Muted

Enamoured by the muted colours from the mountain top.

The calming end to a vivid day. My heartbeat slows to the soothing of my soul as the sun sets with a mother’s smile.

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A quick sketch: The Long-Tailed Widow Bird

Came across this bird on the internet. Fell in love with its beautiful plumage. Such gorgeous tail feathers. So I did a really quick sketch, and brief watercolour overtop.

On sketchbook paper, about five minutes.

Come Home

I long for your sweet serenades. Your claims that peal like bells from the tallest towers. Awaken me with your melodies. Fill the air with possession.

Winter was long and silent in your absence. The air had not the warmth of your sound, the world lacked the colour of your songs. The sun could not break through the clouds without your calls to guide it.

Come home now. Bring with you the blossoming flowers and green winds of life. Let spring smile upon our faces.

—-

I started painting a couple weeks ago. Now I have all these ideas to go along with them.

Art sourced from my deviantart account.

Eternal Gaze

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The forest sprawled, unending over the mountains. Trees grew intimately and the thick canopy hid all from view, undaunted by time and distance.

She paused at the top of the hill. Grass claimed the rest of the path. She shifted her bag on her shoulders, her eyes tracking the sun, the wind, and the oncoming clouds with an understanding that only pain could teach.

It was silent but for the restless branches and territorial birds. The valley was serene as it was treacherous. Beautiful as it was deadly. She brushed her fingers over the handle of the knife attached to her waist. The clawed scars on her shoulder and back burned like the fires she lit at the heart of winter, desperate to fend off the cold and the animals.

She knew that one day she would meet her end under the eternal gaze of the forest. The time would come when she would finally meet the death that fell, wet, from storms. That lingered in the eyes of beasts. So her body would become part of life, eternally reborn.

She breathed the smell of oncoming rain and stepped into the forest’s embrace.

—-

The mountains make me want to pack a backpack and roam the vast wilderness.

Transformation

The snow fell heavily for four days, weighing even the tallest of trees with sighs of white. When finally it stopped, all was still and silent. Even the wind fell into taciturn contemplation.

It was the sun that blossomed sound to back to life. Starting with the smallest of drops, it began the arduous task of coaxing the world back to life. Slowly the snow’s white glare began to melt away, slumping from branches and grumbling its way into streams. Steaming from branches and raining its last breaths, it faded to life.

And the noise was what brought the plants to sleepy awareness. Yawning, they stretched upwards to relieve the winter stiffness. Smiling in colours, they greeted each other in brightness. The wind chuckled through the air at last, spinning a dizzy dance of warmth.

—-

Spring is here at last!

Weary, Winter

Silence descents in flakes of white. Covering, smothering. It’s heavy. Tired. It has been falling for far too long, and now it looks for the gentle reprieve of Spring. For the slow warmth that creeps with buds exploding in a floral fireworks.

Weary, it lands with a dissipating sigh. It does not linger as it once did. It does not grow, all encompassing as it used to. Instead it fades into grey with wishes of green.

It’s ready to sleep. Ready for the dreams of warmth, of blossoms and lush grass. Weary, winter yawns out the last of its cold, slowly settling down, closing its eyes, not to wake till the last shivers of fall nudge it gently awake.

—-

This idea actually came from Canada’s Olympic slogan ‘We Are Winter’. When hashtagged, it looks almost like Wearywinter, something that one of my friends pointed out. Thus spawned this post.

Sentinels

They stand, serene sentinels of the land. Old as time, they move to the whims of the earth. Looming, they watch, seeing all.

Unfazed by the winds and the fires and the raging waters, they are silent and still. Stone.

Ever gazing, immortal dwellers undaunted by the passing of years. By the ravaging fires and the trembling ground. By the rise and fall of cities. Of civilizations.

They are there, scattered upon the land, almost haphazard in their placement. Chains of them. Others lone. Peaks pointed like a wolf’s crying maw, silhouetted by the tranquil moon.

And when they tire, they gather the clouds, hiding the world below from view. And they rest their weary eyes for a while till once more they are ready. So they allow the clouds to rain down. They smile in trees and gleaming snow. And year after year, life after life, they watch, dedicated, guardians.

Fresh Winter Snow

Christine Fichtner Grouse Mountain Vancouver

 

Crisp, cold, biting the end of your nose and the tips of your ears. Fresh, pine, and tall trees that tower towards the sky.

An unmistakable scent. Clean, fresh, reflecting the sun’s radiance. Pristine, glittering in the day’s light.

And sometimes the scent of burning logs. Smoke from a warm hearth. Rosy cheeks and glowing faces, warm in their laughter.

Return

He rounded the house and his feet met cheerful grass as he walked across the back lawn. Kneeling down at the far edge, he inspected the flowers that had recently been having difficulty. Despite the warming weather, they were late in blooming.

With glowing hands, he encouraged their blossoms, smiling as they sighed into his touch. He let his school bag fall to the ground and focused his full attention on the plants.

It was a few minutes later when he stood, satisfied at their progress. They would be fine, now, even without his help. He stretched with a yawn, the day’s stress slowly seeping away as he surrounded himself with his beloved plants.

The yard was not particularly big, but it was full of bushes and flowers. The sun’s late rays shone golden through the leaves. He closed his eyes, trying to figure out why it still felt as if something was missing.

