Country: United States
August 08, 2018
12/19/2018 01:50 PM
12 Days of Christmas Day 6 - Angel
The cry was enough to jolt Lorraine out of the doze she had fallen into as she sat on the couch in their study. Lurching to her feet, she stubbed her toe on the table on her way toward the door. Doing a little hop of pain, she bit down on a string of curse words that she never used, but seemed entirely appropriate in the given situation and then limped toward the door, now fully awake. “Judy?”
The only answer was a repeated call. “Mom!” It was just as distressed and it was coming from her daughter’s room. A million possibilities, each worse than the one before it, crossed her mind as she hurried down the hall, calling out Judy’s name one more time as she approached. Her heart was racing and she was afraid of what she would see when she rounded the corner to look into that room.
What she found stopped her in her tracks and took a moment to comprehend. Judy was standing in front of the mirror on her closet door in what looked like an oversized white dress with wings. The sleeves would have covered her hands if they hadn’t been holding what could possibly be a white halo, the dress itself reaching the floor and then some. There were tears running down her cheeks and she looked absolutely devastated as she turned to face her mother in the doorway.
“It doesn’t fit!” She wailed, seemingly inconsolably as she held out the halo and looked pitifully at the one person who just might be able to help her with this disastrous problem that she couldn’t fix herself. “I’m supposed to be an angel in the school Christmas pageant and I look like…like…” She burst into tears again, unable to find words for what she looked like.
Finally managing to convince herself that her daughter wasn’t in any immediate danger or pain, Lorraine felt herself relax as she let out a sigh of relief and stepped into the room. “Aw. No need to cry. We can fix it.” She promised as she reached out to stroke Judy’s hair tenderly. “When is the pageant?” This was the first thing she had heard about it and not only did she want to know how long she had to fix this ‘disaster,’ but she wanted to make sure that both she and Ed could attend the performance.
Judy sniffled a little, looking up at her with hope and trust that she could indeed fix anything. “Next week.” She replied softly, wiping her tears away. “Can you really fix it, Mommy?”
Lorraine offered a reassuring smile and a nod. “Of course I can.” She replied with confidence. “Take it off and I’ll even get started right now.” She shifted to hug Judy before turning to go so that she could get changed and this rescue mission could get underway, stopping as her daughter spoke again. “Mommy?”
Turning to look at her questioningly, Lorraine waited for whatever else she may have to say. It was a simple but heartfelt word and it warmed her heart. “Thanks!”
Sitting in the audience with her husband the next week, Lorraine held his hand as they watched their daughter prance across the stage, reciting her lines with earnest seriousness one minute and overly dramatic joy the next, flapping her arms as if she were flying. She didn’t have a large part, but she did steal the show and Lorraine watched it all with pleasure. She had managed to salvage the costume just as she had known she could and Judy had been absolutely thrilled with the results and the fact that she wouldn’t look terrible up on the stage, in front of everyone she had ever met.
“Angels we have heard on high…”
The entire class burst into song at the appropriate time and though she certainly didn’t have the best voice, Judy’s stood out in its enthusiasm. She looked like she was having the time of her life and the audience seemed to respond to that, which lifted Lorraine’s heart even more than it had been. Over all it was a great show that went off without a hitch. At the end, the audience was on its feet for a standing ovation as the children all lined up across the front of the stage and took their well-deserved bows, grinning from ear to ear.
“She’s not bad, huh?” Ed grinned at her, shouting to be heard over the applause around them and laughing as Lorraine nodded in response, eyes shining with pride. “An absolute angel.”
12/18/2018 01:45 PM
12 Days of Christmas Day 5 - Lights
“Ooh! Look at that one! Look at that one!” Judy’s nose was pressed to the window as she sat in the back seat of the car looking out at the bright and festively decorated houses around them. Their little dog, Wrigley barked his agreement as he shoved his nose under one of the girl’s arms so that he could see out the window too, because clearly whatever his girl was seeing was amazing and he needed to know what it was.
They were driving around the neighborhood, checking out the decorations that were on display and it seemed that almost everyone had gone all out this year. There were every kind of decorations one could imagine. Lights, icicles, Santa and his reindeer, mangers, snowmen, sparkling trees and stars…it was quite the sight to behold and her daughter’s – and their dog’s – excitement made it all the better.
Every time they passed another house, or stopped to admire it, Judy would exclaim in delight, which caused the dog to answer and Lorraine to smile as she reached for her husband’s free hand that wasn’t on the steering wheel. This was a tradition they had started a couple years before and one they all enjoyed. “That one’s beautiful.” She confirmed, showing that she was paying attention, that she saw what her daughter was pointing out. “Very festive.”
“Look at that one!” It was hard to tell if her agreement had even been heard, Judy’s enthusiasm making keeping her focus outside the vehicle. An answering bark made Lorraine laugh because by now it was expected and it would have been stranger for the dog not to answer his human. Another half hour or so and it would be time to head home for some hot chocolate and family time before Judy went to bed. A lovely evening all around because they didn’t happen as often as any of them would like.
With a grin at her husband, Lorraine turned to look at her daughter as they pulled away, pointing with wide eyes. “Look at that one!” Judy’s eyes widened as well and she scooted to the other side of the car where her mother was pointing. “Where?! Ooh!” Wrigley bounded across her once more to see and both Ed and Lorraine had to smile. A lovely evening indeed.
Standing in the kitchen as she made hot chocolate for the three of them, Lorraine talked easily with her husband. Judy was in the living room with the dog, tired but happy and that made her happy. “Tonight was nice.” She commented as she stirred the milk and chocolate in the pot on the stove in front of her. It was almost ready for the mugs that rested on the counter beside the stove. “I wish we got more of them.”
“Me, too.” Ed agreed. For a moment she was sure he was going to say something else with the way he silently studied her, but then he just smiled. “I’m surprised Judy isn’t asleep already with how excited she was over everything. I wish I had half of her energy.”
Lorraine couldn’t help but smile in response. “Amen to that.” She shook her head. The endless energy of their daughter constantly amazed her and it was all she could do to attempt to keep up even half the time. Pouring the cocoa into the waiting mugs, she offered one to Ed before picking up the other two. Cocking her head, she arched an eyebrow at her husband. “Are you sure she isn’t asleep?” It was awfully quiet in the living room. Especially with how excited both Judy and Wrigley had been all evening.
