Empty Hollows

The Diamond Fleece

The Diamond Fleece (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Oh my God! She’s at it again! Call her sister quick!”  the woman said to her husband as he came to look out of their window.

There she was…Amy Holloway, firing up the barbecue grill.  It was sprinkling outside. The man shook his head and told his wife, “Just leave that girl be. She has suffered enough with that ex husband to be of hers screwing around two days after her kid’s funeral. I don’t blame her for acting out a bit!”

“You aren’t the least bit concerned that she’s lighting a grill during what is about to be a severe storm?” she snapped.

“Absolutely not.  She did stranger things when she was younger. So did you as I recall.” he countered.

“But–”

“I said LEAVE her alone!” and with that he went into the den to watch television.

What Amy did next caused Mrs. Madsen to  be even more concerned, although she fully understood why this was going on…

She came out with a long white box that held the wedding gown she wore…The same gown that she had hoped to see her now dead daughter Hailey wear.  She put the veil in first then tore the dress to shreds.  She also put it in there.  After that she took the unframed wedding portrait and tore it into five pieces and put it on top.

After that she doused her miniature pyre with lighter fluid and waited for it to soak in a couple of minutes…She then struck a long match and tossed it on top of the contents of the grill as her eyes welled up.

“It is finished. Goodbye Hailey.” she whispered as a single tear rolled down her cheek.

Once the task was complete and the last bit of smoke came up from the grill, she closed it and went inside. She then laid the keys down on the kitchen counter and sat in her recliner.  She looked out the window as the rain began to fall.

“Maybe I should give this house to the church.  That way something can actually LIVE in this place.” she mused as she  reached for the remote control.  Just as she was getting into a movie called “The Diamond Fleece” the telephone rang…

“Hello.” she said…Paused…”Oh it’s you.”…”Yes that’s right! You got the cars so you got the f**king bills now leave me be–” Paused…

“Share the house? You heard the judge. I worked two jobs to pay for this house and bought it well before I met you. Screw you and your girlfriend!” Paused…”How many times are you going to lie and say there is nothing between you now that we–Hold it! I wouldn’t take you back after knowing you’d been with her. I thought divorcing you proved that!”…Paused…”Look, you got one shot. Screwing her after Hailey’s funeral is rather unforgivable so stop calling me up drunk! Your tears aren’t for her or for me. They are for the fact that you got caught and f***ed yourself!” Paused…”Oh…That…I burned the dress. I guess your sister has to buy her own…” Paused…”IF you don’t effin’ believe me then come to the back and check the grill, A**hole!”  she yelled as she slammed down the phone.

“You are far too angry.” the voice inside the front bedroom said to her.  She just sighed and mixed herself a drink.

“You know you shouldn’t have dumped him like that. He’s hurting too.” the voice said.

“He doesn’t feel half of the pain I do.  Now please leave me be for a while.” she said as she went back to the blue recliner with her drink in hand.

“Honey, I think divorcing him without trying counseling is a mistake. He does love you–”

“And you hate divorce, Mother. However if he loved me he wouldn’t have looked at her twice. It made our vows a lie! I would never trust him again after that anyway. We must not have had much of a marriage to begin with for him to do that with her 2 days after the funeral and God only knows how many times prior.  It’s over.” Amy said as she tightly clutched the glass.

“You are wrong. In time you will see that. I know it.” her mother told her.

“Whatever Mom.  Call Tish if you like because that’s all that ever happens when I get angry anymore.  No one can let me vent it and get it over-with! I’m supposed to be the little silent church mouse like the two of you–”

“That is so untrue!  It may be what you feel, but I never wanted you to be anything less than what you want to be. I am proud of you for getting a career and moving up in the world.  I couldn’t give much but I did  give you that.” she said.

Amy turned to face the older grey haired woman.   A tear rolled down her cheek.  “You never told me you were proud  of me before. Especially when Dad was around.”

“Well I am and he would be too–”

“He wanted me to go to a freaking convent!” she said.

“No he didn’t.  He only wanted for  you to learn to control yourself more.  I know you have  a short fuse like  he did, but he always bragged to the boys at the pub  when you succeeded in anything. I only wish you heard it then. All that stuff he said when you were younger–he was just being an ass.  Read his journal and it will prove  that.” her mother told her.

“I honestly think he wanted a boy.” she said.

“Well he certainly didn’t do you any favors taking you to the docks did he?” her mother asked.

Amy smiled, “No he didn’t.  But I’m glad he did. I liked the boats and the guys showed me how to prepare the fish properly.”

“As you got older he made you stay here because the dock hands kept eyeballing you and it pissed him off.” her mother grinned.

“Yeah…Tish told me he hated that!” she laughed.

“Well he was glad when the counselor told him you could be in advanced classes. He signed the papers.” she said.

“Wha-”

“That’s right. He signed them.  He said if it keeps you out of the bars and off the docks, he’s happy.  I know he’d be proud now, Amy.” she said.

“Wish he said it to me.” Amy said.

“He did in a way, Amy.  He gave you the business. That and with your law practice, you’ve done well and I know he’d love that.” her mother said as she walked over to her and hugged her.

“Well, he’s with Hailey now and I’m sure he’s showing her constellations and how the ships know where to go and such.” she mused.

“Amy–”

“But it’s a good thing he didn’t live to see this because he would have killed Michael and we both know it.” she said.

“Amy,  this is all killing Michael. He loves you. He did not want the divorce.” her mother said.

“Doesn’t matter now.”Amy said as the rain began to pour against the windows. She glanced at the remnants of smoke from the grill and the empty swing Hailey so loved.

“And I don’t think you wanted one either. I’m going to lie down.  If you want Michael to be a knight in shining armor, then you had better give him a reason to come out of the bottom of that bottle before he kills himself. He thinks he lost you long before Hailey died. He told Tish that. He’s been lost ever since she fell ill the last time. ”  her mother warned.

“Well Mother,” Amy began, “Maybe if he came to me instead of his whore secretary we might have had a chance in hell of actually making it work.   He should have thought of it. I won’t forgive him and nobody has any right to expect me to.”

“All I am saying is that you are probably going to always wonder what may have been if you don’t at least talk to him. Try talking about Hailey. You’re both grieving–”

“He’s only grieving the fact that I caught him and he couldn’t get the house.” Amy hissed.

“You are wrong. It takes two to make a marriage work and two to break it. I’ll talk to you later dear.” her mother said as she went back into her room.

“And I’ll get over it.” Amy said to herself as she continued to take in the blurred view through the window while the rain fell and her eyes once again blurred as they became misty at the site of the swing…

The monument to her lost child…

More from the Nanahood…And It Isn’t All Roses…

As the day of my grand children’s births draws closer, I am so overjoyed that I will be with one. I am also heartbroken that I may not get to see the other one.  Sadly, Eric’s fiancé decided to split from him. Nobody has heard from her since June 26th. As I find out more, I’ll share it, but for now I am focusing on Daphne and that baby.  Eric is not handling this well. You don’t just love someone one day and vanish out of their lives the next.

