Biting, snapping, painful
A few icy flakes
Frozen pellets blowing in the gale
A whirlwind of snowy bullets
That melt upon hitting the ground
Until darkness cools the ground
And all the liquid deviltry
Into slick, dangerous glass on roads and sidewalks
Covered by the continuing snow.
Silly question really because the plans I am worrying over are all long range plans; nothing as easy as should I have chicken for dinner or go for a drive on the weekend. My dilemma is do I pursue my charter school idea or do I continue the path I am on now and buy my cabin and travel. Both ideas get me excited. I just don’t think I can do both successfully.
I love my job. Currently, I am the reading specialist and 6th grade English teacher at a charter school. I know I am making an impact in many children’s lives. I could easily continue to do this happily for the rest of my career.
A few years ago, I was part of a team who was writing an application for a charter school. Our team spent a lot of time planning how the school would operate and going to trainings to learn the best ways of writing the application. We went to Santa Fe and defended our application. It was rejected the first time; however, we were given many ideas on how to make the application stronger for the next year. Unfortunately, before we got very far into the second application, our team fell apart. And then, my marriage fell apart. I am not sure what happened to the charter school plan as I have lost contact with the rest of the team over the years.
The idea of creating a school has stuck with me over the years. I have a plan in mind. I would like it to be a STEM school, focusing on life and earth sciences. We would have access to irrigation, so water usage, water resources, and environmental studies would be important. There would be a community garden, which would be used, in part, to feed the students in the cafeteria. I would also like to have small animals, such as chickens or rabbits. These aspects would also allow for agricultural sciences and biology. I have not started planning the application or gotten anywhere beyond the daydream stage with this, but I think it is a viable idea for a school.
I have a couple of things I need to do before I get serious about this daydream. And, interestingly, they are the same things I need to do if I don’t. I need to do my dossier to move to a level 3 teaching license in New Mexico. I am planning to do that this spring. I am four classes away from completing an administrative license and since I am so close, I should finish it. I’ve thought seriously about working on my doctorate, although that is on hold for now and not really necessary for either of my plans. Finally, and probably most importantly, I need to get the disaster which is my personal budget figured out. I am working on it but have a long way to go.
Now, for the other option, I would still want to complete all of the above. I would like to buy a cabin in the woods and a house in town. Nothing big or too expensive in either case. The advantage of this option is that I will have time to do many of the things I enjoy. I would be able to continue working on my writing and my crafty things. And I would be able to travel! By not committing myself to a large, time-consuming project, I would be able to enjoy many of the things I want to do. I would also continue to teach, so would still have the satisfaction of helping others and making an impact on my students’ lives.
I know this isn’t a decision I have to make right now. I can continue with what I am doing for now and make the choices when the time is right. And I’m sure that it would be possible to do both, it just wouldn’t be easy. It’s exciting either way!
You were the complication I didn’t need.
With your smiling eyes
Treated me like a queen
Left me reeling
Bones turned to gelatin
Brains to mush
Like a cat heading to prowl
We fit together so perfectly
Following your magic hands
Nerve-endings on alert
Feeling the rush
As passion crashes over us
Our pleasure to the heavens
I wasn’t looking for this
This need, like a bullet to the brain
Begging for more
Knowing I should run
Yet wondering just where
Into your waiting arms?
Or as far as fast away
With you on my mind
So many many years ago, I fell in love. I didn’t know at the time I was in love…figured I was too young and afraid to commit to anything. Afraid to defy my parents.
That man stayed on my mind for years. I thought about him all the time, even through a marriage. After my first divorce, I located him and we did talk. He was with someone else, but it was good hearing from him.
A couple of years ago, we reconnected on Facebook. I was married, although we separated a couple months later. He chatted with me a lot through my break up and will always hold a piece of my heart for being there for me when I needed support. He is with someone now and I wish the two of them all the happiness in the world.
Somehow over the last couple years, I have found my own strength and realized that I am pretty happy on my own, living my life the way I want. I also realized that the boy I fell in love with and who had lived in my mind for so many years was not the man he actually became. I had changed him into someone of my own making over time.
Ghosts in the Shadows
Walking down by the river
Deep in the underbrush
I found you
Hidden in the shadows.