Ed arched an eyebrow in response. “I don’t think so, but maybe.” Though most parents always said that silence when it came to children was a bad thing, he didn’t think that was the case with Judy. She was rambunctious at times, but she didn’t really get into much trouble. “Let’s find out.”
Lorraine gestured for him to go first, falling into step just behind him and almost running into him when he pushed the door open and paused before stepping all the way through. “What?” She asked once she was sure she wasn’t going to spill the cocoa in her hands, peeking over his shoulder to see what had made him stop so suddenly.
Judy stood on the other side of the room, wrapped in a string of blinking multi-colored Christmas lights that were plugged into the wall near where she stood. Wrigley sat next to her, tongue out, tail wagging, his own mini string of lights looped around him as well. For a moment both adults could only stare as they tried to figure out exactly what it was that their daughter was doing, but then Lorraine came out and asked just that. “Judy! What are you doing?” She wasn’t upset and her tone said that. She was more amused than anything, bursting out laughing when she got her answer.
Judy looked over innocently, eyes sparkling as the lights flashed on and off around her. “You said the lights we saw were ‘festive.’” She informed. “Me and Wrigley wanted to be festive, too!”
We wanted to be festive!
12/16/2018 01:49 PM
12 Days of Christmas - Christmas Proposal
“I wanted to ask you something…” The young man nervously shifted his weight as he spoke, unable to quite meet Lorraine’s eyes. He wasn’t usually like this around her. They were practically family, after all. He and Judy had been seeing each other for quite some time and the Warrens had all been quite welcoming. But, this was different. This was…big. “I already talked to Ed, but I wanted to see what you thought as well.”
Lorraine arched an eyebrow, for once clueless as to what he might be bringing to her this time. His nervousness was odd, but it was also somehow endearing. She really did like the young man. The fact that Judy loved him and they were good to each other, was icing on that cake. “You know you can ask me anything, Tony.” Her tone was calm and encouraging as she waited to see if he would actually look at her. She couldn’t tell if whatever he wanted to ask was good or bad, but Ed hadn’t warned her, so she was leaning toward good.
Tony nodded, but still didn’t meet her eyes. He shuffled his feet almost like a little boy meeting his girlfriend’s parents for the first time and hoping to make a good impression. “I know…” He seemed to be struggling with finding the words for what he wanted to say, something else he usually had no trouble with.
“You’d better ask soon. I’m not getting any younger here.”
His head jerked up at that and he finally met her eyes, surprised to see them sparkling as she smirked at him. She was teasing him in an attempt to relax him enough to get out what he so obviously needed to. And it was working. A short laugh escaped his throat and he grinned a little in return, absently running a hand through his hair. Taking a deep breath, he nodded once. “Okay.” He paused for another long moment before continuing. “I want to ask Judy to marry me. Tomorrow.”
Both of Lorraine’s eyebrows shot up in surprise and Tony couldn’t immediately read her expression, so he hastened to continue. “I love her and I’m pretty sure she loves me and there’s no one else I could ever want to spend the rest of my life with. You’re all like family to me and…I want to make that official. But, it’s also Christmas and I don’t want to be selfish and make it just about us and I didn’t want to make it a complete surprise and then have you or Ed disapprove…”
He was babbling and he knew it, but he couldn’t seem to stop. While fathers were notorious for being super protective of their daughters, he was actually more anxious about what Lorraine’s reaction might be. What she thought was extremely important to him and he didn’t want to cause any discontent in the family he had come to call his own. “So, I guess I’m asking for your permission? Approval?” He wasn’t sure either were exactly right for what he was seeking, but he knew she would understand what he was trying to convey. “I just…want everyone to be okay with it…”
Once the surprise started to fade, it was replaced by a grin as Lorraine stepped forward to embrace the young man before her. “You’re already part of our family, but nothing would make me happier than to have you make that official.”
Christmas itself was an enjoyable day in the Warren household. Full of joy and laughter and presents and good food, as well as good company. By the time evening rolled around, everyone was content and relaxed as they recounted stories of Christmas past, every inch the happy family.
Lorraine sat curled up with Ed on the couch, her legs drawn up under her as he easily kept one arm around her. Tony perched comfortably on the arm of the chair where Judy sat, clearly as much a part of everything as everyone else. After a bit, he asked if everyone would like a drink and then excused himself to the kitchen to get that.
When he returned a few minutes later, he carried a small tray with four champagne glasses in the center, which he offered to each person in turn. As she reached for one, Judy was smiling but a little confused. “Champagne? What’s the occasion? Besides the obvious, of course.” She was watching Tony and so she didn’t see both of her parents attempt to hide their smiles.
Tony turned away long enough to set the tray with his single glass still on it on the table behind him, before reaching into his pocket. When he turned back around, he looked nervous again, but hopeful as well as he knelt down on one knee before Judy. Smiling up at her, he held up a small box. “Judy, will you marry me?” Perhaps not the most smooth or suave way to ask, but they never needed to beat around the bush about things and he didn’t want to postpone this at all. It had been hard enough to wait even the almost twenty-four hours after talking to her parents.
Judy blinked in shock, unable to form words for a moment as her gaze darted from the man on one knee before her to her parents grinning on the couch and then back to Tony. “I…yes!” She couldn’t quite wrap her mind around the fact that this was really happening, but she knew that she wanted it and she meant her answer with every fiber of her being.
Tony looked almost more shocked than she had felt and then a beautiful grin of pure bliss lit up his face. “Yeah?” He asked, as if not sure he had heard correctly. When she nodded, he carefully removed the ring from the box and slid it onto the finger she offered to him. Then he rose and kissed her, trying to put everything he was feeling into that one gesture and quite certain he was failing epically because there was no way to express how happy she had just made him.
When they finally parted, he picked up his glass and raised it as he faced the ones who had made this perfect Christmas possible. Lifting it, he met each pair of eyes in turn. “To family.” Their smiles rivaled his as they each lifted their own glasses and then echoed the words. “To family.”
12/15/2018 11:16 PM
12 Days of Christmas Day 3 - Presents
“We’ll be home for Christmas.”
It was a promise, a vow that her parents always stuck to. They always came home when they said they would. But, it was Christmas Eve and they weren’t there. They hadn’t even called. Sitting with her legs curled under her on the couch, Judy stared at the Christmas tree with a frown on her face. “They’re not coming, are they?” She asked softly, trying not to cry. She wasn’t a baby. Her Nana was here with her, so she wasn’t alone. And wherever they were, her parents were helping people. It was selfish to wish they were there just because she wanted that to be true more than anything else in the world.