However, I myself, have to move forward as Eric handles the legal hurdles. He is going to file for visitation and intent to prove paternity since she just vanished.  Her family is not letting anyone’s calls get through to her and it really has people concerned since she is 23 years old.

I can handle almost anything. I was really looking forward to taking the kids to the park tonight, but a co-worker suddenly lost her mother and I will work in her place for now.  I don’t mind doing that. I know how I will feel once I lose my mother. So the Nanahood does have it’s good days and it’s rough days.  This just happens to be one of the rough ones.

Eric is going to have a fight ahead of him, I guess. I know his heart is broken over this break-up.  However this family is a strong one–even with its differences.  We’re all fighters or lovers depending on the situation. I know Eric well enough to know that regardless of how this is turning out with her, nothing will keep him from his son.  It is sad. It is tragic because we all know who is caught in the middle…My unborn grandson.  He will also know that he is loved here too.

There is some uncertainty going on with me right now.  I’m not sure what direction to take, so I’ll remain still for now. Right now I am needed right here, but once things have run their course, the direction the wind blows these sails may turn out to be somewhere pretty far away. Things do have to change though.  My family is not going to like it, but I may be relocating yet AGAIN. I may have to make a decision once again, but we’ll see. I’m not really sure whether to finish unpacking.  Oh well…I’ll end with this and a pic:  To be continued…

And one day I will soar into the world unknown and continue to expand my knowledge…One day I will travel abroad–and it may be sooner than later. I am needed here for now, but once this is over, I know I’ll have to follow my heart…

In What Colors Do You Dream?

Sounds silly doesn’t it?  Maybe it is but we all have our quirks and perks.  Some of us even slide into pulling into our shells from time to time because we are safer there. It is when I am in my shell, as I am at the moment that I begin to ask myself what it is I really want? What color do I want my life to be?  Blue is beautiful, yet almost as somber as black depending on the shade.  I love how the rain, lightning and thunder mixes with that–and there are many times I have felt safer in the storm than out of it.

Nobody can understand that thought either. I hear that life cannot be a “color” but who is it that makes these bloody rules?  I know that there are those times when I rant about some things, but they DO make some sense to me.  The color on those days is not a basic crayon red but more of that of arterial blood–my blood, which I once saw after being viciously bitten once.  That was a scary experience–combined with  yellow, which is often associated with fear but not canary yellow…Oh no…It’s more of a pastel because while there is some fear in my hesitation,  that part does not last long.

Then there is my mountain which ranges from brown to green, with various sprinkles of color throughout depending on my journey.  It calms and blends all those other colors.  It is said that we all bleed red but the road is red also.  That blood that dripped from me then is now part of that road for real.  So what color should I dream in?  Should it be the mixture of blues and greys of a summer rain long anticipated, or should I start to dream of greens and such?

Better yet here is a question for you.  What is the color of love?  Does any emotion have a color?  I thought I knew love but I didn’t until now.  It embraces me when I close my eyes. It chases me when I would rather be alone.  It really never gives up on me, so the Universe must know something that I don’t.  However, I don’t let it consume me.  I cannot let it possess me. It opens me back up to yellow all over again…This time the same shade of yellow as that wallpaper that Charlotte Perkins Gillman wrote about. I have heard that love is insane.  Time will tell won’t it?

What color is insanity?  Is it bold and bright or pastels and subdued?  Are the artists and dreamers really the mad ones or is the rest of the world the color of–well what color could the word “fucked” be?

Sometimes it can be the dark hues of “The Awakening” by Kate Chopin or “The Bell Jar” by Sylvia Plath.  All of these colors I am looking into–but if love has a color–I fear letting it become a force to drive me out of this comfort zone–this solitude I am now in for the rest of the week.  As long as I don’t slip into the darkness of a murky river with grey stones to weigh me down, I guess I am doing fine.  That color keeps chasing me–especially when I dream–but should I dream it at all?  Is it white and pure or is it the color of the bruises that I once had upon my heart?

I do know this much–it does have different types and degrees–some true and some false.  How does one know the difference in their heart? Does the  Universe say to trust it, or to think before deciding?   I’m not trying so hard now.  Maybe it is not a color but a vibration.  If I figure this out, I’ll discuss that later.  But for now, in what colors do you dream?  I think I’ll enjoy these colors for a while:

Solitude with peace…This is where love might find me–if I let it.

I will stop this now.  I would rather dream the colors of my mountain and the colors of the new chapter in my life about to open.  Something is on the horizon–and it will be to my benefit.   In what colors do you dream?

The Mistress

Once upon a time, a wise grandmother got onto her son for telling her grand-daughter to go get him a beer. The grand-daughter was only six. “You are teaching her that it is alright for her to drink when you do that.” Her son told her to mind her business. “I am. I never let you get your father’s drinks either. What you put into her is what you will get from her and by letting her put that in her hand, you are teaching her to follow your path.”
“I did not teach you to follow your father’s path. You defied me. You wake up and get a beer and you go to bed with one. It has become your mistress. I do not think it takes much to figure out why I am the only relative who comes here to help you. You loved that bottle more than her mother before she passed away, and now you love it more than your only child.”
He told her to go home and take his daughter with her so he could sleep late. He didn’t want to hear her preach at him any longer. She complied. That evening both were killed by a drunk driver as they left the market. IT was then he decided that she had been right all along. He had to lose the two people he loved the most to finally part with his mistress.

Dark Shadows: The Revival…Getting “Revived” via fans?

Some will think this is crazy but it is true! The 12 episodes of the Revival series are getting more attention since the Depp/Burton trailer has been released.  Hulu.com is getting more traffic for that version now.  Why? Fans are wanting to see what the fuss is all about and the Revival series offers a true Dan Curtis version in only 12 episodes. The curiosity is aroused once again. Curtis retained creative control over all of his productions until his death.

Ben Cross now owns the role according to his fans and he's gaining new ones! He is getting some well-deserved and long overdue respect as is the rest of the Revival series cast. Perhaps Hollywood should take note of this when making films...

Now my question is, why not release to 2004 pilot so fans can compare differences?  I do know this much–the new fans of the Revival series that are coming on board are saying that Ben Cross now owns the Barnabas role since the trailer’s release. Some of these new fans prefer the original but now appreciate the portrayal of Barnabas by Mr. Cross more now than they did in 1991.  Like it or not, Cross stayed more true to the basic instincts of such a character than most.  He tempered that battle between beast and man and is somewhat different from Frid in his approach to it.

I always say that Jonathan Frid made him more human to me as a small child, but Ben Cross made him a real “being” to me a few years back.   That being said, I am glad that finally the cast of the Dark Shadows Revival series is getting some long overdue positive recognition for their attempt to breathe fresh life into the show.  The late Jean Simmons was phenomenal as Elizabeth…RIP…Adrian Paul–outstanding…So was the rest of the cast–especially the duo of Ben Cross and Joanna Going.

