TIME TRAVELLING — MARISSA — 04

Medieval Pilgrim - Free Photo
Medieval Pilgrim – Free Photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 04 — Marissa’s Fate

 

In the Spring of her fifth year, her parents had left her in her uncle’s care and never returned from their journey, their bodies never found.  The mountain, sapped by rains, had fallen on top of the road they were traveling on and had covered them and two others from their party.  Those who had escaped with their lives had no memory of events of that night and nobody was going to dig under the mountain of dirt to try and recover bodies or valuables they had taken with them to offer their liege lord at the annual meeting…

She was orphaned and if she did not do her uncle’s bidding, she could forget of her lady status and find work to support herself.  A child was not good at hard work, aside work in the kitchens…  But doing as she was bid did not mean she agreed, or that she liked it.  Her aunt was not an especially bad woman, but compared with her own mother, this one was simply evil.

Her uncle liked her and they could have done well together, but his wife, her aunt, was a totally different matter.  She had made it clear from the very beginning, on the day after the news of her parents’ death had arrived brought by the few who had escaped the mud avalanche.  Marissa was good for only one thing – a good alliance through marriage.  Now, after six years, the aunt had found the BOY, to force the girl out of the castle through marriage.  Mayhap, Marissa thought, she could manage to find some secrets and thus compensate the betrothal event that seemed would change her fate so much!

Her grey place was wide and large, bigger than her Mam’s had been.  She could reach it from any place, but better without witnesses.  She had well learned from her Mam — never have witnesses or they could hold it over your head and bring all kind of mischief and misfortune.

She could walk through the grey, and if she thought about a place she wanted to be, next she came out of the grey exactly where she had wished.  How about wishing to be in the grey but close enough to the people in a room to hear them talking?  She did not know how it worked, but as soon as she tried, it was clear that she could go as close as she wanted to hear their voices through the wall of grey…  She had found she could do thus soon after her betrothal, by sheer chance…

Now that she had discovered she could advance in her grey space close enough to people to hear them, Marissa decided that it was a good idea to pass her time listening when she thought secrets were about to be discussed.  There was a slight danger of being found out, but her affinity to her grey space was very special indeed, as her Mam had explained to her — she was almost born there and such was the power of grey that she could ask for anything at all and, as long as she could imagine it, it would be given her.

A pity she did not spend more time listening to her uncle and aunt.   They were not nice.  Her uncle and her aunt were at each other’s throat every day, all day long.  And what they said meant they were murderers…  Even her parents’ death seemed to have been provoked by a small quantity of black powder exploded by one of her father’s men, one who did not escape his own evilness.

Marissa hoped that her mother had got out into the grey in time but she could not be sure, as she had not had any sign from her in all this time…  And all at once, through their death, she was a rich heiress.  On top of that, as her betrothed’s father had met his end in a most gruesome accident she was next to inherit after Peter…  It was an accident only for those who knew not the truth.  Her guardians had arranged for the accident to happen and for the BOY to be accused…not of a crime, but of grave negligence, and now he was hiding and nobody knew where he was.  All that was needed was for him to bed her and then to die as well, for the marriage contract to come full force, making her the sole heir of the old lord — his Father.

That convinced her to leave her uncle’s castle and find refuge in the grey — at least for a while, to gather her thoughts and decide what to do, (and of course — to spy some more).  From that moment on, she was seen only sporadically, mostly in the kitchen, where she visited in order to get more victuals, but not long enough to get spoken to…  Two years had passed, and there was talk of getting her a new betrothal.  True, she could take ownership of her missing husband-to-be properties, but it was not yet right.  The BOY was still alive, or so claimed her Aunt.

Marissa needed an ally and the only one she could think of, was Peter, the BOY.  Finding him was no problem, if she looked for him from her grey, but she needed to be strong enough to pass for a boy, for she had decided not to be at anybody’s hand again.  Her guardians were bad enough to last her for a whole lifetime.  She was already a consummate rider, but one could not take horses in all possible situations, so Marissa took to walking longer and longer distances and carrying bigger and bigger loads.  She needed suitable clothes and started taking from her mother’s old chest things that seemed made for her measure, so much did she resemble her mother, at least in stature, if not in any other way…

Soon she thought herself well prepared and set out to find the BOY.  He must be seventeen by now, and if the promises of old came true, he would be a good enough knight to serve her purposes.  She was not clear yet about those, but some kind of revenge for being made orphans by the same wicked people was her dearest wish.

 

Peanut Butter — Friend or Foe?

Free photo from Google search
Free photo from Google search

Peanut butter — a treat to die for!  We love it smooth or crunchy, with a fork or with a spoon…  So tasty, luscious, enticing…

I remember the time when the first mother demanded the proscription of peanut butter from the school where her allergic son was going, and the general outcry against the idea!

She won and now most schools operate under zero acceptance of peanut butter on the premises.  I think the posession of epipens is a must as well.  But we, the peanut butter eaters cannot care less… until tragedy strikes.

A friend of a friend of mine has a little girl, Ann, who goes to such a school.  She eats peanut butter sandwiches at home, but does not take them at school.

Ann has a best friend, Carly, in same school, same class with Ann, but her parents do not let Carly out for Halloween Trick or Treating.  So Ann decided to share her bounty with her friend.

Generosity might kill!

All parents try to imbue the children with sharing qualities.  Who among us can judge little Ann’s decision to share her Trick or Treat bounty with her best friend?

And so it came that next day after Halloween, Ann took several Reese’s cookies with her to school.  Her parents did not know, her teacher did not know…  At lunch bresk, tragedy struck!