“I don’t know, sweetheart.” Georgiana shifted to put a comforting arm around her granddaughter. She wanted to say yes, but the fact that her daughter and son-in-law weren’t already there and that she hadn’t heard from them in a couple days worried her and she wasn’t sure that was true at this point. “Maybe they’re just running behind. You know they get home late sometimes.”
Judy sighed, the lights from the tree reflecting the tears in her eyes that she refused to let fall. “I know.” Her tone said she didn’t think that was the case. Christmas Eve and Christmas were two days the family were always together. That they weren’t already there told her this year might be different and she hated that idea. “Is Santa real?” She asked suddenly, turning an intensely serious and somewhat worried look on her grandmother.
Georgiana blinked and considered how to answer. Her first instinct was to say of course Santa was real. But, something else made her hesitate and want to know why the girl was asking to begin with. It was that instinct she went with when she finally spoke. “What makes you ask that?” She expected to hear that one of her friends or someone at school had said something that made her wonder. Or something similar.
Judy hesitated to answer, her gaze dropping for a moment before she looked up once more. “Well…I sent another letter to him.” She admitted, hesitating as if that were something she might get in trouble for. “After the one everyone saw.” She sighed a little, not sure what her grandmother would have to say to that.
“Oh?” It was a simple prompt and it encouraged the girl to continue. Maybe she wasn’t in trouble for sending something they didn’t know about. It wasn’t like it had been anything bad or anything like that. Nodding she continued her revelation. “I told him to ignore the first letter. That all I wanted was for Mommy and Daddy to be here for Christmas so we could all be together.” She paused and frowned again. “But, they’re not here…”
Her eyes widened in sudden realization as to what the problem might be. “Was I not good enough this year?” She demanded, terrified that that was why her parents weren’t there. Why her request hadn’t been granted. “I didn’t think I made the naughty list.” She pulled away from Georgiana to look at her more fully, her fear clear in her expression. “But, I wasn’t always good…”
Georgiana reached out to pull her into an embrace. “Oh, no, baby. It’s not that. No one is perfect, but you’re a very good little girl.” She assured, her heart hurting because the girl had thought anything different. As if unable to hold back any longer, Judy started to cry, clinging to her grandmother in return despite the attempt at reassuring her that this wasn’t her fault.
After failed attempts at reassurances, Judy finally wore herself out and by the time Georgina was ready to take her to bed, the girl was sleeping fitfully in her arms. Shifting to lift her without waking her, the woman took her granddaughter upstairs. Santa would come whether Ed and Lorraine were there or not. She only wished she could give the girl the one thing she really wanted.
When she opened her eyes, it took Judy a moment to realize where she was. It was dark and she was alone. In her bed. In her room. And it was Christmas. The excitement didn’t come like it normally did when this realization hit her and she took a moment to decide if she wanted to get up or just go back to sleep. Curiosity as to what was under the tree won out and she was soon throwing the covers off and padding down the stairs in the dark.
The tree was still lit up and that was where her gaze was drawn. There were more gifts under the tree than there had been and that indicated Santa’s visit. If he was as real as everyone seemed to want her to think. She sighed a little because she wanted to know what was in those boxes, but she wanted everyone to be there to see.
Stepping into the living room, she glanced around, doing a double take when she looked toward the couch. Her eyes widened and she was frozen in place for a minute. “He is real…” She breathed, more to herself than anyone who might here. It was revelation that lifted her heart as much as the sight that greeted her as she moved closer.
Her parents sat on the couch, Lorraine with her head on Ed’s shoulder, arms around each other. Both were sleeping, but something told her they wouldn’t mind being woken up. They weren’t in bed, they were here on the couch. Waiting. A grin split her face and she ran the last few steps toward them, waking them as she threw her arms around them and showered them with kisses.
It was almost instantaneous that they returned the kisses and hugs, thrilled to see her and to have her in their arms. “Santa’s real!” She revealed with a happy laugh. “He brought me just what I wanted. The best presents in the world!” She looked between her parents, not waiting for them to ask. “You!”
Is Santa real?
12/15/2018 07:05 PM
12 Days of Christmas Day 2 - Gingerbread
“Oooh! Moooom!” The childish wail of frustration came from the kitchen table where Judy sat, attempting to get her project to stick together the way it was meant to. In theory, gingerbread houses weren’t supposed to be difficult to put together and decorate. In practice, this was proving to be false. “It won’t stay!” Her voice was rising as she lifted her hands and both sides of the cookie roof parted and slid down to crash on the top of the table.
Lorraine turned to smile at her daughter. They had spent the morning making the gingerbread pieces that would – hopefully – become houses themselves. It wasn’t really necessary to do so, kits could be bought, but it was more personal and gave her an excuse to spend more time with Judy and so it was a win-win, really. “You just need more frosting. And more hands. We’ll make it work.” She assured calmly as she approached the table and reached for the pieces.
Judy scowled a little as her mother reached around her to pick up the pieces. “I used more frosting.” She protested as she picked up the tube anyway, waiting for her mother to indicate where she should add the ‘glue’ so the cookies might actually stick together like they were supposed to. This was supposed to be fun. It had been fun until it came time to actually make the houses. Now she was just getting mad.
Tongue poking out the side of her mouth, she squeezed the frosting tube just enough to make a line where indicated and watched as her mother held the pieces in place, wondering if somehow her magic hands would make them stay this time. “Add a little more.” Lorraine told her, watching as Judy did as she was told. The tube slipped and the frosting smeared across Lorraine’s hands instead of the cookies and Judy’s eyes widened as her mother raised an eyebrow at her. “Sorry!”
Letting go of the pieces – which miraculously stayed where they were – Lorraine ran a finger through the frosting on her hands and cocked her head slightly. Then she smirked and before Judy could react, reached out to smear the sticky substance across her daughter’s nose. “Hey!” Judy’s protest was mostly surprise, but it faded into a mischievous grin as she squeezed more frosting out into her own hands, clearly ready to retaliate.
