April 14th, 2006


View from the Driver's Seat

I know I keep harping on the saucer magnolias, but I'm noticing more and more of them - and they are in full flower. If the two little bitsy ones I planted last fall don't make it, they Shall Be Replaced. Probably through Forest Farm, and possibly in the Fall order.

In addition to seeing splatters of pink oil paint (which is the closest I can come to describing the thick, creamy appearances of the saucer magnolia's blooms,) I've really been noticing the maple flowers. Last year, I recall noticing the red maples amongst our oaks, and saying, "Gee, they do have flowers," but this year I'm seeing lots of yellow flowers on the sugar maples that seem so large and obvious, I don't know how I ever missed them before. It's kind of (not) funny how sugar maples are prevalent all up and down my commute, right up until you get to my neighborhood, and all you get are red maples. To be fair, red maples are perfectly good trees, but I'd trade all of mine in for a few good sugar maples, if I could. Some people (such as patrixa) have more than they need - I remember hearing that they once pulled 20-50 million sugar maple seedlings from their gutters... ah, they should be so lucky! At least last year I had sweet birch in those quantities, that, and the ever-present oaks...

The apples - crab and otherwise - are in bloom, as are the pears (too many of those...) and dogwoods and whatnot. Down here in the tropics, many trees are leafing out, and I noticed catkins draping from the birch.

Some rainfall last night on the way home and this morning on the way in, which should help everything out a bit - it's been far too dry here. The entire state is in a drought warning, and I still hear people complain about rain. Moon doesn't have much rainfall, ditto Mars and a few other places. If we can get all the anti-rain folks and send 'em there, they'd have less to complain about, and the rest of us can do rain dances down here and watch stuff grow. Probably best to send those who want to pave everything off-world as well, let them build their mini-malls there. They'd be able to put up mall after mall, without the added cost and annoyance of having to cut down hundreds of thousands of collective years worth of tree and plant growth first. Much easier for them, much nicer for the rest of us.

But then I'm probably one of the few people who wouldn't complain if I had to trade my car for a horse and the highway for a dirt road (or, even better, a woodland trail...)

That's saying something, because I've only been on a horse once... didn't exactly fall off, so much as fly up and come back down again. My horse decided he didn't like the one in front, so he kicked her, and then, while I was mid-air from that, he decided the one behind him was also an ingrate, so he kicked back at that one, rising up to meet me half way. Yeouch.

The Thirteenth Apostle

The Thirteenth Apostle
by Everett A Warren

An excerpt

It is time.

They will come for me now, I, the murderer, the taker of life.

Eyes open, ceiling above. Dark stone, so cold. It has sung to me these last many nights. A song of despair, of blood chilled, and blood let. This stone I cherish. It is the only thing I might touch that is real. That is solid. To stand upon the bed, to touch it with the portions of flesh exposed by these maniacal torture devices – these cursed gloves! My hands end in fingers, five to each, like any man. See you no talons here! These gloves are my burden, one of many, that I must bear, I, the murderer, the taker of life.

I, the murderer!

Fist formed tight as allowed under constraint, hitting the bed, the loose fluff, so insubstantial that I might not use it to end my life before they take it from me.

I, the taker of life!

I have hurt no one.

This is not happening. It is a dream, and soon, like from all dreams, I'll awake. Everything will be as it always was. Life normal, boring even. Ahh, I am in my bed. In my house. Asleep.

The pinch to wake will not function. Can not. Hands bound, fingers padded. The walls, padded. The bars, padded. Am I that horrible? No, it is not me. Was not me. Never me. In the trial I protested, screamed for mercy, have you no mercy for an innocent man? Have you no mercy! But... they said it was me! Me? Had to be me, insurmountable evidence. My very own hands that – these same guarded claws that...

The crime most horrible! How can any man stoop to such a level, such a depth!

Oh, I cried when they said all the damages that had been done, all the violence, the rending of life! The splashings and crashings and gnashings!

Oh, I cried!

I pleaded for them to find this evil man, this anomaly of humanity so base as to perform such deeds as they had listed in the lengthy prelude to this terrible drama. Each worse than the last. Each causing cries of remorse to ring out. Cries of anger to rise from the audience. To hear the sounds of sickness when evidence was presented was too much for me to bear! Find this taker of lives, this destroyer of all that is sacred.

They said they had.

And I looked around, to seek out this wretched soul. To find him among the number present in the courtroom.

And all were looking at me.

No, this is madness!

Copyright (c) 1994 Everett A Warren

You can read the complete story in my collection, Cautionary Fables: Warts & All, available on Amazon.com or by order from your local bookseller.