Little Carly got so sick, paramedics were called, Carly was whisked to the hospital…

Everybody took a long sigh of relief when they found out little Carly was responding to medication and everything was under control.

Imagine how little Ann was feeling during this agitated episode…  She had just wanted to share…

Now she knows why Carly never went Trick or Treating.

Let us make sure all children know about the dangers of allergies and the do’s and don’t’s related to them Continue reading “Peanut Butter — Friend or Foe?”

The world around us

Look around and take stock of the changes that take place under our very eyes..

The world is dominated by corporations who conduct their business in a globalized way. They change work forces the way we, plain humans, change clothes. As soon as a new poorer country offers better conditions, the factories and offices move there and the old work force is “let go.” That means that men and women are left without the means to continue life as they knew it. The process of finding new jobs entails such stress that families split and children suffer.

I believe firmly that people should help each other when misfortune strikes; the need to put something on paper became an obsession with me and “Save Magic City” became reality.

I worked 10 years for such a corporation and when told that I together with my section colleagues were no more needed, I became part of this globalized world and I understood much better its underscoring evil.

Not Voldemort, but humans with $$ instead of hearts are changing us into scared beings, expecting the worst but doing nothing to change life to better…

5 Ideas of How We, Together With our Children, Can Bring Magic Into our Lives

Author Rocsanne Shields

I finished writing this book in early 2007, but I took my sweet time deciding what to do next.

In March 2010, I heard on the TV about a town (Detroit) in which the mayor had taken over the empty houses and the lots around them, to be used for the greater good of the town. There were too many empty houses left by their owners who could no more pay their dues. According to newsmax.com “city-hall takes over 23.000 abandoned houses.”

The story is not short, but very sad and very true — there were 33,000 abandoned houses, out of which 10,000 were too decrepit to be repaired and were to be demolished, the rest of 23,000 to be taken over by the city and used to produce income and save the city.  Aside from the houses there were 91,000 urban lots abandoned and polluted by trash.  The population had declined from 2 mill. in its days of glory, to less than one mill. in 2010.

How close to my story! It is frightening to know that fantasy walks so close to reality.  Though the process had started some time before the recession, it became accelerated by the closure of the automotive factories in Detroit, Michigan USA. Detroit’s magic will be provided by the government in the guise of loans and grants for the beautification of the city and advertising for new businesses to come and bring much needed jobs with them (50% of population was unemployed in 2010, at the time the article was written).

I think that people can do a lot to improve their lot, and their children are a major factor in implementing any plan.  It is their future they should fight for.  Here are the ideas I suggest for bringing the magic back in our lives:

1. Organize teams to keep the city clean.

Many a time I come home to find somebody had thrown empty cans of pop on the side of the street, coming to roost in the side ditch.  Children and young adults can help.  They are the next generation of workers, thinkers, and artists.  It is our duty to help them understand that if we destroy the environment, there will be nothing left to save in next decades.  They may organise through school, church, or just plain by neighbourhood, and help keep streets clean and green.

2. Start buying “Made in Canada”.

Once I heard President Obama say “Buy American”.  He was right but, not politically correct!  He changed the music to “buy global”.  But he was right.  Buy Canadian and support the Canadian economy.  Without our support, it is going the way of the Do-Do bird…

Parents and children together, by buying only local products will contribute to reinforce the local agriculture and the small entrepreneurs.  There is strength in numbers. This may preserve jobs from disappearing.

3. Encourage the farmers’ markets.

If we use all arable land to build houses and malls, we’ll be always buying our food from outside our country.  Already the Canadian agriculture is suffering.  We need to encourage the farmers markets, and teach all our friends and family members of all ages to do the same.

4. Follow the example of other children.

We hear all the time about children of ten or twelve who have already started to organize their friends, and gather money to help those in need.  It is very important to support their actions and encourage others to do the same, and not only for places struck by disasters.  The way the economy is oriented, we’ll have financial disasters like the banking one in USA, or the automotive crisis in North America and Europe in their generation as well.

Children can do lots to save a community.  “Canadian children help earthquake victims” is the story of Bilaal Rajan who started his crusade of helping children in need from the age of four, when he sold clementine oranges door to door. The $350 he raised was to help the 2001 earthquake victims in Gujarat, India…  After the hurricane of 2004 that ravaged Haiti, he formed a team of 12 other children to help sell the cookies his father’s company donated for this effort.  In October 2004, Bilaal and his team-mates presented UNICEF with a cheque for $6,387 from cookies sold by them door-to-door.  He was seven. By the time of the article, in 2007, he was eleven, and had already gathered $50,000 by himself. You can read more at http://www.bilaalrajan.com/about_bilaal.html :

“What a legacy Bilaal has begun– and in 2007 he’s only now 11 years of age! Your partnering with this visionary young man will make it possible for him to raise the consciousness of even the youngest of souls on the planet, and instill in them the purpose that so many of our lives lack today. In so doing, they will learn the importance of being of service to others, and will be primed to continue this work in brilliant ways in the future, leaving the world a better place than they found it, and keeping Bilaal’s dream alive…”  He also set up a dedicated website, ( www.handsforhelp.org ) to raise awareness for children in need.

5. Children should be exposed to good examples on the media.

If we start asking for such programmes, I’m sure the TV producers will listen to our voices and will find ideas for a series of shows to encourage good deeds among children and young adults.  Today Facebook is almost more important than TV.  Let’s have short movies taken while working for a good cause, instead of movies of kids beating kids.

I like to think that young people can get organized for good just as they get organized for crime.  Instead of choosing the easiest way to obtain satisfaction, they should help each other to better themselves, not to beat or bully the weaker among them.  This is our true magic.  Together we can change the conditions — locally and globally.