“You’d better not!” Lorraine protested, but the fact that she was still smiling, said she was actually ready for just that. She was not disappointed as Judy reached out to grasp her cheeks in her hands, effectively painting her with the frosting on her hands. Lorraine didn’t bother to protest, merely reached for her own tube of frosting and when both were gone, the bowl of leftover dough from the cookies. It was a brutal fight to the finish and by the time they were worn out enough to stop, both were covered in dough and frosting and laughing like lunatics.
“What is going on here? Or do I even want to know?” Both females looked toward the doorway where a bewildered Ed stood. He had left them making cookies for the houses and come back to…this. One house was kind of finished and his girls were wearing more of the ingredients than the cookies were. He frowned a little as Lorraine and Judy looked at each other and then Lorraine scooped some frosting from the table. “Oh, no…” He held up his hands as if in surrender as she moved toward him. “I want no part of this.”
“All right, you baby.” Lorraine grinned, shaking her head. “At least come and see what little we did manage to accomplish.” She reached for him with her free hand, looking as if she intended to guide him toward the table where Judy still sat in front of their halfway completed gingerbread house. As he placed his hand in hers, she stepped toward him to offer a greeting kiss which he was more than happy to return.
“Mmm. Sweet.” He grinned at her, guard instantly dropped as she had known it would be. “Yes, it is.” Lorraine grinned in return and reached up to smear the frosting she had picked up across his face. “Want to help us finish?”
12/13/2018 12:26 PM
12 Days of Christmas - Mistletoe
The mystical power of mistletoe, and the tradition of kissing under this plant, owes its origin to the legend of goddess Frigga and her son Balder. Frigga was the goddess of love and her son, Balder, was the god of summer sun. Once Balder dreamt of his death, he was obviously worried and told his mother about the strange dream. Frigga was worried, not only for the life of her son, but also for the life on earth because she knew that without Balder all life on Earth would come to an end. Thus she did her utmost to avoid such a mishap by going everywhere and appealing to every being in air, water, fire, and earth to promise her that they would never harm her son. She was promised the safety of her son by every animal and plant under and above the earth.---
However, Loki, the god of evil, who was an enemy of Balder and always had evil designs in his mind, was aware that there was one plant that Frigga had overlooked. It grew on apple and oak trees and was known as mistletoe. Thus Loki made an arrow and placed a sprig of this plant on its tip. He then beguiled Hoder, the blind brother of Balder and the god of winter, and made him shoot this arrow at Balder. Balder immediately died and everybody was worried as the earth turned cold and life became dreary. For the next three days, every creature tried to bring Balder back to life, but he was revived only by Frigga and with the help of mistletoe. Her tears on the plant became pearly white berries and she blessed it such that anyone who stands under the mistletoe would never be harmed and would be entitled to a kiss as a token of love.
“What are you doing?” The question was asked with a smile as Lorraine stood looking up at her husband who was standing on a stepstool in the doorway of their bedroom with his hands above his head, as if he were hanging something on the frame. They were decorating for Christmas, so it could be any number of things. But, because of the location and the grin on his face, she was pretty sure she knew what this particular item was.
Glancing down at her, Ed adopted a mock serious expression. “Nothing!” He replied instantly. “Nothing to see here! Move along!” He gestured for her to go with one hand, while the other still covered the thing he was hanging, only his eyes revealing his amusement.
Chuckling herself, Lorraine held up her hands, as if in surrender. “Okay! I’m going, I’m going!” Shaking her head she continued on down the hallway to the living room where her daughter was stringing popcorn for the small tree that sat behind the couch. “How’s this, Mommy?” She asked, holding up her almost finished product.
“That is perfect!” Lorraine grinned as she moved to join Judy in finishing the decorations for the tree. They didn’t get this family time as much as they wanted, so when they did, she cherished it with every fiber of her being. The laughter and smiles were plentiful as the two strung lights and garland and all kinds of festive things on the branches before them.
When all that was left was the angel on top, Lorraine took Judy’s hand and led her to go see what was taking Ed so long to join them. Traditionally he placed the topper and so they needed him for that. She also didn’t want to light the finished product until the three of them were together. It was a family thing and one of the few that she clung to in order to make the holidays brighter.
Having peeked in on his girls after finishing his own decorating, Ed had returned to the doorway where Lorraine had found him before. Though, this time he was leaning on the frame with an even bigger grin on his face. Judy thought nothing of it except that her parents were happy and that was all that really mattered. “Daddy! We’re ready for the angel!” She stepped forward and grinned at her father, cocking her head a little as his smile grew and his gaze lifted to something above them.
Following his gaze, she frowned just a little. “What’s that?” She asked, indicating the plant hanging above them. She had never seen such a thing before and it was a weird place to hang it, so she really wanted to know the answer. Looking between her parents, she watched Ed push off the doorframe and approach where she now stood in the center of the doorway while her mother moved in from the other side.
“It’s mistletoe.” Ed informed, glancing at his wife over their daughter’s head and not needing to say a word to know that she was thinking the same thing he was. “You hang it somewhere and whenever two – or more – people are under it, they share a kiss.” He explained, eyes sparkling as Judy made a face at the idea of kissing people. “Ew.”
“You just happen to be under that mistletoe, Judy.” Lorraine added, arching an eyebrow, her own eyes shining mischievously. “Do you know what that means?” Judy’s eyes widened a little and she shook her head, clearly having no idea what her parents had in mind.
Reaching their intended positions, Ed and Lorraine leaned over, one on each side of the girl, and planted a kiss on each cheek with enthusiasm, unsurprised when she blinked and then grinned and threw an arm around their necks in a hug for both. “Hey!” It was a surprise, but clearly one she wasn’t against. “I think I like this mistletoe thing.”
Kiss her once for me
12/10/2018 01:06 PM
Bad Dreams - A Drabble
“Show me what you want!”
Things had gone so rapidly from bad to worse that Lorraine was desperate for this whole thing to end. The spirit possessing the man before them was strong…so strong. It was destroying the person beneath her hands from the inside out as she tried to assist in any way she could. She was not an exorcist, nor was her husband, but it was an exorcist that was trying to put an end to this horror. For the briefest of instants, she wasn’t entirely certain that they were going to succeed in casting out this demon within, or that the victim would survive even if they did. But, that was what the demon wanted. A wavering in their faith – the only thing that was capable of pulling them all through this.
It was that knowledge that made her even more determined as the priest’s voice rang out, reciting the strong Latin words as he continued down this path that they had all chosen to walk upon. She had confidence in his abilities, they had worked with him before, and so she tried to hold onto that belief that this would all end soon. One way or another.
