Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Sterling Smelt


A year after "The Spectra Unearthed" ends, Sterling Smelt is still feeling its effects... 



Sterling endured an hour of the celebration marking the anniversary of his brother’ s death. Crowds thronged around the storytellers, begging to be told how the evil tyrant Jasper was overthrown by his valiant cousin, our beloved king. The story unfurled in all its splendor, with great battles and contests of bravery, every stitch of evidence unearthed that would fit into the proper form. The children gasped and cheered in all the right places, the adults nodded and told each other that was exactly how it was. But they were wrong. The storytellers told no falsehoods, and yet somehow in their simplified story, they missed everything.


A spear of black obsidian pierced the sky above their heads, its glossy side scarred by the names of Jasper’ s victims. Despite its demanding presence, none of the happy crowd even glanced upward. Sterling ran a rough hand over the rock as he found the names of people he knew. Like Eben Finix, not quite sixteen, proud of the wispy beard that made him look older. Or Bruno Pierce, quiet but occasionally making some dry remark that would send his companions into gales of laughter.


Real people. Real personalities, real stories, real potential for everything wonderful in life. All gone.


Cheery music wafted from a nearby bandstand, and many of the children were dancing, free and safe and alive, while their carefree feet crushed flowers that the families of victims had planted that morning. Orange daylily flowers. Blooming one day and gone the next. They were Jasper’ s favorite, but no one knew that. No one knew he might have been up on that bandstand with his banjo, given enough encouragement. No one knew.

Monday, October 3, 2016

My Mother Loves People

 My mother loves people

the way people love chocolate
or kittens or movie theaters.
She smiles, meets their eyes, learns their names,
and speaks with sunshine in her voice.
Her easy words would be wrong on my tongue.
I love people differently.

I see a stranger. I prepare to speak
But...
What if they are offended?
What if they feel obligated to listen
when they are bored, uninterested, don't care?
Perhaps I should not risk
their happiness for my desire to connect.

Any words may give awkwardness, offense, even pain
but if I offer love
people can choose which to receive.
So I smile, meet their eyes, learn their names,
try to put Mother's sunshine in my voice.
The words are not easy but I practice, I try
because we love people,
my mother and I.

The Spectra World master maps!

  Summer is here! It's the perfect time to explore somewhere new! Sure, that might include a physical location, but I for one hope to ex...