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dagrar
March 1st, 2014, 11:06 PM
My first attempt at writing in years


The Orb





The Arrival

The beauty of living in the woods of rural Maine is the solitude, the calm of the pace of the day and the feeling of safety. You don’t need to lock your doors or have a fancy security system, about the worst thing that happens is the raccoons steal all of your birdseed. That is not even that bad until they started moving your Weber grill, not a small one but one of the big ass three burner jobs, with side panels, under the feeders so they could better reach the seed. They sure are cute though, we called them the three amigos, and they are what we blissfully thought of as siblings. One of the little buggers got the nickname Stubby for his much shorter and bushier than normal tail. They were regular visitors for a few years, they were fun to watch until they started to come around in the daytime and didn’t shoo away anymore. That’s when we changed the heights of the feeders and fortunately or unfortunately they no longer come around.


Solitude also sometimes comes with a price. Isolation. Isolation can be good if you have moved from a hustle and bustle place of five million people and just need to get away and slow down for awhile and collect your thoughts. The flip side is, you withdraw, you stop doing things you love and you feel alone. You don’t want or think you need the company of others. You become your own worst enemy and you never even know it. It is such a gradual process, that your soul mate doesn’t even see it until it’s too late.

“Yvonne, can you bring me that can of bug dope” I yelled hoping my wife would hear me across the yard, for I didn’t want to stop the near endless task of weeding.

Black flies, those little bastards that not only fly into your eyes, ears and mouth, but if you are like me, you get bit once, twice, three times a minute. You swell up and itch and then after a week those little bites finally stop itching you get bit again and then all the older bites flare up and itch at twice the rate that they originally did. Lucky me.

“What, I can’t hear you” she muttered back knowing that I wouldn’t be able to understand a word she was saying.

I smiled and waved and gave the finger. Of course her back was turned. Do you think I’m an idiot?

As we look over the work we have accomplished over the course of one day, wiping away the beads of sweat running down our foreheads, we smile and get that great feeling you get; when you know you have done a job well.

Pride. There is no finer feeling, other than love, where you can look upon your work and think I did good.

Dirty fingernails, be damned. I’m ready for a cocktail, a double IPA to be exact. More to the point, a Big A IPA the nectar of the real Gods.

Yvonne is not the hop head that I am, her drink of preference is a real man’s drink straight Bourbon and water, the higher end the better. Knob Creek, Bookers smooth is the word.

As the smell of clean dirt wafts from our pores, the aroma is as clean as a freshly showered baby, only dirtier. I sit down slowly into a two person gliding chair ever so gingerly placing my backside in the chair, that has been patched together with many screws and bolts throughout the last few years, to get just one more last year out of it and that has also been perfectly placed on the deck to over look the gardens, so as to avoid straining any muscles that still may be functional after a good day of work in the gardens.

“Last night or the night before that I can’t say which night”. Mermaid Avenue by Wilco. What a great album to sit and drink to after a hard day’s work.

“What the hell is that?” Yvonne said with a little warble of excitement to her voice.

I look up, after taking my first sip of the sweet nectar. I gaze upon a sight for which I have no explanation. I watch for ten seconds as a perfectly round, silver, metallic orb floats silently over the tops of the tree line and makes a hard left hand turn and goes out of sight towards the water. I try to rationalize what I just saw and say “I have no idea”.

“It has to be a balloon” I think to myself knowing that no balloon is that perfect or can make that kind of a turn without some kind of guidance. Little do I know what is to come.

We gaze at each other and then look back to the spot where we saw the orb. In silence we get this kind of eerie feeling of just what it was that we may have seen. An UFO? No. How the hell can that be? It had to be balloon. Yes, a balloon, that’s what it was, just a kid’s balloon floating aimlessly on the will of the wind.

“That had to be a balloon” I said to Yvonne.

“I’ll go with that” Yvonne replies.

“You want a beer?”

“You bet your sweet ass I do” I reply with an ever so quiet crackle to my voice.

Poise. Sometimes you have to give off the illusion of being strong to help the ones you love, to not fear the unknown or to make them more comfortable in the situation of the moment. The truth is, that more likely, you are just as scared and upset as the person you are trying to comfort, but you hold back those emotions because it gives them a false sense of security.

