Limbo

Following Lunch on the patio, red lettuce with a creamy sweet mousse and a crunchy root( like a purple carrot) , Marie twirled her spoon in the glass. She had been thoughtful and distant, her dark,and pale waves catching the light making it hard to tell her hair color.

I dabbed at the chocolate crumbs on my plate, so yummy. I don’t know what you call it but it was just like the chocolate dream layered dessert my Mom used to make . So GOOD!! I drank some juice and folded my napkin. I am never sure where you put the napkin when you’re finished with it. I held it in my hand and then crumbled it up on top of my plate.

Marie dropped her spoon onto of her plate, shocking me into a jump, bumping my knee and almost knocking the flower vase over. Marie grabbed for the vase,righted it and carefully looked at the leaves of the two stems in the vase . She was shocked herself and I surmised that she was embarrassed at her manner,too. “Goodness, I was in a fog, !” Marie reached for her salad plate and began nibbling. She always interested me , because she also her salad last with her coffee. Oh well, I tended not to eat the salad at all. The sad expression was still in her eyes. I thought it was from the changing light of afternoon. ” I gather you know the -um – headmaster. ? ” I was nursing a carrot dipped in peanut butter.

“He is not a headmaster, heaven forbid the time when he is in charge. ” She raised her eyes skyward. There are people who like his style of leadership , I am NOT one of them. I have known him for years . He knows just enough to get by, She was stabbing at a piece of parnip and loading green tomatoes onto her fork. “some students and researchers really like his way of doing things”. She picked up her lunch plate and walked it over to the tray set up in the corner . She grinned ,her eyes shining . ” Ok, Joy and I have been talking and you need your own private room. She said that you have not gone exploring . Is this right? Regardless, of his Lordship, you are not going to get into trouble learning about the Council house. ” My eyes widened and started watering. I grabbed my hands in a tight squeeze. ” My own room?” The teardrops darkened the sleeve of my nightshirt. ” Well, I know you have your workroom , but you need a place to take a bath and store your stuff that is more secure than the garden sunroom. ” She was cheerful and her brow lifted puzzled.

, ” You need a place to get away from casual visitors, especially with all the meetings and research starting up in the season. She was looking at the door inside I picked up the rest of the dishes and walked over to the tray” but I am only here temporarily- I am going home soon. ” I was very cold, the afternoon was getting chillier. I started into my sanctuary- albeit temporary! Marie put her arm around my shoulder. ” We should have given you a room sooner. No one does well in Limbo! Not even those who are transistory in their crafts. Let’s get you settled and then I could need another viewpoint . You certainly can help for a bit, couldn’t you?” We sat on the bench against the wall ” So, do you like upstairs, dark room to sleep in or big, sunny and crowded.? We have both ,upstairs and down. ” I like dark to sleep in but I also like sunny ,comfortable uncrowded room. ” I smiled at the number of times that my sister and I argued over whose room was more cluttered and crowded AND WHO was going to be lectured first from Mom and Grandmother!

Lies in Limbo

The brown ,graying hair of the gentleman who came in was quite different from the “professor”. He was fairly tall ,with a thick folder of folders(?) tucked under his arm. The sleeve of the woven coat was folded around the folder, causing a tight vice around his elbow, making his hand red. He put down the briefcase with a loud bam on the edge table . ” What kind of ruckus or joke did you think you were pulling ? It’s hard enough keeping discipline and security without you disrupting the sessions. I don’t like the students here anyway! This is NOT a boarding school!! What Claire thought she was accomplishing by allowing access . It is STUPID!! ( at least I think that was what he was saying, I was having a lot of trouble with his accent. )

“What are you talking about? No one has been over in the conference hall , certainly not little bit and I . We have been HERE! ” Marie was standing just behind me and I couldn’t get to the couch. A room of my own sounded perfect now, with a thick deadbolt and strong hinges.!

