All Roads Lead To Music

So, I was hanging out over an my friend Calen’s blog. It’s a favorite place to go of mine. She did this prompt about going to visit a blog and picking out the 4th and 14th word in the day’s post, and so I did that… But I went random, and just found a blog and looked at the 4th and 14th word. So my drop in words for the sentence ______ is the new ______ is ARE HOUSE.

Looking at the Are House by itself, I’m sure I don’t even have to tell most of you where my mind went. And if you guessed Crosby, Stills,  Nash, am Young, you’d be right.

Yes, ARE isn’t OUR, but if you hear how it’s pronounced, it’s OUR.

This lead me to:

All roads lead to music

Ways And Means

[Day 8 – Death to Adverbs]

Between the time Ronon passed through the liquid mouth of the Ancestor’s Ring on the last planet and the instant he stepped onto terra firma of the next planet there was only a moment for one thought: it had been a good killing day. Five Wraith dead! Within the next minutes his mind was consumed with appraising the situation in his new locale.

As often was the case, the Ring of the Ancestors, set in an open field, was surrounded by the wooded beauty of the orb’s natural environment. Sometimes, though not often, he was met by a contingent of the inhabitants guarding the vicinity. His predicament warranted that no people be near as he arrived. The past had taught Dex the consequences of accepting the hospitality of residents. Having spent a night in a village on one world to eat and sleep, he later discovered that the Wraith had repaid their generosity to him by destroying the entire village. That lesson need only be learned once.

Scanning the immediate region, finding it empty of locals, Ronon circled around behind the Ring, disappearing into the cover of the trees bordering the field. He knelt down, watching, listening, smelling, and taking inventory.

Before life irrevocably changed for him, Ronon Dex had been one of the military elite. The governments of Sateda used The Ring of the Ancestors to travel to other worlds for trade and other needs and while some existed, Sateda’s space travel programs were sorely lacking in funds. Thus, whenever the Wraith came knocking little could be done to protect the planet on a ship to ship basis and once Ronon had been caught in the Wraith dart’s beam, he had no idea what had become of the others on his world.

For seven long years, running, Ronon had dialed so many different addresses, which he used prior to this time as a soldier on Sateda. It was easy at first to recall what worlds he automatically knew but time blurred his memory, as did the lack of sleep and his suddenly compact universe of staying one step ahead of the enemy. Where he was now could have been any number of places he’d known back in the days before what he came to think of as the final culling.

Nothing on this planet looked familiar. The disadvantage was any harm which might befall a population who would unwittingly get the fallout from his own tactics while the advantage was his strategies would change with new terrain. Time was of the essence. Soon the skies would echo back the raucous sound of the engines from the Wraith Darts and the game would start all over again.

As he inspected his surroundings, Ronon noted that there had been some recent foot traffic, though this section of the forest had less than that which was closer to the Ancient Ring. Weariness was his greatest obstacle during these times of setting the traps for the next round of Wraith warriors.

It was this same exhaustion which allowed Ronon to either ignore signs of planetary population or simply not see them. Rigging his final trap, the rising of a bird from the branches overhead and the snapping of a twig drew his attention to movement in near-by bushes. Ronon stepped behind a tree and stood quietly waiting to hear the telltale sounds that he was being watched and followed. He knew it is not Wraith. The whine of the ship had not yet broken the silence.

Within moments a young boy rounded the bend in the trail, stopping and searching, as Ronon had done when first arriving. Almost in imitation of what Dex recalled doing, the boy knelt down and examined the soil, tracing with his finger the print Ronon’s own boot left. Not wanting to scare the youngster, Ronon remained quiet, watching, almost smiling.

At that moment the scream of the Wraith Dart’s engine started as an indefinable far off whirring but Ronon knew it better than any sound. His reflex action startled the boy who looked back over his shoulder at what seemed to be a figure from an age far gone. The wildness in Ronon’s mud splattered face, eyes flashing anger and his towering tattered hulk raised an equal squeal from the younger’s lips. Reaching out, Dex snatched the boy off his feet and covered his mouth with a large dirt crusted hand. “Shhhhhhhhhh” he said quietly, waiting for the flailing to slow down. With one ear listening to the sound of the nearing vessel, Ronon knelt down, releasing the child. “You don’t belong here.” Ronon hissed. “Go back to your people, now.”

The young boy was already running back down the path he’d taken when following Ronon. The sound of the Dart filled the air and a look of panic transformed quickly into utter terror as the kid recognized the dreaded culling ship’s wail. “Tell them the Wraith have come!” Ronon called after the fleeing youth.

Not awaiting the hoped for kill to land, Ronon Dex raced toward the Ancestor’s Ring again, hoping to detour the ship’s course once they lost his signal here. Their interest was only with their runner. It would not take them long to pick up his blip on their monitors when he stepped through the Ring on yet another planet.