We continue with our normal evening routine. Have a couple of more drinks and relax letting the late spring northern sun warm our faces and hearts. In Maine the winters are long. We had snow in the asparagus patch until mid April this year so every moment outside in the warm sunshine is a blessing from above. From the lack of quality sunlight, your skin looses all of the healthy color you gained from the summer’s sun until it’s a pasty white. Your natural vitamin D supply is no longer available. Even if you enjoy winter sports, the sunlight stops at 4pm and you are covered in thick clothing. Even the rays of a strong winter sun cannot penetrate all those layers that keep you from frostbite.

“The steak is ready. Are you?” I yell over my shoulder.

“Yes, yes I am.”

“Then let’s eat.”

We sit down and enjoy a dinner meant for royalty but eaten by peasants.

Feeling full and sleepy from all the hard work, good food and alcohol and after nodding off a few times on the sofa I head for bed.

“Are you coming?” I ask.


“No I want to finish my show first then I’ll be right in” knowing full well that means Yvonne will be asleep on the couch.

You know the feeling that you get after a nightmare, you need to reach for someone or something to comfort you, just to make sure the dream is over but that someone is not there? I don’t remember what the dream was about only that I was scared of something, probably so weird and goofy that in the light of day you would just laugh.

I had such a dream lying half awake, I could hear Yvonne rustling in the living room trying to get off the very well sleeping couch, when she catches a glimpse of a reflection of light through the sliding glass door.

“What the hell is that?” Yvonne mumbles.

“What is what?” I ask still half asleep.

“There’s something in the backyard by the grapevines.”

“Is it sasquatch?” I muttered and not so secretly was hoping that was going to be the answer.

“No, it looks round, sort of like the thing from earlier this evening” Yvonne says with more than a little excitement to her voice.

I jump out of bed my heart was starting to speed up a couple of ticks.

“Where? Where?”

“Over by the grapevines.”

Sitting silent and motionless, just barely being illuminated by the reflection of the light from the waning moon was an orb. Round and metallic, smooth looking, just sitting there staring back at us as we stare at it.

Now my heart was starting to really pound and I could feel my senses were on high alert. My skin was tingling, palms sweating. I should have grabbed my camera and shot a few hundred pictures but I didn’t. We couldn’t take our eyes from it. We just stood there mesmerized and frightened by the orb in the backyard, with only a double pane of glass separating us from an unknown fate.

“What should we do?” Yvonne whispered in my ear so as not to arouse any suspicions from the orb.

“I don’t have a clue” I whispered back for the same reason.

Isolation. When you have a situation that needs help but help is more than an hour away. Knowing that there is very little anyone can do for you in a timely matter, when it’s you and only you that can change the outcome of any scenario. That is Isolation. That is also the life we chose, to live partially off the grid and to be self-sufficient as much as possible.

Should we call the police? How about the fire department? Maybe phone a friend? What could any of them do? Nothing but make a bigger spectacle out of it, than it already was. So we just stood there and watched and watched and waited for any sign, a sign of anything until we could no longer stand without fidgeting anymore. Our eyelids were getting heavier by the second and we surely would need our wits about us tomorrow to try and make sense of just what was in our backyard so we decided to lie down and maybe get some sleep, knowing full well that sleep would not come easy. Tomorrow could not come soon enough.

The good thing about summers in Maine is that there is about eighteen hours of sunshine to the days. The bad thing about all that sunshine is that you can never quite close the curtains just right so as to completely close them tight enough without letting that one ray of rogue light in through that crack at four twelve in the morning. It always finds its way to your eyes. You may not notice it at first but you will and then you twist the pillows to try and shield the light from your eyes hoping to fall right back to sleep only to find the other window also has that same damn crack in the curtains.

“You sleeping?” Yvonne asked quietly as if not wanting to wake me.

“What do you think?” I replied.

“Do you think it’s still there?”

“I was really hoping it was just a bad dream” I replied. “Yes I believe it hasn’t gone anywhere”.

“What do think it is?”

“An UFO.”

“Seriously?”

“Yah, I can’t indentify it” I responded. “Can you?”

“It’s a big hunk of ugly, cold metal that is sitting in our backyard. That is what it is, nothing more” Yvonne said almost in scolding tone.

“God, I hope your right.”




The Meeting

Spooning, that one time of the day that everything stops. You lie there back to chest, pelvis to back side just holding and loving and knowing that no one else could possibly love you more than your soul mate. It is total bliss.

As I hold Yvonne ever so tight, knowing that we have to get out of bed eventually, if for no other reason but to eat. I give her one last long squeeze holding her tight and kissing the back of her head.

“It’s time.”

“I don’t want to.”