I’ve heard the complaints about Ben’s mullet….I’ve heard the complaints about the Day for Night shots, but I’ll take that over a comedic farce any day of the week and that is what the new version will end up being–this time around.  If you are fans of the Revival series, there is a page for it on FB here:  https://www.facebook.com/DarkShadows.Revival .  For fans of Ben Cross, his page is here and he’d love to hear from you:  https://www.facebook.com/actorbencross …I’m sure Adrian Paul wouldn’t mind either…Here’s the link to his page–and he’s a phenomenal human being!  Look at the things he supports!  https://www.facebook.com/adrianpaulofficial  If you ever watched “Highlander’ you know who Adrian Paul is, kiddies.

I also suggest Mr. Depp do one thing for his next film…Skip the White Face make up. It will not  help with the Lone Ranger remake he is in either. Barnabas looks like a cross between Beetlejuice and a Vulcan. Here are both pics…Once you look at them go back and think about Beetlejuice (which starred Michael Keaton wearing the same make-up), Sweeney Todd, Edward Scissorhands, Etc…All are relatives in Depp’s character genealogy.  Enough with it already!

As talented as Mr. Depp is as an actor, I am beginning to wonder what other shows I loved as a  child will get laid to waste? People on Facebook and other sites are asking this also. Hopefully he will start paying attention.  He is one of the best actors there is, and I will never understand why he and Burton seem to be putting more of the shows in their cross hairs.  It is said that he’ll make “The Night Stalker” into a movie also. God forbid! Even the ABC ran version based on the original was not good!

The Great White Alligator of Baines Parish Louisiana (Part 2)

It was quiet for the rest of the afternoon around the house.  Felicia went into the front yard and sat on a bench outside by the front sidewalk.  The sun was peeking out from behind a few clouds that were beginning to disperse.  She then  pulled out  a book and began to read it when a young man was walking by. He was a sandy-haired young man in his late 20’s.  To Felicia he was gigantic, however he did stand at around 6’2″.

” ‘Ello!,” he said smiling, “And how is that little girl named Felicia who teased my father?”

“Daddy isn’t coming home.” she told him.

“Oh love…I’m sorry.  I’ve come at a bad time and I was going to invite your family to our housewarming–”

“I don’t know what a housewarming is.  It can’t be cold in there.” she said.

“Well,” he said as he smiled slightly at her response, ” it is actually a get together neighbors have when a new person moves into the area–it’s like a party.”

“I don’t know if a party is a good idea now.” she told him.

“But why Felicia?” he asked.

A  tear escaped her eyes.

“Everyone is really sad right now. Daddy died in the war and I don’t remember him.  He went away when I was a baby.” she told him.

“Oh my.  I am so sorry.  I’ll come back at another time, alright.,” he said to her as he came inside the gate and knelt to be at eye level with her, “But my father did say to give you this book. If your family needs anything, please let me know.”

“Thank you. I forgot your name, I’m sorry–”

“It is Stephan. I’ll see you later, okay?” he said.

“Okay.  Thank you for the book. I’ll read it.” she said.

Stephan stood back up and Ida appeared at the door.  “Is there something I can help you with, young man?” she asked.

He went to the door and introduced himself.  When Ida realized that he was their new neighbor–along with this father, whom Felicia had already met, she invited him in.

They talked for a few minutes and he did take her up on her offer of muffins and coffee.  Annie did not come downstairs.  Ida then explained that although Michael had been missing since Felicia was a baby, she was concerned at the impact that knowing he was never going to return would have on the child.

“I’ve worked with a lot of children, and I think she will surprise you.  She is very bright and resilient.” he told her.

“Why thank you,” Ida said, “You’ll also find that she has a very large imagination when things get back to normal.”

“Oh yes! She already told me of the white alligator! It is actually a fascinating folk tale.  There is an old Indian in town that told me of it two days ago. I tend to think that he actually believes it!” he grinned.

“Big Bear.  He’s a full-blooded Lakota Sioux Indian and he always looks out for Felicia when we go into town.  He tells her all kinds of stories and tales, but she loves the one about that alligator! Big Bear can see things sometimes. He told me when Felicia turned one that her father would not be found alive. I didn’t want to believe him either–for my daughter’s sake.” Ida told him.

“Well, I thank you for your hospitality but I must really be running along now.  I am truly sorry for your loss. If you need anything let us know. I’d like to know when the service is if that is alright. My father and I will be there for your family.” he said.

“Why thank you. I’ll let you know Mr.–”

“Just call me Stephan.” he said as they went to the door.   Felicia thanked him again for the book and went quickly upstairs.  She laid the book on her bed and looked at Michael’s picture.

Grandma was right. You really aren’t coming back. I’m sorry, Daddy.  I’ll see if I can find the alligator another day so Mommy will be happy again. I’ll still talk to you though. I promise.” she said as yet a few more tears welled up in her eyes. It was becoming real to her now.  She took his picture to the bed and set it next to her pillow. She then fell asleep.

Meanwhile, Stephan went back to his house.  The painters were painting the outside a very pale bluish-grey color.  It was at that point his father, Jack, stepped outside.  He then went to the mailbox as Stephen approached.

“Well where have you been off to? I got three phone calls from different schools already.” Jack said.

“Then I’ll call them back, Dad. It’s not a big deal.” Stephan smiled.

“Was that little girl home today? She hasn’t been by and she usually comes by just to see what your old man is tearing apart!” he grinned.

“Dad, Felicia may not be around for a bit.” Stephan told him solemnly.

“What on Earth do you mean? She didn’t get into some kind of trouble or anything–”

“No, Dad…Her father was killed in the war. Her grandmother told me that he had been missing since she was a baby but this has to be devastating for her.” he said.

“I am sure that it is. Just let me know when the services are.  Does Felicia have a mother? Jack asked.

“Yes but I have not met her. I only know because her grandmother, Ida, explained that she hasn’t left her room.” Stephan said.

“Damned dreadful.” Jack said as he went back to the house.   Stephan could see Felicia’s house from the curb.

“Poor kid.” he said to himself.  He then got into his own car and headed into town.  He remembered how distant he felt from Jack after his own mother died when he was 8.  He thought it was totally heartless to not shed tears, but then one night a month later, he got up to go to the bathroom and saw Jack talking to her picture as rain was pounding the roof.

“God I miss you, Kate.,” he began as a tear did escape his eyes, “I cannot let him see me like this. He’ll think I am weak.  The truth is, I don’t know how to do anything the way that you did.  I was always a man’s man, but you had a way with kids that I just do not have.  Your mother suggested that I read him stories and such and I will try that, but I can never be you. I love that boy with my life and I’m so afraid to let him see what I feel. I want him to be strong–and I am not.”

