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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Christmas #2 - The Bucket List - GBE2 #28

The Bucket List
GBE2 #26

Eva, yeah that’s my name.  Eva the Diva as Grandmother calls me.  I remember.  I’ve “come to” again.  My naturally curly hair, normally kept at a close crop, is feeling sweaty and grubby.  I try to imagine how long I have been chained to this dank chamber.  I try to remember what got me here to begin with. 

It started with a panic call from my Aunt Wendy.  Aunt Wendy is the polar opposite of my mother.  While Mom was born with sparse yellow-white hair, Aunt Wendy was born with a mass of jet black hair.  Mom is a regular “Suzie Homemaker” and Aunt Wendy has cats.  The list goes on and on.  The one thing they have in common?  Family.  Yep, it’s political.

Aunt Wendy was heading to a convent.  The boys were locating Mom and Dad.  Scarlet and I were going to the local Bishop, a friend of ours, to try to get some skinny from him.  Yeah, I know, it’s all political.  Anyhow, the Pope’s network is rather sophisticated and it doesn’t do any harm keeping an eye on what everyone else has to work with.  Pretty awesome!  That was what came to my mind.  WOW!  Behind those silky robes, those old geezers could put a hustle on when things needed to get done!

Bishop MacGregor knows Scarlet well.  They are old friends.  He got word to the Pope regarding Scarlet wanting to meet with him.  They all knew Scarlet’s coven had nothing to do with people disappearing.  They all knew Scarlet and I just wanted to help.  We wanted answers.  We wanted to know that Aunt Wendy made it to the convent and that she was being looked after. 

Scarlet and I had been ushered into the working room.  Row upon row of computers, lighting signals, state of the art configurations and then the quiet room for divinations.  I was very impressed.  Keeping up with technology is tough enough for those of us growing up with it as part of everyday.  For these guys, to have technology down this well….what can I say, I went in there expecting carrier pigeons.  My mouth hung open with amazement.

The ache in my shoulders brings me back to the cell I am in.  Or chamber, or room, or really dark cave.  I have no idea and my head hurts beyond belief.  Whoever beaned me, I sure hope I get to meet you again!  Judging from the soreness in my shoulders, arms and legs I have been chained up for at least one day.  Man, am I thirsty.  So dry, I can’t lick my lips.  Gonna drink Lake Michigan when I get outta here!

People were disappearing.  Not just a couple of people, but whole groups of them.  Not just random groups, but groups of people who were forming political rallies.  The disappearances were even on TV!  Right before our very eyes, hundreds of people just..just…vanished.  Not good.  Disappearing masses is never a good thing. Those of us in mystic circles are supposed to keep a low profile.  This is not a good thing. 
Miah called Scarlet.  I was a bit distracted by all the goings on in the room, but not distracted enough not to notice how agitated Scarlet was.  Mom and Dad were two of the missing.  Mom and Dad had been at the latest rally.  Mom and Dad were G-O-N-E!!  And we had no idea where.

As Sergeant Friday used to say, “Gotta start at the start”.  Whatever, we began our search by finding out which rally they had attended.  Luckily for us one of my young brothers, Logan, had just talked with the folks that morning. 

Mom and Dad had gone downtown to the local “Occupy Wall Street” rally.  I didn’t know either of the cared.  Mom’s normal stance is on healthy food supplies.  Families.  It’s political enough for me!  Bishop MacGregor had his team pull the latest up on screen to review.  It took a few moments, but sure enough, there were our parents.  When it’s your family, they stick out like sore thumbs.  They were looking around, almost furtively.  Mom’s eyes lit up and a grin spread across her face.  She began waving her arms, apparently trying to get someone’s attention.  The technician panned south. There grinning like a lizard and waving just as hard as Mom, was Aunt Wendy.  They were meeting at the rally.  They were meeting!  Scarlet and I exchanged a look.  The look told me she was just as puzzled as I was.