“It’s time” I say as I nod my head very slowly with Yvonne’s curly blonde hair tickling against my forehead. “Let’s do this.”

“Where are you going?” Yvonne asked.

“Downstairs to get a sledgehammer.”

“Do you think that’s very smart” Yvonne said in a disapproving tone of voice that all kids know from repeated scoldings from their parents “After all they could be friendly, besides what the hell is a sledgehammer going to do?”

“I dunno” as I shuffle my feet, pretending to kick at the dirt. “I just thought I might take some kind of protection, just in case.”

“Just in case what? They don’t melt your face away” Yvonne said.

For a moment I reflected upon her words. “Your right, we should go down there with no threat of hostilities and pray they feel the same” I agreed.

We peered out the glass door and sure enough it was still there. Just like last night just smugly sitting there in silence, just daring, no, wanting us to do something, anything. So we did. I opened the door ever so slowly so it would make as little sound as possible. I stepped, a little baby step on the deck and winced a little bit, hoping to make a smaller target if it opened fire upon us. Still nothing. Now it’s mocking us, watching us, just waiting to find our weak spots.

Weak spots. The human body has so many weak spots, from which a good hard blow from a blunt instrument could hurt, maim or kill. Not to mention sharp objects or firearms. If you’re a guy, a not so swift kick in the groin region will do the job or at least you would wish you were dead. Don’t forget the emotional damage that can occur from just words. The human body may be a complex organism but it’s also a damn fragile one as well.

I take another step, now I’m fully on the deck staring at the orb. Still nothing. The sun was still low in the sky, the perfect light, golden, warm tone that makes even the ugliest of subjects look palatable, the light every photographer craves. The orb was awash in that light, its golden hue pulsated as the shadows of the trees swayed back and forth to the rhythm of the winds. If it was some form of abstract art it would be beautiful, a pretty orb glowing in the light of the rising sun.

Yvonne joins me on the deck, staring, hoping that everything will be fine.

“Well, go on” Yvonne says trying to boost my courage.

“Just give me a minute” I snapped back.

We finally make our way off the deck and into the yard. The grass was so wet from the heavy dew that it soaked through our shoes, making our feet damp as we walked through the green expanse, you would swear that it had rained over night. We slowly make our way toward the orb. We walk past the peonies; I love the smell of peonies. Their sweet floral fragrance is like a great smelling rose on steroids. The smell is strong sweet and wonderful. Their aroma is only surpassed by their beautiful flowers, big, showy blooms that nod under their own weight. Just past the peonies and down a slight embankment, to the left are the grapevines and to the right is the compost pile and in the middle sits the orb. Just sitting there doing nothing, waiting, biding it’s time.

“I’m not going to touch it” I said defiantly.

“Then what are you going to do?”

“You tell me, what should I do?” I respond.

“Can’t you make it go away?” Yvonne says almost begging.

“If I only could”

Knowing that we have sent all kinds of silly shit into outer space over the years I say “Thank you, thank you very much; I’ll have a peanut butter and banana sandwich.” I almost thought I heard the orb groan. Elvis would be so proud.

Yvonne was shaking her head wondering how anyone could make a joke at a time like this and that was when she fully realized, that she really did marry a twelve year old. She could only smile, she had nothing else.

We stand at about arm’s length from it, wonder what our next move should be? Not knowing if we should talk to it as a friend or run for the hills. Maybe we should touch it, with a loving hand, to let it know we mean it no harm. Yes, yes that is what we should do. Touch it, embrace it and love it as one of our own.

I reach out and touch it. It is ultra smooth, not one blemish on the metal, perfect in every way and the metal was not at all cold, no doubt warmed by the golden rays of the sun but under that warmth there was a greater warmth, the one that only comes from within, the warmth that truly touches every soul that it meets and leaves only a long lasting feeling of joy to those who choose to take that with the chance of the unknown.

“Come feel this” I say with the excitement of a schoolboy who has just had his first kiss.

Yvonne reaches out and touches it. “Oh my, this is not at all what I expected, it is so warm.” Her lips slowly turn upward into one of the biggest smiles I have ever seen. Her face was absolutely aglow with happiness.

“I know, it is awesome isn’t it.”

We couldn’t stop touching it. The more we touched it the greater the warmth and the happiness we felt for one another, until we could take no more. We were overcome with emotions. Our bodies went limp as we fell into each others arms sobbing, letting out all the negative energy that had built up into our daily lives, that we never even acknowledged was there. We felt so at ease with the world and with each other that we could barely contain our joy.