She stood on one side of the man while Ed stood on the other, a towel in one hand to wipe the sweat and blood away should it be necessary while she used every ability in her power to assist in this endeavor. A glance at her husband showed that he was just as determined. He didn’t have the abilities that she did, but that didn’t mean that he was helpless or useless. Far from it, really.
He was the only unordained Demonologist recognized by the church and he was very good at what he did, what they did. They were good together and she knew it. Their talents meshed flawlessly and allowed them to help these people who would otherwise suffer or worse on their own.
Her attention was quickly returned to the mission at hand, distraction one of the worst things she could allow in at that moment. A glance over the man in their arms revealed an upside-down cross appearing on his left side, looking to be pushed into a welt on the skin from the inside out. It sent a chill down her spine and her gaze flickered back to the man’s face. Suddenly he shifted and Ed was thrown back slightly while the man grabbed her arms roughly, instantly bruising, as his eyes met hers and she began to scream at what flashed through her head.
It was high pitched and terrified as the man released her and she fell to the floor in agony. Of all the visions she could have, this one was worse than she could imagine. It was the death of her husband, her partner, her soul mate. It was an extinguishing of her sunlight and her reason for doing what she did, for living at all. In that moment, everything else disappeared. There was no Ed, no priest, no exorcism, no demon who had ‘gifted’ her such a vision. There was only that sight and then that darkness that drove her into herself in an endless loop of terror and torture.
She didn’t remember the rest of the exorcism, the trip home, Ed trying to get through to her. None of it registered at all as they drove home and she proceeded to lock herself in their room in a self-appointed exile of agony for days on end. She couldn’t say exactly what it was that brought her back, but eventually she had returned. She and Ed had hesitantly gone back to their investigations and life had gone on.
She never spoke of that vision that had ripped her away from her family, her husband, and Ed never asked. He knew she was affected by each thing they investigated, each family, each house, each time she used her abilities, whether it be by her own choice or not. He knew he had nearly lost her to whatever she had seen and he was grateful she had come back to him. Grateful and afraid. He had wanted to stop then. More specifically, he had wanted her to stop, but he had been forced to accept that she just couldn’t do that.
A few years later, she had seen it again. This time they had been investigating the rather famous, or infamous Amityville Horror case. It was the main reason she said that the case bothered her more than most of the others. There had been a boy there, a ghost, a demon, she wasn’t entirely sure. She had been walked through the previous murders as they happened, moved like a ragdoll that was committing the crimes herself. She had lived them as if she were truly there in the body of the guilty and she had been terrified.
Then the boy had wanted to show her something else, drawing her down deeper and deeper until she saw what she had been dreading for the past few years. The inhuman spirit that had warned her before. The one that wanted to take her husband from her. It took the shape of a nun to shake her faith. To take away the one thing she could always rely on to pull her through.
“Show me what you want!”
It was the same demand from years before, though she knew that she didn’t want to see it any more than she had before. Following the pointing finger, her eyes widened and her blood turned to ice in her veins.
Ed stood before her, looking so sad…”I’m sorry, Lorraine.” She didn’t have a chance to do anything but scream before what looked like a wooden stake had exploded through his chest from behind and he was gone. The scream that tore from her throat was a heartbreaking one as she came back to herself and threw her arms around the husband that thankfully still sat beside her. She knew these visions were a warning, a premonition. She KNEW it with every fiber of her being.
That was why she had tried to convince Ed that they had to stop. They could continue their lectures on their previous investigations, they could educate, they could write the book they had always talked about. But, she didn’t want any more hands on experiences for them, for him. She wanted him to swear that even if they looked into things, they would only prove them legitimate before getting someone else to help. Even if that went against everything they stood for. “Hello? Warren residence.”
He had reluctantly agreed because what else could he do? She wouldn’t accept anything else from him, and she wouldn’t tell him why she made such impossible demands. She only asked that he trusted her and he agreed. He trusted her with his life just as she trusted him with hers.
And that had been it for a while. They hadn’t officially retired from active investigations, but they had begun to attempt to focus on their book, though it wasn’t the same and both knew it wasn’t really what they were meant to be doing. It was dissatisfying and both were somewhat restless, despite the enjoyment they got out of spending more time at home with each other and their daughter. Something just wasn’t right and they both knew what it was. A simple look passed between them now and then confirmed that they thought the same thing, though neither was willing to approach the subject with the other. An agreement had been made and it wasn’t one that was taken lightly.
But, when the phone rang one afternoon, another kind of look passed between them that was equally as readable. They knew what it was before either even answered. Oh, not the specifics, but it was big and it was something they wouldn’t be able to ignore, agreement or no.
Lorraine’s heart dropped at the first ring and the expression on Ed’s face as she stood up to answer it. He knew as well as she did and it hurt her heart to think that they were about to take another chance that could have deep and shocking consequences if not handled properly. Because she knew they were going to take the case before she spoke to the caller. Not a premonition, necessarily, but a feeling, a hunch of the variety that were never really wrong.
With a sigh she lifted her hand and let it hover over the receiver for a long moment as it continued to ring. She didn’t want to answer it. Something said if she could just ignore it that it would go away and they could continue with this current existence of false happiness and stability that they had adopted. But, something stronger said she couldn’t ignore it and so she took a deep breath and picked up the phone.
Lorraine Rita WarrenClairvoyant Protector
"Show me what you want!"
12/08/2018 08:50 PM
My Star - A Mini Drabble
My StarYou must be my lucky star
‘Cause you make the darkness seem so far
And when I’m lost you’ll be my guide
I just turn around and you’re by my side
Lorraine wasn’t sure how long she had been standing there, arms wrapped around herself as she stared up at the night sky. She wasn’t sure what she was looking for up in the infinite darkness above her. A sign? Maybe. Guidance? Possibly. Peace? That didn’t seem a likely thing to find anywhere, let alone in the cold and open space above.
There was really nothing to see with her face turned upward. It was snowing and the milky gray clouds seemed to lighten the sky more than they should in places, at such an hour, but they also blocked out the stars she almost desperately wanted to see. As the flakes dusted the ground around her and lighted in her hair, she continued to look up, not seeming to care about the temperature around her. She had forgotten a coat, but that didn’t seem important. The cold she felt wasn’t from the weather anyway. It came from inside and was the worst kind of cold.