” Cyrus is apologizing to everyone in the conference for his absence , because a council staffer stole his cat and was locking her away for being on the premises . He had to plea for her release, because she was accused of destroying property and the staff wanted to turn her over to Security for disposal! ” He came to the doorway and motioned for us to come in. I followed him into my room. His posture was tense and his demeanor was boiling , grounding him to blocking access to the interior of the room.
I looked at him and was angry! I could be just boiling and just as rooted in rug next to the sofa end table just inside the door. I have had enough . ” What? Who does He think He is ? The cat wander onto the patio and came in through the open patio door. She was just looking around . Mr. Cyrus came in and found her , I hadn’t restrained her or called anyone! ” Marie came in and stood with me. ” He was yelling at her about being in here. He was off on one of his power trips like he does when he is flustered by a student. ” Marie looked at the gentleman ” I thought Claire understood , that she was responsible for any trouble HE caused. ”

The folders were sliding and it was all I could do not to yank them away from him and put them on the table or couch or– To my relief, He dropped them on the “game” table and switched on the lamp. ” He has told everyone who would listen . There is going to be dissent and you are going to be asked a lot of questions. ” Marie slid down to the chair and grasped the table edge. ” She is our guest. This is our home. He doesn’t live here and he doesn’t want to have any responsibility except when he doesn’t like something.” The shadow crossed the far window and the room darkened. ” What can we do?”

Bruises

Ginger pulled the ball up from under the edge of the couch and threw it across , hitting the pink haired gypsy girl. Pink startled and tears gathered.
“I am – I didn’t meant to throw it so hard. I sorry!. ” Sam frowned as did the Parliamentarian . ” I was just trying to hear from someone new!”
The girls who were sitting on the arms of the far couch reached over and patted her . The black gentleman went over -stepping across legs and brushing Pink’s hair, he checked her cheek. ” This is NOT the place in which to invite steam in. Burns are hard to heal. ” He rubbed her chin. ” Actions are hard and words keep living all around us.”
Pink rolled the ball in her hands. She frowned and glanced at all the staring , confused faces. Rubbing her ear, she darted a look at Ginger and at the people behind her. She stood, her forehead all crinkled and her face pale, bruises fading in several spots on her face and neck.
” We have survived and are doing well ,at last but there are others who want to submerged us and control – ” she drew up her shoulders and then dropped them as she squared her head. She met Tom’s, Sam’s and Ginger’s eyes.
” I am not from here, I was NOT INVITED! ” She moisturized her lips and looked at Diamond ” I know nothing about the issues you talk and talk and dislike. I am a Tag!” She rubbed the tight ball of yarn and teared up. ” All this talk! all the pushing and pretending ! ” She faced Diamond. ” All your complaints and disagreements. -” She wiped the tears from her cheeks. ” All the yelling about OTHERS – It’s just heading for the destruction again ! “I was a child , BUT I REMEMBER! ” She skidded the ball across the table at Sam.
She looked at him ” Who brings weapons to a place where middle Hope is? ” She picked up and held her cup against her reddened cheek, bit her lip and shivered.

Time and again

The black gentleman sank his head to his knees, a squeak sounding like the whine of a weapon before it explodes emitted. His voice was the closest to a cry of pain I have ever heard.
“We KNOW HOW THIS ENDS! We all know what will happen again, and again, and again. The arguments, the accusations and THE ATTACKS. ” There will be comments, statements, JUDGEMENTS! from ALL SIDES. !!” he slammed his fists on the table edge, looking up , his voice rose into a cat howl. AT THIS POINT, HE WAS YELLING, he remembered the smoke in the streets, the uniforms and the looks that he got for following her parents.. He had thought there was NO WAY that the mistrust and spike in silence or in yelling and proceeding with the screaming and accompanied paperwork could happen again. THAT was just a one time thing ! Wasn’t it?

There were glances, stiffened backs and people leaning forward rubbing shoulders. Diamond guy huffed and his eyes were glistening with tears. “This is what happens when the over others are more interested in themselves. We have to — ” He paused and looking around frowned. ” They HAVE TO — ? I mean- calm everything down. ” He drank a swig from a tall, curvy, blue pegged bottle, while he looked at everyone gathered in the area and the people gathering down the next level.