“Dad, you’re a lot stronger than you think.  I found that out when I broke my leg that summer playing football.” Stephan thought to himself as he pulled into the store.  Big Bear, who stood at 6′ 4″ was sitting on a stump beside the door.  Stephan got out of his car, a brand new Chevy Volt and was about to enter when Big Bear uttered:

“Felicia will unite this place.  You are good with her. That will bring you great reward.” he said.

“Okay.  Thank you–”

“No need. You do it, not me. You see things that she sees. You understand her. Other grown ups do not, but they will.  Through her eyes, this town will be strong again.”  he said.

“I’ll be right back, Big Bear.” Stephan said, still unsure of what to think of this.

“I know.  You will by eggs, milk, bread, meat and more candy for Felicia.” he said.

“How did you–”

“Dropped your list. Felicia likes those home-made lemon drops.  She’s allergic to nutmeg though so steer clear of Emma’s grab bag. Makes the girl break out in hives.”  Big Bear said as he picked it up off of the ground and handed it to him.

“Thank you.” Stephan grinned.

“You are welcome. You and your father will both learn much from her.” he said.

Stephan really wasn’t sure how to handle what Big Bear told him, but several of his neighbors told him that they always go to him when they need advice.

Meanwhile, his father, Jack sat at the kitchen table scratching his head.  He was grateful that he and Stephan were close, but was even more grateful that he learned that tears were not a weakness before it was too late.  He opened up his brown leather wallet and looked at a picture inside.  It was one of himself, his wife Kate,  and of Stephan when he was a baby.   His eyes got misty as he talked to it…

“You would be proud of him Kate.  He has grown into a strong man with a big heart–just as you had hoped.  He still has to put up with the old man being himself though.  We  still have that piano and the drum set.  I still have the jewelry. I couldn’t part with it.  Maybe one day our son will have a daughter but who knows? I often wonder how things might have been had you been here today. No one could ever begin to understand me as you did…”   he mused as the phone rang. His brother from Surrey was calling…

Jack talked to his brother Ike for a long time.  45 minutes had passed when he looked up at the clock…”Just like his mother…Shops until he’s broke or talks until his tongue falls out!” he laughed.

Stephan picked up the items on his list and then walked back over to Big Bear.

“You think I’m crazy but I’m not. I see things. Felicia needs a real hero. You’re it.” he said.

“I hardly know her–”

“The spirits say you will save her. They don’t lie.  They say your father will learn to dream again too.” he said.

“Well I appreciate your thoughts.” Stephan said as he went for the car.

“And she’ll love the book.” he replied.   This really threw Stephan off. Only he and his father knew of it.

Stephan’s thoughts were on Felicia all the way back to his house.  He felt her emptiness. He felt her pain.  He was determined to speak with Jack about it as well.

As he pulled into the drive, the sun was still shining down on the neighborhood since it had cleared up.  Since Jack insisted on having the painters out, he was grateful that it didn’t mist or rain.   When he walked in, he noticed Jack had fallen asleep while in his recliner so he quietly carried in the groceries and put them away.  He then went outside and called the numbers to the three schools Jack had written for him. He then looked over at the stove and noticed that his mother’s favorite tea kettle was on the counter beside it.  He then looked over to the left and saw her favorite biscuit jar too–one she picked up when they went to Japan one year for a visit…She loved cranes and it had pictures of cranes on it.

He smiled and looked back at his father. “Dad you always strive to keep her alive around here.  I suppose that’s good, but I’m grown now so should you decide to put out those beer steins out she didn’t like, I’ll think you want her to come back to haunt you!” he said softly as he remembered how mad his mother got at Jack for gambling to win them.  She found out that they were worth a lot of money later and decided maybe she should leave him be over it.  These spats always gave Stephan a laugh or two as a child.

 

Farewell My Warrior

I stood up here again today.  I waited quietly for the sign or a word from you.  I felt so alone–isolated and unloved without you here.  I kept dwelling on why you were taken from me, weeping softly as the willow trees harmonized along with the wind.   It was then I felt the embrace of the South Wind.  The warmth of it made me aware of a presence I hadn’t noticed before.   I felt as if I were being embraced when I was asking why you were gone.  I looked to my right and saw a number of blue jays in a nearby try.  They didn’t move even if I moved closer, but kept watching me…

It was then I remembered something else–a story an old man in the village had told me about how the cardinals and blue jays watch over us at times.  I could almost hear you telling me that it was alright.  I could almost feel you wrap your arms around me in that wind.  Then the clouds started to blow in and a mist began to fall…I then heard the cry of the Eagle.  I knew the time to mourn would pass and that the Eagle would guide me to the point to where I could find you.

I began to walk further into the forest on that mountain and the rain began to fall.  I found a cave and went inside.  The storm grew worse, but I knew the Eagle guided me here for a reason. As the thunder roared and the rain quenched the thirst of the forest, I felt a slumber come over me.  I laid down on my jacket and closed my eyes.  I then walked through a field toward a magnificent lake.  The mountains there were much taller than here and had more green trees and beautiful flowers. It was there I saw the white stallion.  You once promised me that when I saw a white stallion, it would mean that I would go to another land, far away from the land of my tears.

I had little idea that when I arrived back home, a plane ticket to a place called Montana was waiting for me.  I guess that it is there that I will discover a new world–and a new life.  I did not know that I would be needed elsewhere, but you did.  You told me this long before I lost you.  I will go forth now and will shed no more tears.  This was meant to be.  What awaits me there, I am not sure, but I know that when you told me that I would leave here, I never thought that I would have to live this vision alone.  Until we meet again.  Farewell, my warrior.

The water behind the mountain ahead...

 

 

What Dark Shadows (The Original) and Dark Shadows (The Revival) Have in Common…And What they Don’t…

NOTE: My apologies in advance for the alignment of the pics with the text between further down. I tried my best to correct this but the text would keep showing up between the pictures of Lara Parker and Lysette Anthony

Earlier I wrote a post in which I described how certain people are telling me how I should not judge an entire movie by a two-minute trailer.  That is a statement made in ignorance (at best) because the trailers are the most important vehicle to make a viewer want to watch a film or decide to save their money.  I am going to describe what the two shows above have in common…I am also going to leave you with a question at the end to ponder.

Many people who know me personally know I ran home from school EVERY DAY so that I would see if “Barnabas was well yet”…I wanted him to be cured and that bully “Angelique” to get the royal ass kicking she deserved.  I have done a lot of reading and such and studying for the past few months.  This is what I PERSONALLY look for in any movie or show I watch, and if I don’t see it, I don’t view it again.  If the trailer sucks, it will result in more monetary loss than gain in the long run because those who came up with it failed to do their homework before filming the project.  Translated that means: THEY DIDN’T DO ANY MARKET RESEARCH FIRST.  If they had, they would have KNOWN that this was not a good thing they were trying to accomplish.

First off, what did Barnabas ever do to deserve being cursed and having his entire family tormented?  Bottom line, he screwed around with the WRONG woman…In today’s time, since he wasn’t married yet, it wouldn’t matter.  The man had a flaw and it got him in hot water–period.  Was this “hot water” truly deserved? No…It was not and that is what made us as children (especially if we got bullied) empathize with the Barnabas character…This was also played out in the Revival Series VERY well.