Ok, so Aunt Wendy was freaked because Mom, Dad and about two hundred other people disappeared into thin air right in front of her.  Sorry, that is not the end of it.  Aunt Wendy may have gotten freaked out, but she wouldn’t just run off to a convent over this.  She would have started swinging her fists!  What have I missed? 

Brother, I sure hope Scarlet didn’t get nabbed like I did.  Now…how did that all go down?!  Remember, Eva, remember!  All the pieces of the puzzle are right there in front of you.  Who would be nabbing people?  And why?!  Right there on worldwide television.  No secreting them off.  Some sort of message was being sent, and I had to learn the hard way…got nabbed myself. 

We walked into the local “Neutral Ground”.  It’s a coffee house, that is quite literally neutral ground.  Pun-tastic!  We thought if we hung out for a while we would hear some of the gossip.  We thought we could ruffle a few feathers  (literally there are any number of clientele with feathers) and pick up some news of our parents and what in the world had been happening.  Rather than get any news, all we heard was Chicken Little sputtering his usual nonsense.  Rather than pick up any information, I got just a tad to hopped up on caffeine!  Scarlet decided it was time to take things more than just one step further.

We hopped into her electric car, her license plate cracks me up; New Broom!  Surprisingly, that electric car moves like the wind!  She must have it hopped up on more than just caffeine.  Lickety split, we were back at the coven/corporate headquarters.  Riding to her office in the elevator, I was struck by how terse she had become.  It was as if, for the first time since we were kids, Scarlet didn’t know anything at all about what or why things were happening. 

I flopped into my usual spot; her soft, burgundy, leather couch I am so fond of.  One of a set.  Yes, her office is large enough to accommodate them with room enough to polka left over. 

Scarlet snapped open her control panel.  She dialed up the brothers.  Julian was driving his latest sports car to Mom and Dad’s house.  Miah, in his suv, was headed to double check on Grandmother and Logan, on one of his motorcycles, was on his way to join Scarlet and I.  Ok, all siblings accounted for.  None of them had any other personal contacts who had disappeared.  We decided to contact our main contact in the Homeland Security. It meant dealing with werewolves again. 

A surprising number of  the law enforcement are werewolves.  They have the nose for it!  They are typically the “straight up sort” who want things presented in straightforward fashion.  No games.  No covert actions.  Just straight forward information.  I respect that thought process, however, it doesn’t actually encompass all thought process.  It’s this reason, werewolves seldom make good detectives.  Ninety-nine percent of crime is straightforward, so ninety-nine percent of the time, they have it licked. I had a feeling this was falling into the one percentile. 

Whenever Scarlet and I walk into that cop-shop, heads swivel.  I like to think I am a part of the reason, but I know it’s Scarlet.  She just has that presence.  As though she has always owned the place and why in the world would you think you are good enough to question her?!  I know most of the fellas working the phones today.  They all nod their heads at me and stare at Scarlet.  What are ya gonna do? It is what it is, as my Uncle Brad would say.

I arch my back and move my legs again.  The blood has begun to coagulate.  I ought to have some doozies of scars to show off.  I’m thinking my days as a nylon stocking model are probably never going happen.  My ankles are swollen and my baby toe is starting to carry the wrong color.  When I get home, I’m gonna write down my bucket list.  I’m going to take some time off.  I’m going to enjoy myself.  I’m going to allow the government, the coven and the coven’s corporation to pay for a very long vacation.  During my vacation I fully intend to complete that bucket list.  When I get home….

Christmas #1 - Hindsight BFF #144

BFF #144

They say it’s 20/20.  Don’t believe them.  They don’t actually “know” everything.  The vision you have of the past and how it could have met the present with an alternate ending, is only speculation.  Hindsight.  If everything had fallen in place with an alternate spin, with more information, better cooperation, even nicer weather.  Hindsight.  It’s called that because it is behind you.  Don’t look back with regret or longing…simply look back to learn enough to look forward!  Otherwise, those same mistakes are going to be made again and again.