The Cat’s Meow

“Caw!”

“Meow!”

“Caw! Caw!”

“Meow!”

“Caw Caw Caw”

“MEOW!”

Flap flap flap flap

“Growl”

Flap flap flap flap

“MEOW GROWL”

Flap flap

flap

 flap

gone

Bridging A Gap

Day Two: A Room with a View

[Today’s Prompt: If you could zoom through space in the speed of light, what place would you go to right now?]

It’s was a dream bridge. He knew it. The coldness of the rock of the canyon wall, where he sat, seeped into his bones, slithered down his back, kept him anchored to that one small peace of reality. It was enough.

The pathway rose up before him, and silver light, a moon glow, shimmered across it, growing narrow, like paintings often do, until it becomes a single point, a blur. He looked down, saw his bare feet step onto the span, disappear into a mist, yet he felt the solid surface. Another step took him further, as he raised his eyes, searching the far end.

Whispers of eons of travelers called to him. The roadway held the wisdom of the Elders, those who had gone before, who traversed this path into eternity. The sound, like the rustling of leaves on a tree, frisked by a wayward wind, were only echoes, soft and wispy.

Glancing briefly back, he noted that the way was obscured by a billowing fog. Turning slowly back toward his future, he saw dark brooding mountains, massive stantions that spoke of beginnings, of the forming of the Earth, of its evolution. Momentarily he wondered what dinosaurs claimed this territory.

The walk seemed endless, his sense of making no progress, distracting. The light of Sister Moon faded until he was swallowed by darkness. He became aware of stepping upon soil, moist and less substantial. An earthy scent infused his senses. He stopped and breathed deeply. Clean, fresh, different. Looking back, the bridge was no longer apparent, but he did not fear this. The point was to continue moving forward.

As he turned to resume the journey, he was certain that the light was returning, as if the day was dawning. The song of birds filled the air, joined by the sounds of crickets and bees, zooming past, on errands that only a new day brings. Lighter still, the forest in which he padded upon the soft bed of leaves, grew clearer, richer, lush greens that brought a smile to his lips.

“What are you waiting for?” The voice was gruff. Jesse searched to find its owner. “You took your time.”  He stared at a man, his face lined with age, brown leathery skin, long gray hair hanging down past his shoulders, kept out of his face with a bandana that played across his forehead, and was tied behind at the back. He wore an old blue work shirt, sloppily tucked in to khaki slacks which had seen years of use. “Time will not stand still just because you do,” the old man said.

Starting back up the trail, Jesse caught up, took a bag which was pushed at him, and slung it over his shoulder. He wanted to ask where he was, but was relutant to speak unless spoken to.

The man stopped, reaching for a yellow flower, one of many which lined the path. “See, this is what we need.” He plucked it off its stem, and opened his palm to show it, then dropped it into a basket he carried. Jesse nodded, and followed his guide. The bag and basket were both stuffed full with several varieties of plant leaves and stems, and flowers.

As they moved, picking, and dropping their bounty into the respective pouches, Jesse noted that the way had widened. The voices of children at play began to mingle with the chattering of the winged ones, and the raucous screech of monkeys which scampered up the trunks of trees, and swung between the branches, like agile acrobats. The sun was filtering down to the ground, its warmth eeking the last bit of chill from Jesse’s body.

A village lay ahead, as they stepped into a clearing. The byways were earthen and grassy, running fully through, between polished dry-stone wall structures, toward the edge of a mountain upon which it was built. Adults were busy tending the day’s work. The laughter of the children was carried upon the breezes which washed down from the peaks. Upon seeing the old one appear from the forest, they swarmed toward him, hands held up in a begging gesture. Their voices chorused a chant Jesse did not understand. A smile appeared on the aged face, as he pulled berries from one of his many pockets, plopping pieces into eager hands. No sooner had they appeared, when they turned enmasse, appeased by the gifts, returning to their games.

The two walked on, silence almost welcome. Jesse knew this was about observing, seeking knowledge, and understanding what messages would come from this quest. Just beyond the main part of the village propper, they stepped around a corner which led down a quiet road. At the end, in another clearing, they continued across toward a lone hut, with a thatched roof. It was a wooden structure, with windows on either side of a doorway.

Inside, Jesse was instructed to place his bag on a table in the center of a sparsely furnished room. The old man deposited his own collection as well. He pointed to a fireplace. “Stoke that up.” Then he set about separating what had been gathered.
A cauldron with water in it, hung above the flames, and Jesse joined his host at the table.

They were sitting across from each other, each on a bench. Many minutes passed, and tea was prepared, two earthen cups filled with steaming liquid. Jesse sipped from his cup, and watched as the piles became orderly. “What is this place?”