“Yvonne, I love you more than I can ever say.”

“I know, I love you even more.”









The Leaving

As we walk back up the slight embankment past the centaurea and irises we stop to gaze and wonder at just the little things in life that end up meaning so much, the smell of the lilacs, the squishing of mud between your toes, getting caught in a summer downpour and the wind blowing through your hair. The black flies biting err no; those little bastards need to die.

We reach the top of the hill and I find myself squeezing Yvonne’s hand ever so tight. The warm rays of the late spring sun beam our face and hearts, only enhancing the meeting. We stop again and look and think over the wonderful life, gardens and happiness we have built together, our own little Shangri-La in the heart of the wilderness.

“I can’t image my life without you” Yvonne said with a tear just starting to run from her eye.

I wipe the tear from her cheek. “You did truly save me from myself” I replied.

When you live in Maine the wind really is just a slight breeze until it starts to blow a gale. Until then you are considered a wussy if you don’t tend your lobster traps. Lobstering is hard work; don’t let the cooking and travel shows fool you by showing the highlights of the job. They don’t show you the trap building, the trap maintenance and the under priced lobsters that don’t even cover the cost of fuel for the day. Sure, they show the glory of catching the bugs and eating them but they gloss over the sore backs and bloody hands from the repeated rope burns and straining from lifting, empting and baiting the cages nonstop for hours on end.

“Holy shit, those clouds look mean” Yvonne said as the wind was picking up and a clap of thunder was heard in the background.

The clouds were big, fluffy, dark and angry. The kind of clouds you see and instinctively know to run for cover. The wind starts to pick up and the almost empty bags of cow manure are tossed about the yard like child’s play.

Knowing what’s to come we pick up the pace to get into the house before all hell breaks loose. We just about make it in as the big ole drops start to pounce on our heads.

“Wow, that is like living back south again” I said after only four drops soaked my shoulders.

You know its big ole drops when they bounce off the ground and spatter in a one foot radius and the frogs start looking for cover. The wind chimes pick up their merry songs as the winds blow a little harder until all you can hear is the rain bouncing of the ground with the occasional round of thunder drowning out all the other noises, that my friend would be a gully washer.

The storm is brief, just like so many summer storms can be, wham bam thank you ma’am. I am thankful that tornados are not a worry in New England. I don’t miss the hail, the lighting and the sirens.

We shake the drops of water from our hair and clothes and giggle like a couple of school kids.

“Tag, your it” as Yvonne slapped me on the back.

“Okay, go fish” just throwing something out there.

We sit down on the downstairs couch and we give each a long smooch. Looking into each others eyes we slowly fall sleep in each others arms. We are awakened by the scratching of the cats at the door and we smile at each other and embrace once again.

“Do you think it’s still here?” Yvonne asked.

“God, I sure hope so!”





The End

Marblehead
March 2nd, 2014, 02:21 AM
I have to say, I really liked your writing style. There's a casual humor to these characters that comes across with such a wonderful ease. The one thing I would suggest is that you either pick up a copy of Strunk and White's Elements of Style or do a healthy internet search for the rules of punctuation. Not only will your stories look and read better; knowing the rules will help you create more interesting sentences.

Good stuff. Keep writing.

dagrar
March 3rd, 2014, 03:21 AM
Marblehead, you are 100% right! I got a copy of Elements of Style, I seemed to have forgotten everything I learned in school. What is that phrase, use it or lose it, well I lost it. Thanks.

W. Dallas
March 3rd, 2014, 11:56 AM
I too like the story, but I feel some of your sentence could pack more punch. A lot of your sentences have that run on feel that can sometimes be hard to follow. Breaking them up from time to time adds a good rhythm. Not just question of length but of flow. Such as:

That is not even that bad until they started moving your Weber grill, not a small one but one of the big ass three burner jobs, with side panels, under the feeders so they could better reach the seed.

Could be: Even that was not too band until they started moving the Weber grill, so they could better reach the seed. The grill's not small either, but one of the big ass three burner jobs.

Also, a lot of the dialogue seems to trivial. They aren't saying much more than Hi and How are you kind of stuff in places. Maybe marry the dialogue with the exposition, to make the piece less tell and more dialogue driven which puts more action in your characters.

Over all good theme and story, nice work.

dagrar
March 3rd, 2014, 01:00 PM
Thanks, W. Dallas. I see your point, this was my first writing in thirty plus years. I will go and revisit the story again looking for run on sentences and punctuation. There is a lot more to writing than just the story.