Memories flood my mind
Like unshed tears
As I realize
Those memories aren’t memories at all
Rather manufactured dreams
Dreams of how we could have been together
If we had stayed together
Ghosts of a past
That never really existed
How can I hold you if you were never real to start with
How can I look the real you in the eye
Knowing that my remembrances
Over all these years
Have been altered to fit my ideals
You have been changed
Watching the mist change with the rising sun
I see the ethereal vision of you
Fade into the mystical magical
And know that the dream will remain
Even if you never reappear.
Sitting here, staring down at the yawning abyss before me, I realize that I have to make a decision and I have to make it now. Do I plunge into the gaping hole, into the unknown? Or do I retreat back to the comfort of my middle-class suburban life? Will I be able to live with myself if I back down now? Will I survive if I go?
I am reminded of the lyrics to an old Kinks tune. “Should I stay or should I go now? If I stay it will be trouble, if I go it will be double.” I know that my meaning is not their meaning but it really doesn’t matter. I am faced with an impossible choice.
As I sit, pondering my alternatives, my mind slips to my family. They are at the center of this dilemma. They will be most affected by whatever choice I make. Will they think badly of me? What will they do if I don’t come out of this alive and whole?
I am in agony, unable to sleep. My dreams are full of screams and sweat. My waking hours spent trying to keep everything together. I feel as if I am being torn apart. I know that once the choice is made there can be no turning back. I will not be given this chance again. If I back down now, I will face the probable destruction of my safe, comfortable life.
Friday afternoon, I stand in line to get my check. I am lost in the realization that this is the last step before my life will change forever. My mind is on the task ahead.
“Hmmmm.What!” I am jogged from my reverie. I look up and see Scott standing before me. “Oh hi Scott. What’s going on?”
“Nothing much. Man, you were pretty deep in thought there. Is everything okay?”
“Yeah. Just have a lot on my mind.”
“What are your plans for the weekend?”
“Not sure yet. I have a couple of things I need to work out tonight.”
Just then the secretary comes in and starts handing out the checks. I take mine and start to walk away.
“Hey Kerry. If you aren’t busy a bunch of us are gonna go out tomorrow night.”
“I’ll let you know. Have a good one.”
I walk out of the building and to my car quickly. There are a ton of things I need to finish before I go. I have prepared everything for the possibility that I won’t be here on Monday. I get in my car and drive away.
Once my check is cashed and the gas tank filled, I drive to an area near my work where there is a fantastic overlook of the entire city. I sit on the hood of my car and stare out at the scenery. Do I have what it takes? Can I really just drive away and leave all of this? I begin feeling better about my decision. I have chosen correctly and now that remains is to see if I have the courage to see it through.
I get in the car and drive to the freeway onramp. The final test will come soon. Will I stay on the highway or get off on my familiar off ramp? Can I bypass the exit? Traffic is bad, if I don’t get over soon I will miss it. I drive past the exit and out of town. I have butterflies in my stomach and my throat is dry. I pull off the highway at a gas station for a drink. Once rehydrated, I get back in the car and continue my journey.
Night falls. I keep driving. I need to get as far away from home as possible before I stop. After twenty hours on the road, I can go no further. I find a rundown motel at the edge of a town. They rent rooms by the hour, day, week or month. Checking in, I pay for the room for a week up front. I settle in and then go across the parking lot to the restaurant for lunch.
My last meal…. Knowing this I choose the most expensive item on the menu: sirloin steak and eggs. The food is greasy and the waitress isn’t much better. She is pretty rude, but I leave a decent tip anyway.
I go back to the room and lock the door. I change into sweatpants and a t-shirt. I am so exhausted that I decide to sleep before finishing the job. I sleep, a deep, dreamless sleep, for more than twenty-four hours. When I awake, I realize that by know my boss is realizing that I will not be coming in. I feel a slight twinge of regret knowing that my children, my babies, have to go to school without seeing me. I wish I had been able to say goodbye to them. I think about calling them, but if I do I have failed. I consider just going home, play it off as another bored suburban housewife taking a vacation.
I get the phone and dial the now-familiar number. His voice resounded through my head.
“I had about decided that you had changed your mind, my dear.”
“No. I drove as far away as I could and then had to sleep. I wanted to be well rested before I saw you. “
“Okay, that is good because it will be a while before you have a chance to sleep again.”
His voice gave me the shivers. I thought of what he said and what was before me. Was it worth it?
“You aren’t getting cold feet now are you?”
“No, I am ready. What do you need me to do?”
“Nothing really. Just lay down and try to sleep some more.”
“Okay. I will see you later?”
“Yes. You will see me sooner than you might think.”
I hung up the phone and lay down on the bed. I had no idea how I was going to sleep.