She knew he was there even before she felt his arms drape a jacket around her shoulders and she didn’t have to look before leaning back slightly, knowing those arms would close around her and hold her close, attempting to warm her and protect her from the world and everything around them. “What are you looking at?” Ed asked softly as she stood behind her, gently resting his chin on the top of her head.
“The stars.” Lorraine answered softly and simply. She wasn’t sure she could explain why or what exactly she meant, but she also wasn’t sure she had to. He always seemed to just know. Sometimes better than she did. And even when he didn’t, his mere presence helped ground her so that she might be able to figure it out herself.
It was a moment before he replied, and when he did, his voice was as soft as hers had been. “You can’t see the stars, hun. Or even the light from them, really.” She didn’t have to nod to agree. Instead she heaved a soul weary sigh. “Hardly ever.”
She looked up at him as he turned her to face him, studying her for a long moment. What was he seeing? Usually she could at least hazard a guess, but this time she couldn’t. “What are you looking at?” She finally asked. It wasn’t snapped or irritated or anything negative, simply mere curiosity because she just didn’t know the answer.
He was silent for another moment and then his expression softened and she was almost overwhelmed by the love and…awe she saw in his eyes as he opened his mouth to speak. “My star. The only light I can always see.”
Staring at him for a long moment, she was speechless. Then she merely reached up to pull his head down so that their lips could meet in a sweet kiss before she leaned forward once more, wrapping her arms around him and leaning her head on his chest as his arms went around her in return. She didn’t have to say a word and she knew it. He knew how she felt. He always had. Just as she knew, even just for now, that things were going to be okay. She could get through anything as long as he was by her side.
You shine on me wherever you are.
12/05/2018 10:07 PM
Krampusnacht - A Drabble
“There’s a monster outside my house.” The boy’s voice was a whisper filled with a terror that was somehow unique to children and those who believed in that beyond the ordinary. Most often, childhood fears were chalked up to an overactive imagination. A simple sound made larger by irrational thoughts blowing things out of proportion. Parents and other adults tended to be more skeptical and to be certain that simple assurances would ease those fears and make everything okay again.
‘There’s nothing under the bed, Johnny.’
‘No monster is in the closet, Suzy.’
These parents and other adults weren’t always wrong, of course. Sometimes it really was just a ‘scary’ noise that had a perfectly rational explanation that didn’t include ghosts or monsters or other frightening things that the young mind was quick to jump to as an answer to anything unknown. Especially in the dark, alone, when fears seemed a million times worse than in the light of day. But, other times the child was the one who was right and there really was a ‘monster’ under the bed or in the closet, or even standing over the bed peering down with black and bottomless eyes that seemed to peer into the very soul. Sometimes they were creeping just outside your home, patiently waiting for their opportunity to strike.
“Please…” The child’s voice trembled as he begged for her to help him, to believe him, with a single word. It hurt her heart and made her stomach drop because this wasn’t the first time the boy had asked for her to believe him. “Please, Raine.” She could hear how close he was to tears and knew she would try to help him even before she had any more information than that he was afraid.
They weren’t exceptionally close, she and this boy. In fact, they hadn’t spoken in over a year. Not since she and her husband had gone to his home to investigate ‘strange occurrences.’ A majority of the family thought it was just the young boy playing tricks. A broken item here, something moved there. Creaking doors in the night, footsteps and childish laughter in the darkness. The boy was an only child who had just learned that wasn’t going to continue to be the case. It wasn’t unusual for children to act out when they found out that their parents were adopting and another child would be joining their happy little family.
Not long after, these occurrences started picking up in frequency and intensity and it was soon quite clear that the boy was not to blame for the randomly shattering windows, the cold spots, the voices in the night, the mysteriously appearing bruises and unexplainable fear that would creep up when least expected.
That was when Lorraine and her husband had been called in to investigate. The parents still wanted to hold onto their belief that the boy was to blame, but that had gotten harder and harder as the days passed and was nearly impossible at this point. Yet, they still clung to the hope that having someone who knew about these things come and prove that they were indeed not of the paranormal variety would validate their desired thinking.
The opposite occurred and it turned out to be something much worse than a jealous child lashing out to garner attention and cause destruction in an attempt to show his feelings to the world. The entity haunting the family was actually a much darker one and had they not dealt with it when they had, it was likely that things would have spiraled into something much worse than it already was.
From the moment they had entered the house, Lorraine had felt a connection to the child. Not just because he was a child, an innocent wrongfully blamed for the things happening in his home, but for some other reason that she couldn’t quite pinpoint. The reasoning didn’t really matter, and even when things had been taken care of and the family was safe and loving once more, she had still felt that connection. That was why she had given the boy her number before leaving. Just in case he ever needed her again. It wasn’t something she did. Ever. They helped families, and especially the children involved in these cases, but they didn’t get attached. At least not like that.
She still didn’t know what had been different about that case, that boy, but she hadn’t really expected to ever hear from him again. So, this call came as more of a surprise than it probably should have. Hadn’t she told him she would help if he ever needed it? She always meant it when she told people that, but maybe this time was different and there had been a reason.
“What kind of monster, Josh?” She didn’t have to say she believed him, the question would do that for her. She had believed him before and she would believe him now. But, ‘monster’ could have many very different meanings and she needed to know what this could possibly be. Just as she didn’t have to say she believed him, she hadn’t had to ask who was calling. Even with the voice distorted with fear, she had known.
That the boy couldn’t give her a fully coherent answer didn’t surprise her. Terror did that to people, especially young ones. When he could only answer a few of her questions, he only seemed to get more upset because when adults asked a lot of questions it meant that they didn’t believe you and they were going to try to talk you out of what you knew was true. “Will you come?” The words were more desperate than all the others combined and there was no answer Lorraine could give but the one she did. “I’ll come.”
As she was leaving her home, her gaze was drawn to the calendar on the wall. There was nothing special about it at all, but her focus briefly rested on that day’s date: December 5th. It didn’t seem important and she couldn’t figure out why she had focused so intensely, if briefly, on that. It was just another day, right?
Though it wasn’t a long trip at all, it was dark by the time Lorraine arrived at her destination. Dark and cold. She shoved her hands into her pockets in an attempt to warm them for a moment as her shoes crunched through the snow that led up to the front door. There were no other cars in the driveway or parked in front of the house, which indicated an absence of the parents who resided there. Not a pleasant thought with such young children inside. Josh was only eight, his adopted sister six. Why would anyone leave them alone?