Kepharel
March 3rd, 2014, 05:04 PM
I liked this short enough to want to go through it line by line. As a first effort in such a long time I'm sure you will have no trouble picking up the pace. My annotations are in red next to your type which I have bold enhanced:



The Orb (3.5k words)



My first attempt at writing in years
The Orb

The Arrival
The beauty of living in the woods of rural Maine is the solitude, the calm of the pace of the day and the feeling of safety. You don’t need to lock your doors or have a fancy security system, about the worst thing that happens is the raccoons steal all of your birdseed. That is not even that bad until they started moving your Weber grill, not a small one but one of the big ass three burner jobs, with side panels, under the feeders so they could better reach the seed. They sure are cute though, we called them the three amigos, and they are what we blissfully thought of as siblings. One of the little buggers got the nickname Stubby for his much shorter and bushier than normal tail. They were regular visitors for a few years, they were fun to watch until they started to come around in the daytime and didn’t shoo away anymore. That’s when we changed the heights of the feeders and fortunately or unfortunately they no longer come around.


Solitude also sometimes comes with a price. Isolation.
You become your own worst enemy and you never even know it. It is such a gradual process, that your soul mate doesn’t even see it until it’s too late.

“Yvonne, can you bring me that can of bug dope” I yelled hoping my wife would hear me across the yard, for I didn’t want to stop the near endless task of weeding.

Black flies, those little bastards that not only fly into your eyes, ears and mouth, but if you are like me, you get bit once, twice, three times a minute. You swell up and itch and then after a week those little bites finally stop itching you get bit again and then all the older bites flare up and itch at twice the rate that they originally did. Lucky me.

“What, I can’t hear you” she muttered back knowing that I wouldn’t be able to understand a word she was saying.

I smiled and waved and gave the finger. Of course her back was turned. Do you think I’m an idiot?
While this narrative is a scene setter it is overly long for me as a narrative to increase the involvement of the reader?

As we look over the work we have accomplished over the course of one day, wiping away the beads of sweat running down our foreheads, we smile and get that great feeling you get; when you know you have done a job well.

Pride. There is no finer feeling, other than love, where you can look upon your work and think I did good.

Dirty fingernails, be damned. I’m ready for a cocktail, a double IPA to be exact. More to the point, a Big A IPA the nectar of the real Gods.

Yvonne is not the hop head that I am, her drink of preference is a real man’s drink straight Bourbon and water, the higher end the better. Knob Creek, Bookers smooth is the word.

As the smell of clean dirt wafts from our pores, the aroma is as clean as a freshly showered baby, only dirtier. I sit down slowly into a two person gliding chair ever so gingerly placing my backside in the chair, that has been patched together with many screws and bolts throughout the last few years, to get just one more last year out of it and that has also been perfectly placed on the deck to over look the gardens, so as to avoid straining any muscles that still may be functional after a good day of work in the gardens.

“Last night or the night before that I can’t say which night”.
I don’t understand
Mermaid Avenue by Wilco. What a great album to sit and drink to after a hard day’s work.

“What the hell is that?” Yvonne said with a little warble tremor of excitement to her voice.

I look up, after taking my first sip of the sweet nectar. I gaze upon a sight for which I have no explanation. I watch for ten seconds as a perfectly round, silver, metallic looking orb floats silently over the tops of the tree line and makes a hard left hand turn and goes out of sight towards the water. I try to rationalize what I just saw and say “I have no idea”.

“It has to be a balloon” I think to myself knowing that no balloon is that perfect or can make that kind of a turn without some kind of guidance. Little do I know what is to come.

We gaze at each other and then look back to the spot where we saw the orb. In silence we get this kind of eerie feeling of just what it was that we may have seen. An UFO? No. How the hell can that be? It had to be balloon. Yes, a balloon, that’s what it was, just a kid’s balloon floating aimlessly on the will of the wind. Kinda awkwardly put for me; at least 3 mentions of a balloon in two sentences

I put/offer this mental rationalisation to Yvonne “That had to be a balloon”

“I’ll go with that” Yvonne replies.

“You want a beer?”

“You bet your sweet ass I do” I reply with an ever so quiet crackle to my voice.

Poise. Sometimes you have to give off the illusion of being strong to help the ones you love, to not fear the unknown or to make them more comfortable in the situation of the moment. The truth is, that more likely, you are just as scared and upset as the person you are trying to comfort, but you hold back those emotions because it gives them a false to give them a sense of security.