Then there is this element of “mystery”–which really was not a mystery to us in the 90’s when the Revival series came out, but while fans of the original series were looking for a “Jonathan Frid” many were not disappointed with Ben Cross‘s rendition of that character.  Dan Curtis‘s method of casting and directing ensured that BOTH actors were able to evoke and keep our attention.  The difference lies in that Frid’s rendition came across as more “human” than beast.  Cross’s rendition made him more menacing and flawed, but like Frid’s character,  he was still a good man with a good heart.  And in Cross’s rendition, the strong emotions his Barnabas experienced were portrayed very, very well.

The Two Best Men to Ever Play Barnabas Collins.  Sorry Johnny, but Mr. Cross raised the bar too high.  After the 2012 movie is released, I believe Mr. Cross will finally be more appreciated for his rendition of the role--and rightly so!

My apologies to Mr. Depp here, but after seeing that performance in the trailer, it proves that Mr. Cross raised the bar too high. No other actor since him has portrayed him as well.  It would be great if the original cast invited cast members from the Revival to take part in the fests also.  They are still part of that legacy–and are more recognizable now than they were then.  The Revival Series will probably now get the respect it so richly deserved. The Gulf War is what led to the show’s fate–not the writers, cast or crew.  They totally rocked and so did the direction of Dan Curtis in both series.  The formula Mr. Curtis had was not broken. Market research would have proven that had Mr. Burton or Depp done it and/or paid any attention to it. I find it no coincidence that Mr. Curtis tended to use actors with Shakespearean backgrounds in theater as well.  Look at Frid and Cross…Both carried the character very well.

In BOTH shows, our curiosity was aroused and our intellect was challenged enough that we responded!  Boy did we!

Now who is the visible villain in BOTH shows?  “Angelique” DUH! Really?!   Both had intense eyes.  For each time period–both were realistic–meaning that Lara Parker kicked ass at this part in the ’60’s but Lysette Anthony did in the Revival Series.  Ms. Anthony succeeded in doing an excellent portrayal of a voodoo witch with the correct (French) accent too since that character  came from Martinique.

There is one problem and that is the total lack of a hero or heroine.  That was not clear in either series really but Barnabas did show heroic tendencies at times.  The character of Barnabas Collins is also the first vampire to come across as romantic, despite the fact that a lot of women do not like the idea of a permanent hickey on their neck–oops! Sorry! Barnabas would say it’s just a “love bite”, I’m sure.  I am grinning here.

The reason this is an unknown is that the original series was intended to be a long running show and it was.  But what do fans want here?  I think they want a RESOLUTION to the dilemma.  Either cure Barnabas’s curse or put a stake in him and kill of Angelique so the rest of the family can live in whatever after may be–OR some enterprising writer needs to come up with new characters to cure him of his curse and make the story line so realistic that fans would accept any new characters brought in.  It won’t happen for this movie though. They are already talking about sequels–AGAIN–lack of true market research…They would have known this had they done that task. If they would resolve the Barnabas issue and move on to Quentin it might have fighting chance in hell of long-term success–but ONLY if they didn’t deviate too far from fans expectations.  It was never meant to have comedic schlock in it. That would work for the “Fearless Vampire Killers” but NOT for this one.

Why?  This is simple.  This show had been established for decades.  The comedic schlock only lowered the plausibility of it at this point. It also put a mar on the credibility of the franchise and it isn’t even out yet. Fans of the original and the Revival are in an uproar.  The humor that came about came naturally when it occurred in the original series and in the 1700’s flashbacks of the Revival.  That is how it was meant to be written.  Dan Curtis did show that Barnabas did have a “life”.  To add the type of humor in the new film shatters the audience expectations  of a show they love–and this all from a 2 minute trailer.  Never tell a viewer not to judge a movie by a trailer. That is what trailers are DESIGNED to do–enable a viewer to make a decision.

One great thing about BOTH shows is that either Barnabas and/or some other character is always in danger…There was that element that it wasn’t only Barnabas that could be destroyed in a given moment if found out–but Angelique had a pendulum swinging over the heads of his entire family.  One didn’t really know where that was going at times.

Then you have that “love story” aspect…It is there. It is tragic.  However if it had been kept in the spirit of the original–even with a surprise twist by adding a new hero or heroine to resolve it, it could have worked whether or not Josette Dupres remained part of the equation.  There were clashes of wills between the vampire Barnabas and Josette when she became frightened and jumped from the cliff. Clashing of wills was present throughout the original. In the Revival it was there also–even between Barnabas and Willie at the point where Willie had tried to dissuade Victoria from coming there and tried to get her to leave the old house before it got dark.  This was the result:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_zoTfRmm9o

In the original series, Victoria left Collinsport for good.  This would have been a perfect opportunity to bring in a character or two to resolve the issue.  Had that been done, I think the viewers would have been left with a sense of closure by the end of the series.  If it were me writing it, I would want the audience to feel closure at the end–whether it’s tragic or the “fairy tale” ending the women would LOVE…In the original series, Barnabas declaring his “love” for Angelique is not credible.  It was–for lack of a better word–bullshit.

Angelique would destroy anyone or anything to have control over Barnabas. That is obsession–not love. After all she had done to his family, I seriously doubt that he could “love” her.  To continue with that unrealistic expectation would be insulting to the fans as well and they are not going to buy into it.  At best, Angelique COULD be considered mentally off-balance.  AT worst, a psychopath OR a sociopath depending on which version one watches.

Just from the trailer, the things I mention do not appear to be present.  The new movie looks more like a Beetlejuice type of film.   I think those who watched that movie or “The Vampire’s Assistant” and liked them will love this movie.  Those who know what was meant to be in both the original and the Revival series will probably hate it–despite the names of Depp/Burton being attached to it. Big names do not always equal box office success either.  We will know soon, won’t we?  I’ll wait for the dvd myself.

There is one thing that the original Dark Shadows does not have in common with the Revival series and that is longevity.  Had it not been for the Gulf War, I’m sure the Revival series would have picked up and taken off eventually.  NBC really screwed up by not giving it a second shot…Those who watch it now tend to agree with that assessment.

Killing Time–and the Wisdom of Beavis and Butthead, and the “Breakfast Club”

One of the most horrible things about living in our world is that we are slaves to a bloody clock.  Our days are divided up into segments of 24 hours rather than from sunrise to sundown.  If I ever have my way, my day will go back to the natural way it was meant to be.   To be honest, I am mainly tired and ill in bed with the flu as I type this, but I still will type  away.

However I am grateful for all of this because it gives me so much time to reflect.  It gives me time to sit back and just BREATHE.  I love life.   I love the opportunities that are opening up for me–and they are there.  I see them on the dream board I’ve been building onto and adding to for over a year.  Time, reflections and travel are recurring themes on it and I know it will come to pass.