His parents had allowed him free reign in the yard since he was a child and had expressed an interest in his dad’s gardening hobby. He loved being surrounded by his plants. It gave him a sense of peace. And yet, these days, he had felt unsettled, as if something was not right. His breath left him in a loud rush of air.

Birdsong caught his ears and he opened his eyes and turned to the right. It sounded familiar. He knew he had heard it before, but he could not remember where. It was not a common call, either. He stared into the trees, hoping to catch a glimpse.

Instead, a glint of gold caught his eye. He frowned at the familiar colour and walked forward. So enthralled he was that he nearly bumped into the back fence. He paused as his hands traced the familiar barrier. And then he was climbing over it, something he had never before done.

His heart beat loudly, but underneath his skin he could feel his golden energy thrumming, anticipating. His mind hesitated, but his feet took him forward with steps like a bird’s flight. It was so close. He felt the need to reach it swirling in his blood.

He walked down the hidden path. It was overgrown, barely used, but he did not need it to guide his way. His eyes filled with energy the colour of the sun and his figure faded into the forest’s embrace.

He turned off the car and got out slowly, stretching his old bones in relief. He ran a hand through his silver hair and made his way down the driveway. Taking out the keys, he turned his head slightly, frowning as he saw his son’s backpack lying in the garden.

He shook his head and retrieved it before entering the house.

“Son?” He called out. “You left your bag in the backyard.”

“He’s not home yet,” his wife said as she greeted him with a kiss to the cheek.

“This was lying in the garden,” he replied with a frown as he lay it on the floor. “But he wasn’t there.” He looked up and met his wife’s eyes, a cold dread welling up in his heart, and he could see it reflected in her face.

“Oh, please no,” she murmured, eyes wet.

“We don’t know for sure,” he took her hand in his. Whether it was he who was trembling or she, he could not tell.

They raced across the grass and over the fence. The pathway was almost invisible, but even after all these years they had not forgotten the steps they used to walk every day.

The sun was starting to set and the shadows lengthened. They called his name as they went, their hands clasped with desperate strength.

But when the path ended and they found themselves in a familiar clearing, they saw no one. No trace of anything beyond a clearing of blooming, golden peonies.

—-

Another from the Changeling Child series

Her Child
Changeling Child
Changeling Child II
In the Sun
Her Child II
Longing

Nature’s Blinds

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Whispers like paper rustling. Footsteps, heard but never seen. They come out only when the air is thick with misted secrets. Swift, beside you, then away, they appear when they are hidden by nature’s blinds.

Droplets swirl with a grudging smoothness, disrupted as creatures dart, trailing soft brushes of wind that brush your skin. Shivers travel the length of your body as the air seeps under your jacket, creeping with gusty sighs along your skin. And you continue to walk, oblivious to the wonders that pass within feet of you.

And should you be so lucky to catch a glimpse, a shadow, a shade of the creatures that migrate under the safety of the fog, you are quick to dismiss it. Fear not, you tell yourself, it is a tree’s swinging branches, a stray dog, a winging bird. Nothing more. And you lock the door to your house with relief.

Above the fog the air is clear and the sun beams and the wind dreams. And every once in a while the edge of a wing, of a tail, of horns, breach the edges of the mist and glint in the revealing sun. They dive back down with a lingering trail, a wisp of their presence.

But you simply relax, knowing that it is the wind that moves the fog, that lifts it and swirls it and blows it in playful waves. You thank it for clearing your view as the fog trails away. And the wind laughs through your hair.

It was really foggy for a while. But always sunny further up. Gorgeous.

The Colour of Life Drained

“Don’t do that,” a stern voice had Charlotte jerking her hand backwards, away from the tepid water.

Her stepmother’s pinched face was frowning at her from the other end of the small dock. Her father had married her only a few months ago, and already Charlotte wanted her gone. It would probably never happen, though. Her father was enamoured. Always Mia this, Mia that.

When Charlotte had first heard her father’s girlfriend’s name, she had imagined someone young and inspiring. Someone who would want to spend time with her, giggling over romantic movies and Abercrombie models.

She had certainly not thought Mia would be like this. Strict, distant, and so… serious. Charlotte scowled and glanced back at the water, marveling at the contrasting colours.

The ocean, normally such a clear, brilliant blue, held swirls of gritty red that stretched like pointed, grasping fingers. She couldn’t help but reach back out to meet it.

She gasped as her wrist was caught and she was yanked backwards, falling painfully onto her backside. The worn planks offered no cushioning.

“I’m not a child,” she snapped, wrenching her wrist away.

Mia’s face was dark like a storm. “Even children have enough sense to listen.”

Charlotte pushed herself to her feet, unsteady as the waves rocked the dock. “I don’t have to listen to you,” she sneered. “You’re not my mother.”

Lips pursed, Mia straightened. “I will never be your Mother,” she replied stiffly.

Though Charlotte told herself that the words were what she wanted to hear, she could not help the pain that shuttered her face.

“She is someone I can never replace,” Mia continued. “But I am here now, whether you like it or not. I am here, and I expect you to be, as well.”

Charlotte stared, brows furrowed, feeling no guilt as she read the lines and the marks and the depths of Mia’s face. Then her eyes stuttered to the side, to the red creeping ever nearer.

“There is a reason it is the colour of life drained.” As Mia spoke, a fish floated past, belly up.

Charlotte could not look away.

“Lunch is ready. Your father is waiting.” Her footsteps drew away, and like a child, Charlotte followed.