We continue with our normal evening routine. Have a couple of more drinks and relax letting the late spring northern required? sun warm our faces and hearts. In Maine the winters are long. We had snow in the asparagus patch until mid April this year so every moment outside in the warm sunshine is a blessing from above. From the lack of quality sunlight, your skin looses all of the healthy color you gained from the summer’s sun until it’s a pasty white .a natural unspoken consequence Your natural vitamin D supply is no longer available. Required? Even if you enjoy winter sports, the sunlight stops at 4pm and you are covered in thick clothing. Even the rays of a strong winter sun cannot penetrate all those layers that keep you from frostbite. Again a bit more here than needed to move the story along?

“The steak is ready. Are you?” I yell over my shoulder.

“Yes, yes I am.”

“Then let’s eat.”

We sit down and enjoy a dinner meant for royalty but eaten by peasants.

Feeling full and sleepy from all the hard work, good food and alcohol and after nodding off a few times on the sofa I head for bed.

“Are you coming to bed?” I ask. Otherwise it’s schoolboy innuendo for some folks :)


“No I want to finish my show first then I’ll be right in” knowing full well that means Yvonne will be asleep on the couch.

You know the feeling that you get after a nightmare, you need to reach for someone or something to comfort you, just to make sure the dream is over but that someone is not there? I don’t remember what the dream was about only that I was scared of something, probably so weird and goofy that in the light of day you would just laugh it would be laughable.

I had such a dream lying half awake, I could hear Yvonne rustling in the living room trying to get off the very well sleeping couch, when she catches a glimpse of a reflection of light through the sliding glass door. You wouldn’t know about the glimpse catching while upstairs, only retrospectively?

“What the hell is that?” I hear Yvonne mumble Yvonne mumbles.

“What is what?” I call down ask still half asleep.

“There’s something in the backyard by the grapevines.”

“Is it sasquatch?” I muttered not under your breath or she wouldn’t hear you so maybe more than a mutter and not so secretly was hoping that was going to be the answer.

“No, it looks round, sort of like the thing from earlier this evening” Yvonne says with more than a little excitement to her voice.

I jump out of bed my heart was starting to speed up a couple of ticks beats .

“Where? Where?”

“Over by the grapevines.”

Sitting silent and motionless, just barely being not required illuminated by the reflection of the light from the waning moon was an orb. Round and metallic, smooth looking, just sitting there staring back at us as we stare at it.

Now my heart was starting to really pound and I could feel my senses were on high alert. My skin was tingling, palms sweating. I should have grabbed my camera and shot a few hundred pictures but I didn’t. retrospect maybe but not in the heat of the moment We couldn’t take our eyes from it. We just stood there mesmerized and frightened by the orb in the backyard, with only a double pane of glass separating us from an unknown fate prefer ‘who knows what’ personally.

“What should we do?” Yvonne whispered in my ear so as not to arouse any suspicions from the orb. Or from anything inside/controlling the orb maybe

“I don’t have a clue” I whispered back for the same reason.

Isolation. When you have a situation that needs help but help is more than an hour away. Knowing that there is very little anyone can do for you in a timely matter manner, when it’s you and only you who? that can change the outcome of any scenario. But that is the life we chose That is also the life we chose, to live partially off the grid and to be self-sufficient as much as possible as self sufficient as possible.

Should we call the police? How about the fire department? Maybe phone a friend? What could any of them do? Nothing but make a bigger spectacle out of it, than it already was. So we just stood there and watched and watched and waited for any sign, a sign of anything until we could no longer stand without fidgeting anymore not required. Our eyelids were getting heavier by the second and we surely would need our wits about us tomorrow to try and make sense of just what was in our backyard so we decided to lie down and maybe get some sleep, knowing full well that sleep would not come easy. Tomorrow could not come soon enough. At this point I will quickly make an assumption the orb must have left based on the following paragraph; if not would you go to bed without doing anything; just leaving it there?

It’s the morning?The good thing about summers in Maine is that there is about eighteen hours of sunshine to the days. The bad thing about all that sunshine is that you can never quite close the curtains just right so as to completely close them tight enough without letting that one ray of rogue light in through that crack at four twelve in the morning. It always finds its way to your eyes. You may not notice it at first but you will and then you twist the pillows to try and shield the light from your eyes hoping to fall right back to sleep only to find the other window also has that same damn crack in the curtains.