I constantly think outside the box. I’ve never had the opportunity to really study the arts which I find to be fascinating, but I did have the opportunity to read many books, which breathe life into many a subject–if they are able to keep my interest longer than some of the people I have met.  Because of a lot of drama and trauma, I was the reclusive creature in my younger years.  I was a lot like Ally Sheedy‘s character in “The Breakfast Club” too–minus the stealing.  I couldn’t draw like she could–but I could write.  That was my escape from the cruel world in which I lived. I find that this fan made video featuring the character of Allison Reynolds was perfect:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lPbfshzJ9g&feature=related

To me that was the character, that in real-life, who was probably the most misunderstood and (most likely) misguided among them all.  No one knew what went on in her head until she acted on it.  She didn’t share much until later.  No one knew what pain she went through outside of the school-house walls.  I wonder where she would be in a class reunion today?  I know where I am–usually…Notably absent and with reason.

This is what Allison and I needed to hear when we were younger…Maybe one day if she hasn’t already–we will hear this from SOMEONE:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1bcQMCZ5gU

I dreamed of one day having the courage to even get in front of people again, which I now have.

“…I am I myself alone…I realize I never need to use no one–money, power, holy roads…Freedom puts my faith in none of the above…”–Duran Duran (From ‘None of the Above‘)…

I can so relate to that song. You can hear it in its entirety here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ezrtGrpvSk

I lived that song and I really would like to cover it with an all female band…Growing up in the south has been confining in some ways, but very free in others.  Now before all my Baptist relatives and friends start sending me e-mails, I will say this.  All that song says to me is that we are all responsible for our own paths in life and we have to choose those for ourselves.  Many of us were brought up to be pleasing and accommodating, when in reality, it is that nature in some of us that made us so weak that we reach a breaking point.  We have to walk away in order to find our own answers at times–and it has nothing to do with whether we believe in a creator as much as it has to do with the fact that every person’s steps have to be directed from within.

It is when we follow our consciences that we often come up against stiff opposition from our families and communities and we are forced to conform and be accepted or go our own way and face their anger at their loss of influence over our everyday lives.  They learn to deal with it, just as we learn to deal with the fact that some will never accept us as we are as individuals.

My dad used to really get angry if I failed to call him at least once or twice a month.  One time he actually called the sheriff of the county I live in thinking that I went missing.  I love him to this day for that.  I also miss him terribly, even though there were times he really got upset because he couldn’t influence certain decisions of mine–including who to vote for.  You see, if you don’t vote the way the family thinks you should vote, they think you come close to being a candidate for a frontal lobotomy for the simple fact that you break family traditions–at least it seems that way sometimes!

What blew his mind is when I actually would show him how people he supported actually voted on the issues. After that, he never voted a straight party ticket either–at least I do not think he did.  It was also after that day he finally accepted the fact that I march to my drum and he didn’t have to worry over it.

As I was growing up, women were still being raised to be home-makers…Well, I didn’t exactly fit the mold.  I worked and raised my kids.  Sometimes it involved having 2-3 jobs.  Again, my life was ran by a clock.  People would say “budget your time”…I’d say, “You are so full of it. I work 2 jobs, attend college and am raising kids.  I only have an allotment of 8 hours to budget for sleep–and that is if one of my kids isn’t sick!”

After some of my “friends” had kids of their own, they figured out what I meant.  I wouldn’t trade those days for anything.  They molded me into who I am today.  When I am home sick, my boys get me chicken soup and Gatorade! Gatorade!  The fix all for everyone’s ailments and/or injuries (according to them)!  I think they got that off of Beavis and Butthead to be honest…Want proof?  Here it is!  Here is a clip from the “Dog Bite” episode!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60GCIZqoVfw

Well, anyway, just because they are grown now, doesn’t mean that things change.  They still need Mom from time to time and it makes her feel pretty good–even though they don’t know it!  I keep it to myself a lot.  When they get sick, I tend to look in on them, but God Forbid that I actually get them medicine!  They refuse to take it for some reason–unless it’s REALLY serious enough to have antibiotics for.  Maybe more of that Comanche blood is in them than I thought!

Well, anyway, life is good…I am happy and I love my boys–as well as my unborn grand child…

I’ll know whether to buy for a boy or girl on the 28th and I’ll spill the beans for sure!  Take care and have a great weekend! I only hope that all the other Allison’s in the world find this sense of peace…

You Just Had to Ask Me…

Note: While I am on my “hiatus” of sorts from discussing certain things  on the blog, I hope you enjoy this interlude of a different story while I keep working on part 6 of “Centuries Under the Moon”–Kadja

The older man came to her and sat next to her…’Wanna dance?”  he asked, brushing back his salt and pepper hair from his face, which had just enough lines to reveal that he was a hard-working man with some determination.

“No. I don’t dance.” she said as she was trying to listen to the band, brushing her black bangs from her eyes.

“You don’t dance? Seriously?” he asked her.

“No. I don’t.  What part don’t you get?” she said firmly as smoke continued to fill the air–and he continued to invade her space…

“Wanna take a walk outside?” he asked.

“No.” she said again.

She had seen the wedding band and knew this guy’s drill.  She already knew there was no common ground with him, so she put her barrier between them quickly.  He was one of many that she had no use for–let alone a desire to get acquainted with.  She kept to herself–until she walked onto stage. Then she let it out.  All that angst–and the power to release it ignited her defiant soul more than ever as she shook her head to one side, her black hair moving away from her green eyes as she took that microphone into her hand.

She then went back to her booth, where a reporter she was expecting had been waiting.  He was a young man, close to her age.  Very good-looking, and he knew she was a tough one to interview. His editor had warned him about how she can be. Yet there she was–all 5’5″ of her.  He stood 6’1″.  When his brown eyes locked on her, he knew this woman was different from the others he’d had dealt with before and he knew that he’d better tread lightly.  Her bottle of Patron and a lit candle were waiting for her, along with two glasses.  She offered him a drink, which he accepted.  She noticed that the sandy colored locks this reporter had were a sharp contrast to Michael Redding’s well-kept black hair. She also liked it that he showed up in jeans and a T-shirt, and appeared to have not shaven in two days as opposed to Michael’s “everything has to be perfect” look.

“You have no one in your life?” he asked after they conversed for some time, talking about her upbringing in Oregon and her family–which she didn’t say much about–YET.

What difference does it make? I have plenty of people who support what I do and I don’t have time to limit myself in any way.  No man has ever loved me for the creature that I am so I fly solo and I sleep solo.” she responded.

“Even though Michael Redding is telling all who will hear him that he wants a relationship beyond friendship?” the reporter asked.

“As I said, what difference does it make?” she asked.

“He seems like a nice enough guy–”

“Which is why I’m doing him a favor by avoiding him this week since that is the public perception.” she mused.

“He’s heir to the Biotechna fortune.” the reporter said, puzzled that she would say such a thing when they seemed to be so close.

“And?”