She shook her head because that wasn’t why she was here. She was here to help Josh with whatever this ‘monster’ he swore was lurking around was. Another glance around as she climbed the three small steps to the porch revealed nothing obviously out of place and she frowned a little more. Obvious didn’t always mean more real, but if something was creeping around out here, she would rather know where it was.
Pulling one hand out of her pocket, she raised it to knock on the door. “Josh? It’s Lorraine.” She hoped that he wouldn’t open the door to anyone unidentified, so she waited for him to connect her voice with her identification of herself and to open the door, glancing down as she did so. Doing a double take, she knelt down to see what it was that lay next to the door. A bundle of sticks. That was strange. It wasn’t logs like firewood or anything that would be useful to a household. It was literally sticks. Birch, if she wasn’t mistaken. Shaking her head again, she stood as the door was opened by a blonde-haired boy with wide eyes that stood out in stark contrast to his pale face.
Before she could say a word, his hand was grasping her wrist and tugging her forward. “Hurry! It’s out there!” He let go of her wrist only to slam the door behind her once she was inside, twisting the lock and peeking out the small window in the middle of the door. “Did you see it?” The words were nearly breathless as he turned around to face her, studying her face for any signs that she had, that she knew what it was that was stalking his home.
“I didn’t see anything.” Lorraine replied, looking briefly around the house before she returned her attention to the boy. “Josh, where are your parents?” Shouldn’t they have been the first ones he called for help? Unless he felt like this would only turn into a repeat of the last time he swore there was something ‘scary’ haunting them. Maybe they wouldn’t believe him this time either, might even blame him. At least with Lorraine, he knew that wouldn’t be the case.
Josh’s gaze dropped to the floor for a moment before he answered, as if he had been caught doing something wrong, which he hadn’t. At least not as far as she could see. “They’re at a Christmas party.” He finally replied softly. “They left me and Anna here. Said we’d be okay for a few hours.” Normally that would be true, even at their young ages. Especially if their parents didn’t go far. But, this wasn’t a normal night. “I don’t think they could help anyway.” This was even more quiet, as if he wasn’t sure he should be saying it at all, or that he wanted it to be heard.
“All right.” Lorraine nodded a little, offering a look of understanding as the boy lifted his head once more. “I’m not so sure you’re giving them enough credit here, but I understand.” The boy looked relieved. “I knew you would.” He replied as if he had never had any doubts about that.
“Where is Anna?” That was the next logical question. He had said the parents had left them both home, so where was the girl? Having never met her, Lorraine wasn’t sure what to expect. She hadn’t come to the door when Josh had and she wasn’t there now to see who had arrived. Josh shrugged, as if that weren’t really important. “She’s upstairs in bed. She was being mean.”
Lorraine glanced toward the stairs and then back to the child as she gestured for him to follow her. She needed to at least look in on this girl she had never met. “Oh. Is she always mean?” ‘Mean’ could cover many things from sibling rivalry type things to worse. She was curious as to which this was, but leaning toward the first since both involved were children.
Moving to follow her without question, Josh nodded. “Uh-huh. I don’t like her. She’s mean to me and to mom and dad. She’s even mean to people who try to be her friend.” He shook his head, clearly not understanding why anyone would be that way. “I don’t know why she can’t be nice to people when they’re nice to her.” He frowned. “People are supposed to be nice, right?” He cocked his head a little. “Especially when it’s almost Christmas.”
Before Lorraine could answer that, both her head and Josh’s jerked upward at the sound of clomping above their heads. Almost like hooves on the wood floor of the hallway upstairs, followed by the creaking of a door and rattling chains. The sounds were enough to briefly freeze both of them where they stood. Until the sound of a whip of some sort hitting flesh rang out, accompanied by the cries of a female child that could only be Anna.
This drove them into action and they pounded up the rest of the stairs together, Lorraine careful to keep in front of Josh as they approached the now open door to the girl’s room. “Stay here.” She reached a hand down to stop Josh where he stood, not wanting him to see whatever was happening inside, not wanting to see herself even as she carefully approached and looked inside.
There was no doubt that this was the monster that Josh had been so afraid of. Her first thought was ‘Devil’ as her hand shot up to grasp the gold cross on the chain around her neck. It was bipedal, vaguely humanoid in appearance, but it had the legs of a goat ending in cloven hooves. Covered in dark, coarse hair, with large horns on the top of its head, a forked tongue darting out of its mouth as it hit the girl on the bed again with what looked like a whip made of horsehair while she trembled and screamed before him.
She barely had time to register the bundle of birch sticks in its free hand, covered in the snow she had seen outside, the chains wrapped loosely around its torso as if keeping them handy or the large sack it carried on its back in something reminiscent of a kind of anti-Santa Clause before she was moving toward them, crying out for it to stop as she yanked the girl off of the bed and momentarily out of the creature’s reach. The fathomless dark eyes turned upon her in anger as she stumbled away from it, seeking the door and the safety of the rest of the house, her only thought to get the children out and away. She could deal with whatever this was once they were out of the picture.
“Run, Josh!” She nearly tripped over him as she came barreling out of the room with Anna, still sobbing, in her arms. “Downstairs and outside!” The command came quick and sharp as she shoved the boy back in the direction they had originally come, the clomping of hooves and menacing growls of the creature left behind almost overtaking them before they got even halfway down.
Reaching the door, Josh tried to yank it open, forgetting that he had locked it. His own terror mounting, he clumsily attempted to turn the lock, to grant them all their freedom, but he wasn’t fast enough and the creature was on them before he could succeed. Still holding Anna close, Lorraine reached out to jerk Josh to the floor with her as the creature’s hand struck the door above them, where her own head had been only moments before.
Another growl and she looked up into those angry eyes, swallowing hard because there was nowhere for them to go, the monster was large enough and quick enough that it was blocking their escape. “Don’t let it take me!” Anna was whimpering now as Josh cowered into her side, unable to form words himself. “Don’t let it take me!”