“My home.”

Jesse closed his eyes for a moment, seeking to ease away from his frustration. “This village, I mean.”

“A place to which you were called.”

The elder looked at the young man. Their gaze held each other. “Who are you?”

There was a long pause. The eyes in the ancient face showed a tinge of amusement. “You do not recognize yourself.”

Jesse sought to remain observant, to push away that inner voice which mocked, and questioned this vision.

“One day you will look in the mirror and see this face looking back at you.”

His heart beat faster, and Jesse felt a stirring, a yearning to run. He remained steadfast.

“If you stay on course, you will grow to become who you were meant to be, who you were born to be.”

Silence.

“For now, all is done.”

His eyes fluttered open, and a cold wind buffeted him. The canyon was poised betwix and between yesterday and this new day. Jesse sat, seeking to retain the images. Finally, pulling out a book, he wrote down what had transpired.

My Home Town

Daily Prompt: LOCAL FLAVOR  [Write a piece about a typically “local” experience from where you come from as though it’s an entry in a travel guide.]

I’m fairly certain that nobody would consider my hometown an archipelago. But, it is a chain of islands, non the less. Not a large chain, but then again, does size matter, really?

my archapelago

I grew up in one of the outer islands, but did live on the main island for a few years as a young adult. I’d spent a lot of time there, just because it was a hot spot of activity, especially compared to what was going on in my neck of the woods. Which is not to say that we didn’t have some major big happenings on my side of the East Estuary.

We actually had one of the major WORLD happenings on my island, twice. It was a rather significant Fair, and the remnants of both the 1939, and the 1964 happenings still stand today. I wasn’t around for the former (not even a twinkle in my mother’s eye), but was lucky enough to join the global gathering during the latter.

We even had a major baseball team there, as did our neighboring, and adjoining, but separate borough – both now only historical memories. In fact, together we were the counties of the kings and queens. And we had the beaches, which the main island did not have, and they were quite significant beaches, often a great draw for visiting vacationers.

The third major baseball team was on the northern most island, the only major team left.

So let me tell you about my hometown, bring you the flavor of what it’s like living on such a notorious archipelago.

The part of my hometown which most outsiders think of, is but one island, jam packed with giant monoliths, seen from every side. Residents dwell in quaint little brownstones, or larger apartment complexes,  which line the streets, in most areas.  There are quite many neighborhoods: Chelsea, and Gramercy Park, SoHo, Little Italy, Chinatown, The Village, Tribeca, The Battery, and the Bowery. The business district is called Midtown, which is also where the main entertainment district is. There’s the Upper East Side, and the Upper West Side, and a park which takes up about 50 blocks! There is a major university in the Northern most part of the main island, and another major university in the Southern sector, where I attended college. There are flower shows, and music halls, and lots of shopping, till you’re dropping. It has the best New Years Eve happening in the world! On the 200th anniversary, there were Tall Ships (of old) sailing into the main harbor. It has every ethnic food you can think of. There are tours around the main island by boat, as well a tours which take you up to the top of the highest monolith where you can see forever, or at least for miles and miles and miles.

Moving to the east island, comprising the two adjoining boroughs, The Party! at The World Famous Kings County Saloon is A Comedy Showcase. There’s also Open Mic  Night at the Super Collider for singers and songwriters. But the beaches are THE major draw, especially in summer. It has one of the greatest amusement parks anywhere, with roller coasters, and other great rides, a boardwalk where you can play carnival games, and get cotton candy, and, dare I say it, the best hotdogs in the universe! and a beach that goes on forever! But don’t forget that even in winter, there’s the famous Polar Bear Club Plunge event which was founded in 1903.

Now, aside from the big World Happenings, The County of the Queens has some interesting events as well. Thunderbird Mid-Summer Pow Wow is a showcase of the Indigenous People’s culture, and has all the traditional dances, and food, and handmade clothing and jewelry, as well as other art created by the Tribes.  There’s also a great educational County Farm Museum, where you’ll find the annual Children’s Carnival every April! There are a multitude of villages, like the main island has.

The North Island offers Walking Tours, and an amazing Botanical Garden, and a zoo! There are free public lectures, held at the Island’s Archive Buidling. And as mentioned, it is home to the last major baseball team.

The furthest island (seemingly) in this cluster is a solitary landmass, connected by a bridge to the County of the Kings. But, more exciting is the ferry service from the Main Island.  This Southern most island offers such fun events as Munch Madness, and the Turkish Cultural Center is open to the public. A pleasant afternoon can be spent at the Greenbelt Nature Center. It is the least populated so has greater hiking trails, and many farmer’s markets.

Perhaps you’ve heard of it?

New York City

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