“But you two seem to go very well together in public–”

“That’s what he tells me.”  she said.

“You’re not going to tell me if you two are in a relationship, are you?” he asked.

“IF we were, I wouldn’t be interviewing with you alone in a darkened booth in a friggin’ bar.” she grinned, as shafts of light flashing into the booth revealed her dark red lips and pale skin.

“Do you have a hard time in relationships?” he asked out of curiosity.

“No because I never enter into arrangements with anyone. I don’t believe in it. If I want to play house, I’ll hire a gigolo.” she said sarcastically as a sheepish grin came across her face.

“What do you mean?” he asked.

“People in this town hook up to find convenient arrangements for combining resources and such.  You will find that many couples in this business aren’t in love but they only stay together because they can tolerate each other.  In other words, they play house.  I know four couples right now who cannot say “I love you” to each other, which sucks because two of those couples brought kids into this bitch we refer to as our world.  Their teen children are screwed up because they know why their parents are together–just like mine were back in the heyday of this town.  No thank you.  Men who want that do not interest me. I’m not an investment or a breeding mare.”  she said.

“So you plan to avoid romance altogether? That seems rather sad.”  the reporter said.

“There is no such thing as romance–especially here. It’s all about appearances.  I don’t believe in romantic love anymore. Everyone in this town is about getting into an arrangement.  If they weren’t, you wouldn’t find so many of them screwing around on each other like my own parents did.” she said.

“You have been at odds with your parents for years.  Do you speak to them now?” he asked.

“Not very often.” she said.

“Why?  They seem like nice people–”

“My stepfather is one of the coolest people on the planet.  So is my dad. I cannot say the same about my mother or that bitch my father sleeps with and calls a wife.  I don’t care if you print that or not Mr. Jacobson.  I talk to neither of my parents since I had to go to court to get their hands off of my bank accounts.” she said.

“This is what the feud is over?  Money?” he asked.

“That’s what they WANT to think.  It’s not. It’s about their inability to live their own sick lives through their daughter and son.  They did the same to my younger brother.” she said.

“He committed suicide.” the man said.

“Yes.  AFTER dear old MOM cleared out his funds.  Then she sent part of it to dad via the stepmom and he says he never saw a dime of it although she admits she had it.”  she mused.

“Will you ever make amends with them? They seem to be reaching out to you now–”

“For more money. Here! I’ll prove it.” she grinned as she turned on her speaker phone.

“What’s up Ce Ce?” she asked her stepmother.

“Is this for another one of your business schemes–like the one that broke dad’s company?” she asked.

“No! It’s for your father’s eye surgery and I have no time for–”

“Well, if it weren’t for the lasik I’d send it but I know how you operate. You’d use it elsewhere.”  she said flatly.

“Come on! Reese, what is $15,000 to you?  We are your family–”

“Dad is my family. You are nothing.  He told me he was scrapping the lasik thing last week. Nice try, CeCe.” she said as she hung up.

“Mr. Whatever your name is–THAT is how my family is. Always with a hand out. Always a new lie.  She’s not half as bad as my mother is.  I’m surprised my step dad hasn’t left her ass.   She’s still paying back money she robbed from me.”  she said to him.

“So you’ve been robbed of your childhood, robbed of part of your fortune and robbed of what good in life you can have out of fear of being used?”  the reporter asked.

‘I am a corporation, am I not? I am used every day. Even Mr. Redding will tell  you that much.  I’m not marrying or moving in with him either–and you can print that in the papers, the book, I don’t care…  I like my space.  He asked me to marry him four times in three months, but when he sees my prenup he tries to skirt it so I don’t see him any longer.” she said.

“I just think it is sad that you can trust no one.  Off the record.  Why did you let me interview you?” he asked her.

“You just had to ask me.” she mused.

“I really want to know.” he said.

“Your name is Stephen Robinson and you work for the Herald, correct?” she asked.

“Yes.”

“Then I chose you because you don’t bullshit. I like that.  I like that article you did on Tibet too.” she said.

“Why do I get the sense that this may head elsewhere?” he asked.

“I’m hiring you to write my biography.  Didn’t your boss tell you that?  IF you decide to do it, you’ll have the exclusive.  You’ll be traveling with me and my band mates–IF I decide to regroup.  You’ll see the good, the bad and the ugly–and the fugly too. ” she grinned.

“Is there anything about the “fugly” I need to know about?”  he asked.

“I have maybe a year to live and I want the truth out.  I’m making my will tomorrow.  I refuse medical treatment as my younger sister died of this particular blood disorder I have.  Here is the reality.  I will never have a normal life. I will never get married or be a mother…In short, you get to write about how f**ked up my life and my family really is.  I know you can bring it out the way it needs to be brought out.  You’ll also be there at the end.  My band knows nothing and neither does my family, my agent or my manager.  I don’t fear dying either. It is the only release I’ll have from the ongoing bullshit in my family anyway.” she said.

“This is a joke, right?” he asked.  Then he noticed as a faint shaft of light came across her face.  A tear had rolled down her cheek.

“I wish it were one of my f***ing jokes.  I would be laughing hysterically if it were.  However, I will leave them nothing. Absolutely nothing.  At the same time, I want to learn how to really live.  Does that make sense?”  she asked as her tone became more resolute and she wiped the tear from her cheek with the sleeve of her blouse.

“What do you mean?” he asked.

“I want to do what I have always been afraid to do–starting with bungee jumping. Go with me.” she said.

“Bungee jumping?” he asked.

“Bungee Jumping…Right after I get my will signed.  By the way, you are getting a hefty check for all of this shit.” she told him.

“What if you chicken out of the jump?” he asked.

“That’s what YOU’RE there for…To make sure I don’t, dammit.” she said.

“Oh so I’m a personal assistant to you now?  I am sorry but I don’t know how to–”

“Just bring whatever you need to write.  Don’t be anything less than honest either.  That is all I ask of you.” she said as she downed a shot of tequila.

“Look, Miss Harrison–”

“Look at it this way.  Either you write it or nobody else will.” she said flatly.

“I need to think this over and talk with my editor–”

“You’re getting exclusive rights to the story.  I’m paying you $150,000 to write it, plus 50% royalties in any film rights and such,  with a $50,000 advance  for your time.  He knows that.  Besides, you free-lance anyway. IF you want it in writing–”

“Miss Harrison, this is a huge assignment for me.  I need to think about it.  I was going to go to Nepal–”

“Which you’ll have plenty of time to do later because if it’s about the orphanage, I am part of that benefit taking place there.  All I am asking for is part of your time–not 24/7–unless you want to get the whole deal.” she said.

He didn’t have to think beyond 48 hours.  $150K for a year…Not bad and it’s not exactly chump change given the fact that other writers, at least in his mind, were superior to him.  Stephen Robinson knew this assignment would be life changing–but he had no idea how much.  He went to her house in Beverly Hills 2 days later.  When her maid answered the door, Reese was pouting on the stair case.