Somehow she knew the girl’s terror was justified. This creature wanted her. “You can’t have her!” She spat the words as if she could truly stop it from taking what it wanted. She kicked out at it as if she could really hurt it, knowing even as she did so that she couldn’t. Its only reply was to blink down at her for what seemed like an eternity before it reached down to yank the girl from her arms against her desperate and vehement protests. Shifting to wrap her arms around Josh, still clinging to her for dear life, she attempted to get to her feet, to take one of the weapons the monster carried, to do anything
to save the girl it had come for. Halfway up, she felt a blow to her head that she hadn’t seen coming and before she could register what had happened, a darkness enveloped her and she knew nothing more.
When consciousness slowly began to return, the first thing she was aware of was a pounding in her head. Opening her eyes was a chore that took more than one attempt and she wasn’t entirely certain where she even was. A slow look around showed an unfamiliar house with none of the lights on to help her identify her location. The next sensation to register was that there was a little person in her arms. Dropping her gaze revealed the blonde boy whose call had brought her to this place that she was slowly remembering as lucidity began to return.
His eyes were closed, but his breathing was even. A quick examination showed no visible wounds and he appeared to be nothing but asleep. She might have thought she had imagined everything if there weren’t obvious tear tracks running down the pale cheeks of the boy she still held. He might be sleeping, but getting there hadn’t been peaceful.
The word came out as a croak and she had to swallow hard and try again, shaking the boy just a bit in an attempt to wake him without startling him too much. “Josh. Wake up.” As he began to stir, there was a faint click, something that sounded an awfully lot like a record dropping on to the turntable of its player. After a moment, in time with the opening of the child’s eyes, music rang out from one of the other rooms.He sees you when you’re sleeping.
He knows when you’re awake.
He knows if you’ve been bad or good.
So, be good for goodness sake…
Lorraine Rita WarrenClairvoyant Protector
"You better not shout, you better not cry..."
12/02/2018 12:26 PM
Not Hypocrites - A Drabble
Talk shows and television interviews were becoming one of their least favorite things to do. Especially lately when people were more skeptical and quicker to toss names and accusations around than to actually listen to anything that was said to them. Amityville had been a crushing blow to their reputation and they were still reeling from the backlash. Despite sticking to their story, it had been ‘proven’ to all be a hoax and that sent them spiraling into the realm of liars and frauds. A hole that was extremely hard to climb out of. Especially on live tv.
Ed handled these relentlessly questioning people a lot less gracefully than she did, and Lorraine hated to see him allowing it all to upset him so often. People were going to believe what they wanted to believe, no matter what they said or did. All they could do was continue to try.
This was something she told him time and time again and he agreed with each time, apologizing for letting such things get to him. But, he hated it when her own abilities and morals came into question and couldn’t stop himself from leaping to her defense, whether it was called for or not, whether it made things worse or not. He was her eternal white knight, even when she didn’t think she necessarily needed one. It was comforting in a way, knowing that he was and always would be there for her, to protect her and take care of her and that, even after all these years, he still felt the way about her that she felt about him.
“Are you absolutely sure you want to do this?” He was questioning their decision in agreeing to this interview as he had been since it had been given. “I know it’s kind of take what we can get at the moment, but this…are you sure?” He turned to look at her, hands up and absently attempting to fix his tie as he waited for her answer. His own opinion was already well and frequently known, so he just hoped to garner her agreement before there was truly no backing out.
Shaking her head and trying not to smile, Lorraine stepped forward. Batting Ed’s hands away, she reached up to fix the tie for him as she answered his question. “Absolutely? No. Are we doing it? Yes.” She didn’t have to look up into his eyes to see the expected displeasure at her answer there. “Backing out now would only hurt us in the end.” She continued, patting his chest and stepping back.
The expected frown met her look and he tilted his head slightly, questioningly. “How do you figure?” More often than not, he could follow her thoughts as well, or sometimes even better, than she could, but this time she had thrown him and hopefully distracted him from his misgivings. At least for the moment.
“Well, our illustrious hostess and interviewer is known for playing hard and fast. For asking tough questions and doing whatever she has to go get a story, right?” Lorraine asked, leading him down the path her thoughts had taken. They were doing it anyway, but it wouldn’t hurt to give him a legitimate reason at this point. He was going to go grudgingly either way, but maybe she could lessen that just a little.
“Right.” He still didn’t know where she was going, but he was listening. She offered a nod before continuing. “How would it look if we ran from that?” She got right to the point. “Assumptions in such cases will always be that we have something to hide. That we can’t stand up to such frank and unapologetic questions. That we’re only capable of p**sy footing around and parroting the same things over and over. That we’re weak and fake.” She met his eyes one more time. “Strong and legitimate people have nothing to hide and therefore they meet the hard things head on. Just as we’ve always done.”
Ed opened his mouth, but couldn’t seem to come up with a counter point, so he closed it and shook his head, a smile lifting the corners of his lips even before he finally spoke. “Okay, okay. You’re not wrong.” He had to concede her points, unable to argue with her for long, as always. “But, this woman?” The smile turned slightly skeptical. “She’s not exactly the most accurate and trustworthy source for news. We’re supposed to be trying to boost understanding and knowledge in what we do and why. In what’s out there beyond the every day. Do we really want someone else dragging our names through the dirt?”
The look Lorraine gave him was slightly reproachful. Not one she often directed at him. “Have you actually talked to the woman, or are you assuming based on other peoples’ opinions that that is how she really is? Are you really stepping into the mindset of those we ourselves are trying to overcome without getting both sides of the story, without forming your own opinion based on facts?” She didn’t put her hands on her hips, but she might as well have from the way her tone shifted into disapproval of that idea.
Ed blinked, speechless for a moment. “Touché.” He finally murmured. “I haven’t talked to her myself. I have seen some of her news stories and her writing. But, I haven’t personally dealt with the woman beyond receiving the request for this interview.” He sighed. “Which means we’re going to give her a chance because we aren’t hypocrites and we would like to expect the same from others.” He shook his head. “Why do you always have to be so right?”
Lorraine smiled. “Not always, but this time.” She replied easily, reaching out to straighten his tie one more time. “It can’t go worse than some of the other interviews we’ve done.” The smile shifted into a smirk that tried to be more amused than it really was. “And who knows? Maybe this time will be better.”
“One can only hope.” Ed murmured as he kissed her cheek and then moved to stand beside her to wait for their introduction that would lead to this tv news interview that would hopefully go better than the several before it.
Lorraine Rita WarrenClairvoyant Protector
"Maybe this time will be better.."
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