Kimberlain O'Driscoll, MBA, M.Ed
My stories come to me in the form of vivid dreams. The challenge is in putting them to words. I'm medically retired, ride a Harley, and have five ferrets who keep me very entertained.
The cabin in the woods had been abandoned for years, but one night, a candle burned in the window. An old man once lived there. Nobody knew what he was afraid of, but he seemed paranoid. He built the cabin with double walls made of heavy logs with rocks filling the space between. Even the roof was reinforced. Children were told to stay away because there were deadly pit falls with spikes and steel bear traps set all around. Lanterns which burned all night could be seen through the windows which were set with bars. It was a fortress. Despite being asked many times, he never said what it was he feared. Occasionally he’d glance eastward, then check himself when he realized. The old man died in solitude from whatever kills men his age a few years back. It took three days before those in the village noticed. He’s buried in the cemetery somewhere. Nobody visits his grave.
My Dad; A Connoisseur of the Perfect Nap
My dad is 91 years old. He wasn’t around as I was growing up. He and my mom divorced when I was six. To his credit he saw me as much as possible. When he remarried I was a part of the extended family with his second wife and her two daughters from her previous marriage. But that isn’t the same as having your dad with you when you grow up. Several years ago I purchased a home in upstate New York specifically for my dad to come and live with me. He had a bedroom on the first floor with attached sitting room and his own bathroom. He didn’t stay with me long. He missed his grandchildren from his second marriage. He moved back to Connecticut to be closer to them. But while he was here, I got him talking. I got him to tell me of his antics from his younger days.
Muer'Khista Ch. 4
“We’re going with you whether you like it or not”. Yari told her. Shannon nodded. Her eyes had the look of mischief in the making. Almost a month had passed since Tra’Leigh was released from training. The walk home to inform her parents was grueling. She worked so hard and was finally doing well, but since Liandrin’s death she seemed to lose focus and any means of caring. Leaving home gave her some sense of purpose.
Muer'Khista Ch. 3
Weeks became months, and the months grew into years. Each season Tre’Leigh managed to pass her testing and remain in training. Although her spell skill with kuja was barely existent beyond a small flame suitable for lighting a candle, or light to read by as she got better, her gift of seeing auras in plants was something that had was rarely seen in recent times. It was obviously linked to her shared senses with her Muer’Khista. It was believed by Mistress P’lara to be the manner in which the great phantom cat viewed its surroundings, thus Tre’Leigh saw the world in the same way. Her other instructors were very impressed with this ability and hoped it would expand to include more of the world around her such as weather or people. They encouraged her to explore what she learn about animals, which she did in a way. The scent of prey animals such as deer and rabbit gave her hunger cravings.
Muer'Khista Ch 2.
Mistress P’lara greeted Tre’Leigh with a smile. “I was expecting you little one. Please, come in so we can have a chat.” Tre’Leigh followed the Mistress of the Kuja to her study. Mistress P’lara lived in the largest and most ornate house in the village which was fitting considering her status. A small round mahogany table had already been set up with two upholstered chairs. Atop the table was a fine porcelain teapot with matching cups, and what looked like a saucer of delicious honey biscuits. The tea set was white with a blue band depicting constellations surrounding the widest part. Tre’Leigh’s mom had a similar set with a different pattern that she only took out for special occasions. Tre’Leigh sat in the chair offered to her. She had never known Mistress P’lara to be sociable and friendly. It made her feel a little unnerved. After Mistress P’lara sat in her own chair, she poured Tre’Leigh’s tea and offered her a biscuit which Tre’Leigh politely declined. She loved honey biscuits, they were a rare treat, but she was still lacking an appetite due to her shared experience with the great cat’s latest meal. As Tre’Leigh sat there nervously sipping on her tea, Mistress P’lara spoke.
Tre’Leigh Esha sat on a large flat slab of shale, poking at a clump of moss with a dry twig. She could hear the Kasii River for which her village was named as it flowed below her in the distance. Maple, birch, and fir provided a curtain from below, hiding her from others in her village. The massive wall of fractured rock which broke through the mountainside behind her, sheltered the small nook and the stone she sat on. She called this place her thinking spot.
The Bird Men
There was once a band of traveling people known as the Bird Men, who dressed as birds, but were not real birds. It’s not known from the stories the elders told around the fires each night where they came from. They simply were there, when before, they were not.
Restore the Dream
When I watch the news these days, I see so many stories focused on racial tension. What I’m about to say will probably raise eyebrows for many people. This is my perspective based upon my own experiences. When I was little, I lived in a racially and ethnically mixed neighborhood. I was just a small child during the civil rights movement of the 60s. I grew up in a world that had been remolded based upon the struggle and sacrifice of those who were involved.
Endure the Pain
Each of us likes to consider ourselves to be brave. We daydream about moments of glory. What is glory? What is bravery? They are words. They are nothing but words. When the time comes to put your metal to the test, it will be actions rather than words that define you.