“You sleeping?” Yvonne asked quietly as if not wanting to wake me.

“What do you think?” I replied.

“Do you think it’s still there?”

“I was really hoping it was just a bad dream” I replied. “Yes I believe it hasn’t gone anywhere”.

“What do think it is?”

“An UFO.”

“Seriously?”

“Yah, I can’t indentify it” I responded. “Can you?”

“It’s a big hunk of ugly, cold metal that is sitting in our backyard. That is what it is, nothing more” Yvonne said almost in scolding tone.

“God, I hope your right.”


The Meeting

Spooning, that one time of the day that everything stops. You lie there back to chest, pelvis to back side just holding and loving and knowing that no one else could possibly love you more than your soul mate. It is total bliss.

As I hold Yvonne ever so tight, knowing that we have to get out of bed eventually, if for no other reason but to eat. I give her one last long squeeze holding her tight and kissing the back of her head. Appropriate behaviour/conversation with an orb in the back yard?

“It’s time.”

“I don’t want to.”

“It’s time” I say as I nod my head very slowly with Yvonne’s curly blonde hair tickling against my forehead. “Let’s do this.”

“Where are you going?” Yvonne asked.

“Downstairs to get a sledgehammer.”

“Do you think that’s very smart” Yvonne said in a disapproving tone of voice that all kids know from repeated scoldings from their parents “After all they could be friendly, besides what the hell is a sledgehammer going to do?”

“I dunno” as I shuffle my feet, pretending to kick at the dirt. “I just thought I might take some kind of protection, just in case.”

“Just in case what? They don’t melt your face away” Yvonne said.

For a moment I reflected upon her words. “Your right, we should go down there with no threat of hostilities and pray they it/the orb feel the same” I agreed.

We peered out the glass door and sure enough it was still there. Just like last night just smugly sitting there in silence, just daring, no, wanting us to do something, anything. So we did. I opened the door ever so slowly so it would make as little sound as possible. I stepped, a little baby step on the deck and winced a little bit, hoping to make a smaller target if it opened fire upon us. Still nothing. Now it’s mocking us, watching us, just waiting to find our weak spots.

Weak spots. The human body has so many weak spots, from which a good hard blow from a blunt instrument could hurt, maim or kill. Not to mention sharp objects or firearms. If you’re a guy, a not so swift kick in the groin region will do the job or at least you would wish you were dead. Don’t forget the emotional damage that can occur from just words. The human body may be a complex organism but it’s also a damn fragile one as well. Except for firepower I wouldn’t associate an otherworldly metallic sphere with blunt instruments..but there again imagination isn’t my strong point :)

I take another step, now I’m fully on the deck staring at the orb. Still nothing. The sun was still low in the sky, the perfect light, golden, warm tone that makes even the ugliest of subjects look palatable, the light every photographer craves. The orb was awash in that light, its golden hue pulsated as the shadows of the trees swayed back and forth to the rhythm of the winds. If it was some form of abstract art it would be beautiful, a pretty orb glowing in the light of the rising sun.

Yvonne joins me on the deck, staring, hoping that everything will be fine.

“Well, go on” Yvonne says trying to boost my courage.

“Just give me a minute” I snapped back.

We finally make our way off the deck and into the yard. The grass was so not required wet from the heavy dew that it soaked through our shoes, making our feet damp as we walked through the green expanse, you would swear that it had rained over night. We slowly make our way toward the orb. We walk past the peonies; I love the smell of peonies. Their sweet floral fragrance is like a great smelling rose on steroids. The smell is strong sweet and wonderful. Their aroma is only surpassed by their beautiful flowers, big, showy blooms that nod under their own weight. Is this required for the story? Just past the peonies and down a slight embankment, to the left are the grapevines and to the right is the compost pile and in the middle sits the orb. Just sitting there doing nothing, waiting, biding it’s time.

“I’m not going to touch it” I said defiantly.

“Then what are you going to do?”

“You tell me, what should I do?” I respond.

“Can’t you make it go away?” Yvonne says almost begging.

“If I only could” appropriate when you've been asleep all night knowing it was there?

Knowing that we have sent all kinds of silly shit into outer space over the years I say “Thank you, thank you very much; I’ll have a peanut butter and banana sandwich.” I almost thought I heard the orb groan. Elvis would be so proud.

Yvonne was shaking her head wondering how anyone could make a joke at a time like this and that was when she fully realized, that she really did marry a twelve year old. She could only smile, she had nothing else.

