.

 
At 3:17 PM , Blogger scored4life said...

Way to go Lorraine! I've often had people tell me that if you are smart enough to get through the counterintuitive quagmire that is the registration process, then your smart enough to pass. I personally don't see quite how they relate, but I fully understand the sentiment.

I'll do my best to keep up on things but as I am attempting to move this weekend (and all the font on this page is set at like 3.14) (Darn Safari!) I may fall a bit behind. But I promise to make the gigs! I'll need some sanity this weekend.

 
At 3:18 PM , Blogger K said...

Too busy to come up with anything coherent, but go you!

 
At 3:32 PM , Blogger ivenotime said...

Echoing K, only too braindead to add a whole lot - way to go Lorraine - I work at a college and still had a boatload of problems helping my daughter register! Hope you enjoy your class! Enjoyed your story - the cat part was particularly neat. Phiala - great poem! and more good recipes! Kristina, that is a bummer about tomatoes - my sister-in-law has developed an allergy to preservatives and she is in the same boat as you - they are in everything. Arwenn, wow, hats off to you for achieving all those goals - really wonderful! hope all have a wonderful evening - i have to finish this sculpture by tomorrow a.m. so hope it goes well.

 
At 4:49 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Thanks! I felt rather proud as it could have , and nearly did, go very badly. Anyone who manages it is very, very good.

It got funny when it came time to PAY for the thing. They were very vague, said things like "another building" and "you can pay when ever you want" "but you won't get credit until you do."

Since I am auditing this class, and the only credit I will be GETTING is from my personal satisfaction, and perhaps pats on the back from all of you, this seems silly...

Being treated like a STUDENT after so long out of school is weird, I think. But yes, Arwen, kudos to us, can be done.

Nice icon, Dr Score, had I been missing that? And yes, moving or no, do , please come to the gig Friday and Saturday. When I say I wouldn't have any fun without you, I MEAN THAT!

Good luck on the sculpture, Sue!

 
At 4:49 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

And what is UP with Safari?????

 
At 7:18 PM , Blogger Rubius said...

sorry, no idea about how safari is faring.. I've been using Firefox lately.

I hope you enjoy it. I have this half-inclination to go back... but not yet... not yet.

good luck Sue!

I just wanted to share this video by Apocalyptica. I have been listening to it all day. I love strings.

 
At 7:24 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

I love them, wonderful fun!

I will enjoy it, they will teach me to speak French, which Underworld, my cd and book and Nathilie have failed to do.

(Tho in Nathilie's defense, we don't live in the same country and only ever spent three days together, and I had a gig every night, perhaps she is not to blame)

 
At 7:38 PM , Blogger Rubius said...

I think we can forgive Nat. It was a busy weekend... but so much fun!!

It is true... when movies, cds, books and personal osmosis (over 3 days) fails ... and when one is desperate I suppose one MUST resort to the 'traditional' method of 'teachers' and 'classes'. hehe.

rockin by cello dude!!

 
At 7:39 PM , Blogger Rubius said...

I can't quite help myself.. it just kinda makes me giggle.

 
At 7:52 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Very funny, hee-hee..Yes, when one gets desparate enough to give up on Underworld as a mthod of learning French, school might just be an option.

"Fod! Please let me speak French, I so want to speak French"

"Hey, meet half way, take a class"

 
At 8:41 PM , Blogger ariandalen said...

Interesting, Ms. Fabulous! I'm trying to decide if this installment is before everything you've shown us, or after. What a tease this character is, "I could tell you this story...or this...or this..." without ever really telling those stories. Hmmm...

Congratulations on registering, Ms. Fabulous! And congratulations to you, Arwenn! That is quite an accomplishment! A very good friend of mine is finishing up her Masters of Information Systems, which she took online, and said it was harder than going to class.

Wonderful poem, Phiala! My first response was, "Oooo!" That's still pretty much my response.

I don't know that I have a favorite short story. I have one that I read in a textbook in either 8th or 9th grade that I couldn't find again. It was by Ray Bradbury, and was part of the Martian Chronicles. The story was about a family that set up a homestead on Mars, planted carrots, and gradually, from eating the food they grew, became Martians. A few months after reading it, I couldn't find it again in my textbook, nor is it in the book The Martian Chronicles. Has anybody else read this short story?

Have you read "The Boy Who Drew Cats?" It is a Japanese tale. Then there is Tanith Lee's Red as Blood: Tales from the Sisters Grimmer. I have always considered Anderson's "The Red Shoes" pretty scary.

 
At 9:06 PM , Blogger spacedlaw said...

Congratulations about foxing those people into registering you, Lorraine.
When you have learned the basics, maybe we could try to get you on Yahoo Messenger and we can indulge in a little live PC to PC chat (I do that with my mother and it's a great way to talk - and sharing pictures or texts - without using the telephone...) because nothing really works better than actually using the language.

 
At 9:08 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Spacelaw, YES! I am so all for that idea and I thank you!!!!!!!!

I really want to learn this...

 
At 5:37 AM , Blogger pantagruel said...

So much to catch up on. Fod, I get swamped for a couple of days at work, and look what happens!

Registering for something unusual like an audited class as a non-matriculated student is not easy at all, so congratulations for besting the bureaucracy! I've been in academia in one form or another for most of my life, and it can be baffling to non-initiates.

Paul, why do you have that particular sigil as your icon? Anything you care to tell us? You summoning demons to help you with your move? (I get the pain and suffering of moving, having just finished mine, but dude -- you do not want to pay their rates.)

 

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