I feel him coming into the room. I could sense his presence even though my eyes were closed. The room is increasingly getting warmer, too warm in fact. I can smell sulfur, like the smell of a match being lit. I open my eyes and look around. I am in a large, cave-like room. There is a huge fire in the center of the room. That must be why it is so warm. I wonder why he built it so large. By the fire there is a pile of skins. It looks as if he is planning that to be our bed.
I hear a small noise. I turn. There he is. A huge man dressed in a black tuxedo. He looks as if he is planning to go to a party rather than fulfilling a contract in a cave. He looked as out of place in this room as I felt.
“Why are we in a cave?”
“Shall I make it more comfortable?” He raised his arm. Instantly, the room was transformed to a luxurious bedroom. The fire was still roaring, in a fireplace now. It was still quite warm. I found myself lying on a huge four-poster bed that was heaped with pillows and blankets.
“Is this better?”
“A little. It is too warm. I kind of wish that it wasn’t so obvious what was going to happen.”
“Get used to the warmth. I didn’t see any reason to waste energy on unnecessary things. I would think you would want me to conserve my energy.” He laughed wickedly.
While he was getting the paperwork for the contract together, I reflected on what I had done. I was entering into a contract with a demon to keep my family from living on the streets. When he had contacted me, my house was in foreclosure and my car was falling apart. I was considering bankruptcy or suicide. Whatever I needed to do to insure that my family would survive.
One afternoon I called on a personal ad, which claimed to solve all legal problems. The man who answered made an appointment for me the next day. In exchange for sex, they would pay all of my bills and make sure that my family was cared for. They had taken care of the mortgage already. I needed to make my first payment to them.
I was starting to get really nervous now. Would this be like sex with a human? I had no way of knowing what this demon would expect. I also did not know if he was going to release me to go home or not. That part was unclear to me. I had been so desperate to save my family that I signed the paperwork anyway.
He came back into the room. The receipt of my payment to them was ready.
“Alright, my dear. Here is the receipt. You will receive it when we are done and then you can go back to your old life until next month.”
“So, I will make monthly payments? For how long?”
“For the rest of your natural life. Didn’t you read the contract before you signed it?”
“Sort of. I was pretty desperate.”
“Okay.” He was very patient, like he was speaking to a child. “This is the terms of our agreement. We paid off your house. When you get home we will start depositing money to cover your other bills into your account. You will receive enough money to cover your bills each month for the rest of your life. You will pay us with sexual favors. These favors will be proportionate to the money we give you. You will have children for us and raise them to be normal human children. At the age of five, we will bring them into our realm for training. We figure you have two or three more children in you before you are no longer good for breeding stock. At that point, we will just use you as a playmate. You will continue to serve us until your death. And then your soul will belong to us.”
“So, I really sold my soul to pay my bills off? I can’t believe I did this. I know I didn’t see all of this on the contract I signed, but I did sign it. I guess I will have to make the best of it. The one advantage was that they were going to allow me to go home.
He came and wrapped his arms around me. I was trembling, this was the part I had been dreading.
“Don’t worry, my dear. I won’t hurt you more than is necessary. I will take care of you.” He began to kiss my neck. His lips feel cold on my skin. Everything else is so incredibly hot that I feel faint.
“Wait…I don’t know….”
“Darling, the time for uncertainty has passed. You entered the contract knowing what I wanted in return. It is time for you to pay for my services.”
I don’t know what to say and I know there is no escape. I am trying to relax and I know that he senses that. He begins to move his hands over me, removing my clothing as he goes. When I am standing naked before him, he releases a hiss and I see his tongue. It is forked like a snake. I moan and all goes black.
When I come to, he is kneeling over me, running his snake tongue over my body. He gives me a wicked grin when my eyes open.
“Ahhhhh you are awake. I didn’t want to finish without you.”
With a deft move, he parts my legs and enters me. He moves quickly, the heat building. I can hardly stand it. He begins hissing again. Despite my fear and revulsion, I feel my body betray me. I cry out as I reach a climax. He hisses once more and collapses upon me. Amazingly, instead of crushing me he gets lighter. I look at him amazed. He gradually shrinks down, until he becomes a snake and slithers off of my body and away into the night.
I wake with a start. I am back in the hotel room. I know, without being told that I am pregnant with the demon’s child. I go into the bathroom and take a shower, a lot cooler of a shower than I usually would. Then I call home to let them know I will be home tomorrow. I am going home to my new life.