Here I was, chained inside some dark dank place only Heaven knows where.  I’m cold.  I’m thirsty.  My wrists and ankles hurt.  If I wasn’t so frightened, I would think this was some cliché from a “B” rated horror movie.  The place stinks of all sorts of smells, none of which are equated with a field of flowers.  I hear both screams and moans of the tormented.  I can do nothing but reflect.   Woulda-coulda-shoulda.

We had just begun planning the winter holidays.  When the call came in.  I was at Grandmother’s house.  Grandmother has a small two bedroom, yellow sided, lots of flowers, kettle always on the stove for tea, white picket fence sort of a house.  We were lounging around her backyard trying to make plans, via skipe and e-mail with the rest of my family.   My siblings have other obligations to specific days of the calendar year. My four siblings and I are cooperative.  I am a sorceress, a freelance detective and I sell minor spells to supplement my income.  My three brothers and sister are corporate Wicca. 

Baby of the family, Scarlett is the “head mistress” or CEO of the coven/corporation.  The three brothers are general managers of three divisions within the coven/corporation.  Yeah, I know, it bugs Scarlett too.  But, I think they are one and the same;  A hive of people all working towards the same end. Just like a coven, corporations can be good magic or bad magic it all depends on the end goal. 

Scarlett and the brothers are of the good variety.  They have renovated an abandoned brown space manufacturing plant and with the help of like minded (other cooperative covens/corporations) people, they made the building a green space.  Cleaned up the ground the building sits on, put in reverse osmosis water plant to clean the water, and even has a park for wildlife.  After all, wouldn’t the coven be remiss if it didn’t have its wildlife nearby?  Next time you travel, take a look around the buildings closest to the park…you’ll see what I mean.  Next time you travel, take a look at your friends who need to be “nearest nature”.  You’ll see.

Just because they need to be close to nature, doesn’t mean they are specifically Wiccan.  It simply means they have an “alternate” calling.  You’ve seen the show “Grimm”.  If you didn’t like it, it probably cut too close to home.  Which “fairy tale” character do you have running through your blood lines?

I try stretching my back to relieve the pain between my shoulders.  I learn the hard way, most of the time.  At least that’s what my Grandmother always tells me.  She tells me I’m as stubborn as my Aunt Wendy.  Only when Grandmother says it, it’s Aunt Windy.  So, Aunt Wendy hacked into my skipe session with Julian my older brother.  Aunt Wendy was all out of breath and hysterical.  Trust me, Aunt Wendy never gets hysterical.  Shouting mad, yes.  Fist pounding irate, yes.  Hysterical, not a chance.  But this time….she was frightened beyond anything I had ever seen.

Aunt Wendy didn’t get much out before she shouted she had to leave her apartment and head for Holy Ground.  That was our clue as to where to find her.  She would be found at St Jerome Catholic Convent.  She was scared.  Got my attention!    My family in trouble, makes the hair on the back of my neck stand on end and my Irish Clansmen joins forces with the African Warrior Princess of my heritage.  I would not leave until I knew my Grandmother was safe.  Grandmother and I put more protections around the house.  We reminded the flowers that they were as much for warning as for beauty.  We reminded the picket fence it was kept so white and pure to keep evil out.  We reminded the graceful elm (that sheds it’s leaves and makes me sneeze!) that it too was there to keep prying eyes from peering down upon my Grandmother.  With her safely stocked and protected, I knew the rest of us could figure out what was happening.

Meanwhile, my siblings were hastily trying to find our parents.  Mom is a bit of an activist, dragging Pop’s along with her.  Not that he minds.  Most of the time he agrees whole heartedly with her, but with her presence he actually does something about those gut feelings.  (nah, not Wiccan, just empathic)  Plus, after bailing her out of jail a couple of times, he tags along to make sure she doesn’t go too far.

I try moving my legs again.  My calves are beginning to cramp up.  Moving my legs requires me to come back to the “here and now”.  I ache so badly.  I need to review the events to date.  I need to go over what I know.  I desperately need some hindsight. I have tried slipping out of the cuffs.  My wrists, hands, ankles and feet are now bloodied and skinned.  I imagine the next horrific thing will be that my captors let hungry rats loose into my chamber…..