“TWO days…It took you two days to make up your mind?  I didn’t go bungee jumping either. Thanks for nothing.” she pouted.

“You didn’t need to do that right away anyhow.  Besides, I had loose ends to tie up.” he said.

“Whatever.” she mused as she stood up and went into her conservatory.  While the maid, Abigail, showed him to his room, she told him, “Mr.  Robinson, she is really mad about you taking two days.  She only goes in the conservatory and composes like this when she is angry. Just let her be for a couple of hours and she’ll be fine.  She’s furious with Mr. Redding too.” she warned him.

He was amazed by her choice of decor.  She stayed true to the history of the house, which was built during the early 1900’s.  There was an ornate fireplace in her den, another living area with a smaller one and huge bay windows that had a view of the pool. He noticed the bar and made particular note that everything in the rooms had solid colors–no patterns.  Abigail explained that she did the main rooms of the house in this fashion due to her sister’s epilepsy when she came to visit.  According to Abigail, almost any extreme pattern or something as simple as a flashing light could cause a seizure, so Reese was taking extra precautions.  She did have hanging crystals in her conservatory though and there was some pattern to that.

He loved the deep blue and silver accents and the  fabric adorned it.  There was no straying from the color scheme except to add grey throws to the chairs.  He was also keen to the scent of enchiladas cooking.

“Why? He’s crazy about her–”

“That’s what he wants her to think but she caught him two timing her a few months back when they was together.  He hit her when she refused to take him back. Now he wants her back again and she said very nasty things to him and told him to get out of her life–only she used more curse words.  She really fears him, Sir.” she said.

“Well, thanks for the heads up.” he told her.

“You seem like a nicer guy than he was.  I hope she takes a likin’ to ya!  She deserves some happiness after her mother pulled that stunt last week on her.”  she said.

“What stunt was that?” he asked.

“She tried to get control of her money again but the judge threw it out.  She’s 28 now and she can do what she wants and it just ticks her mama off.  She seems so sad lately though.  She doesn’t joke around much any more.  I’ve known her since she was 12.  Something is not right about her.”  Abigail said.

“Well I’ll see what I can do.” he said as he scratched his head.

When he unpacked, showered and shaved, Abigail was knocking at his door frantically…”Mr. Robinson please come!”

“What’s the matter, Abigail?” he asked as he opened his door after hastily putting on jeans and a T-Shirt. Then he heard the sound of crashing glass.

“She’s in a bad way again, Mr. Robinson–Mr. Redding made her mad again! They are down there arguing and I’m afraid he will slug her like he did before when they were together!”

As he entered the den she threw another vase at Michael yelling, “I told you to get the f**k out of my life and stay out! I meant it then and I damned well mean it now!”

“Look, Reese…I’m sorry you got hurt.  She means nothing to me,” he told her as he tried to get close to her.  She then pulled a letter opener out, “Don’t you dare come near me!” she yelled.

“Reese, you know you aren’t going to do that.  Put it down–”

“Back off dammit!” she yelled.

“I’m not going to hurt you again, Reese–”

“I think you’d better get the hell out of here.” Stephen said firmly to him.

“Oh…And who might you be? I think you’re the one who had better learn your place around me–”

“Anytime you feel lucky, bring it.,” Stephen told him, “But you will not bother her again.  I mean it.”  He saw that Reese still had the letter opener in her hand and she was shaking.

“You work for her?  Gee…Wait until you see how idiotic she is!  She thinks anyone who is with her has to be f***ing perfect! I screwed around on her one time and she  acts like she’s holier than thou! Maybe if she f***ing knew how to put out to a man, she’d be able to keep one–”

“Maybe if you were a man, I’d have stayed with your ass.” she mused.

“Don’t you talk to me like that! You’re the one who goes on tour after tour–”

“And bailed your ass out of a $7 million dollar debt.  We are done now get out!” she hissed.

He stormed toward the front door, “Reese, I’ll be back when you calm down.  We need to talk about this more–”

“I’m getting a restraining order. Abigail, call the police.” she said.

“Yes ma’am!” Abigail said as she went into another room and called them.

“So that’s the way you want it?” Michael asked her.

“For a long time now. Leave me alone!” she said.

“Fine! Don’t come crying to me when you can’t handle the pressure and shit!” he said.

“Oh I won’t. Believe me.” she said icily.

When Michael left, she sat down shaking as Abigail rushed over to her…

“Are you alright–”

“I am now that he’s gone.  I’ll get the restraining order. I’ve had it.” she said.

“I never would have thought him to be violent.” Stephen said.

“Welcome to just one aspect of my fugly world.” Reese said as she looked up into his eyes. It was then he saw the red mark on her cheek.

“Well, it shouldn’t be like that.” he said as he waited for the police to arrive in the foyer.  When they arrived, they wrote out a criminal trespass for Michael and took her statement.  She filed harassment and assault charges since Abigail saw Redding strike her.

“Well, it’s a good thing the media is already here because those reporters he has in his camp are going to make out like he’s just a friggin’ love-sick victim.”  Reese said.

“Good thing I am here, then. I’ll save it for the book though.”  Stephen said.

“Thank you. I appreciate that more than you know.  It’ll die down in a few days.” she said.

Within a few weeks, Stephen saw how she went about her daily routine.  Her songwriting habits and the various chew out sessions with her management and various band members often perplexed him but at times he laughed.  He found some of it to be rather amusing, and was becoming more drawn to her as she undertook charitable work.  They traveled to Nepal and to Costa Rica together where she saw the wildlife refuge and went bungee jumping with Stephen.

As the sunlight shone upon them and the warm tropical breeze embraced their beings, they were having a bit of a heated debate…

“You can’t be serious about doing this! There is plenty of other things to do in Costa Rica than risk our lives!” Stephen said.

“You’re kidding me, right? If the cord breaks and I die, at least I have nothing to lose.” she mused.

“Don’t talk like that! It isn’t funny!” he said to her.

“It is absurd and that is why I said it. I am merely trying to point out to you that there is nothing to be afraid of.  We’re not that high up and the water is 100 ft. deep.” she said.

“Not that high up? Look do—” she pushed him and jumped afterward.

“Shiiiiiiiiiiiiitttttt!” he screamed all the way down as she laughed.

They bounced a bit and he shot her a dirty look once they calmed down.

“Why the hell did you push me?! It’s not funny–” he protested.

“I didn’t have all day to wait on you to make your mind up.  I’ve got other things to cross off my list anyway! Why can’t you just admit that it was kind of fun?  You had to have felt a rush–”

“Oh yeah! The rush of DEATH!” he snapped.

“Exactly,” she beamed, “But if it makes you feel any better, my friend, I’ll never push you off  like that again. I promise!”

Something in her smile was rather infectious.  Something in her assertiveness was addicting.  HE finally cracked a smile at her again.

“Do you MEAN that?” he asked her.

“Not really.” she smiled as she winked at him.

“Oh shit…Whatever.” he said.