We stand at about arm’s length from it, wonder what our next move should be? Not knowing if we should talk to it as a friend or run for the hills. Maybe we should touch it, with a loving hand, to let it know we mean it no harm. Yes, yes that is what we should do. Touch it, embrace it and love it as one of our own.

I reach out and touch it. It is ultra smooth, not one blemish on the metal, perfect in every way and the metal was not at all cold, no doubt warmed by the golden rays of the sun but under that warmth there was a greater warmth, the one that only comes from within, the warmth that truly touches every soul that it meets and leaves only a long lasting feeling of joy to those who choose to take that with the chance of the unknown.

“Come feel this” I say with the excitement of a schoolboy who has just had his first kiss.

Yvonne reaches out and touches it. “Oh my, this is not at all what I expected, it is so warm.” Her lips slowly turn upward into one of the biggest smiles I have ever seen. Her face was absolutely aglow with happiness.

“I know, it is awesome isn’t it.”

We couldn’t stop touching it. The more we touched it the greater the warmth and the happiness we felt for one another, until we could take no more. We were overcome with emotions. Our bodies went limp as we fell into each others arms sobbing, letting out all the negative energy that had built up into our daily lives, that we never even acknowledged was there. We felt so at ease with the world and with each other that we could barely contain our joy.

“Yvonne, I love you more than I can ever say.”

“I know, I love you even more.”

The Leaving

confusion as to time and place (other than it’s in Maine) follows



As we walk back up the slight embankment past the centaurea and irises we stop to gaze and wonder at just the little things in life that end up meaning so much, the smell of the lilacs, the squishing of mud between your toes, getting caught in a summer downpour and the wind blowing through your hair. The black flies biting err no; those little bastards need to die.
We reach the top of the hill geographically confused and I find myself squeezing Yvonne’s hand ever so tight. The warm rays of the late spring sun beam our face and hearts, only enhancing the meeting. We stop again and look and think over the wonderful life, gardens and happiness we have built together, our own little Shangri-La in the heart of the wilderness.

“I can’t image my life without you” Yvonne said with a tear just starting to run from her eye.

I wipe the tear from her cheek. “You did truly save me from myself” I replied.

When you live in Maine the wind really is just a slight breeze until it starts to blow a gale. Until then you are considered a wussy if you don’t tend your lobster traps. Lobstering is hard work; don’t let the cooking and travel shows fool you by showing the highlights of the job. They don’t show you the trap building, the trap maintenance and the under priced lobsters that don’t even cover the cost of fuel for the day. Sure, they show the glory of catching the bugs and eating them but they gloss over the sore backs and bloody hands from the repeated rope burns and straining from lifting, empting and baiting the cages nonstop for hours on end.

“Holy shit, those clouds look mean” Yvonne said as the wind was picking up and a clap of thunder was heard in the background.

The clouds were big, fluffy, dark and angry. The kind of clouds you see and instinctively know to run for cover. The wind starts to pick up and the almost empty bags of cow manure are tossed about the yard like child’s play.

Knowing what’s to come we pick up the pace to get into the house before all hell breaks loose. We just about make it in as the big ole drops start to pounce on our heads.

“Wow, that is like living back south again” I said after only four drops soaked my shoulders.

You know its big ole drops when they bounce off the ground and spatter in a one foot radius and the frogs start looking for cover. The wind chimes pick up their merry songs as the winds blow a little harder until all you can hear is the rain bouncing of the ground with the occasional round of thunder drowning out all the other noises, that my friend would be a gully washer.

The storm is brief, just like so many summer storms can be, wham bam thank you ma’am. I am thankful that tornados are not a worry in New England. I don’t miss the hail, the lighting and the sirens.

We shake the drops of water from our hair and clothes and giggle like a couple of school kids.

“Tag, your it” as Yvonne slapped me on the back.

“Okay, go fish” just throwing something out there.

We sit down on the downstairs couch and we give each a long smooch. Looking into each others eyes we slowly fall sleep in each others arms. We are awakened by the scratching of the cats at the door and we smile at each other and embrace once again. Sorry but you just lost me here because the following line suggests you live elsewhere now.

“Do you think it’s still here?” Yvonne asked.

“God, I sure hope so!”



The End

dagrar
March 4th, 2014, 03:37 AM
Thank you, Kepharel, you are much to generous with your time. I agree with most of what you said and I can't thank you enough for taking the time. I hope, I may one day be able to help someone as much as everyone here has helped me.

Thanks