Gingered Knowledge

Ginger clasped the black gentleman’s hand as she rose from the couch.
She tilted her head and pondered the young man. ” Scotty, I have visited your processes a couple of weeks ago. Mr. Joffrey took a group out to see. The place is clean, pure and simple. It is enchanting and not believable unless one sees in person.”
Ginger smiled and her face was warm and happy. I don’t think I have seen her so happy. With her hand protecting the back of her neck, She unzipped her overvest, partway. She sat down, sternly looking at the black gentleman. He was staring down at the carpet, near my blue canvas tote bag. He nudged it and it nudged back, sliding towards gravity and the edge of my heel.
Ginger stood up and easily matched the young Scot in presence . ” You were invited because you are within the roadways. ” She arched her eyebrow and pulled her long warm hair into one hand . Her hair much thicker and longer, she held it off to one side.
” There are several groups and villages who are rumored to be planning campaigns and rounds to protect and procureate their resources. Securing their harvest seems to require a lot of boxes and explosions in the off times. Have you heard of the Blue Circles?”

The young Scot’s face looked like an enraged bird of prey landing for a kill. I scooted backward, seeing as I was on the floor underneath them. I slid up on the couch with Diamond’s girls and pulled up my feet. Sam reached over and pulled the bowl of fruit and the bag over to them and off the table. The table had been shifted away from the pair, by the two of them . ” My name is Eochan Thomas Silvar. ” He cleared his throat and hiccuped. “Confederation of Blue Circles? Why would we join an undisciplined and envious military play group? ” I wasn’t sure what he meant but the men behind us in the hall, laughed and continued walking away, very quickly.

Who possesses Hope?

A young man in a blue tartan flannel shirt, a yellow tie and a long robe stood up from one of the back benches. The robe was red with tiny, yellow horses worked into the design . The young man squeezed between the couches . He was a muscular, bearded man with broad girth and a wide nose. The brown eyes were deep pools and his yellow hair was falling down his forehead . He blew it away from his eyes. He picked up Sam’s fuzzy ball, squeezed it and pounced, so much, everyone drew back and some pulled their feet under them . The Scot, I suppose, was not fearful or nor hesitant.
” Our FIRST tall harvest, which we have culled and cared for years. People telling us we were wrong and should just not try. ” He ran his hair back and pinned it with his multicolored cap. His voice accusing everyone as he twisted and turned including all the people here.
” We figured out how to grow and clean up and how to save our own. WE DID, when nobody,” — he paused and nodded to Ginger.” ALMOST nobody gave us any chance! ” He tossed the string in its tangled mess and caught it like pizza dough. ” Then you people show up and demand that we give you parts!!”
He glared at Sam and Diamond, his muscles were so tight that I could see the tendons in his face. He stared at the Black Gentleman, turning his back on the larger audience. “You marched and demanded to see the Cite. Of course, we are protective, we have had it with the hand-outs and the making leftovers work. ” He was winding the yarn in a unstructured way, while his voice filled the halls. The yarn began to appear similar to a bird nest. “We did something that nobody could do.”
He turned and glanced down at me. His frown deepening and the ball yarn irritating my nose. I brush it aside and glared back. ” Now, you wanted us here to talk about joint issues and protections.” He stopped , grasping the ball , fingers wound through the mess. He nodded his head . ” Very sound. . We need supplies and merchanters ”
He had been winding the yarn ball without looking at it. Many people seemed intent on watching, barely breathing, It was tight and loose, at the same time, almost as if the yarn was obeying his fingers. ” I haven’t heard a block or support about anything worthwhile. Just usual lies!. ”
At least I think that is what he is saying. I couldn’t make out what he warns or means?’ I thought, ‘his voice was so fierce, almost malevolent.’
The Black gentleman looked at him. ” A lot of research was done for you. We haven’t threatened your people. You could – ” He paused as the Scot looked down at him. Sam started to speak, but a frown from the black gentleman caused Sam to sink back into the loveseat, holding Sherriel’s hand.

Past troubles?

“There have been heartaches. There are places where we believed we were trapped and forced to endure because the systems were crumbling”. The black gentleman’s eyes glazed over. The pain in his eyes I had seen on too many people in the hallways here.
” What could happen to engrave that deep pain in so many different people ?” I thought again. Nobody could explain it and I couldn’t go with that. Science didn’t allow for such questions to exist without being challenged, as my Dad would preach to many of his students.
From the edge of the small loveseat, Sam started talking , fingering the string that was dangling from a hand . The black gentleman handed the string ball to him. Sam had been quiet and I thought he was studying, vaguely listening to the discussion around him. He often did that. Now he leaned forward and stared at the people across on the other couch.
” We have been doing this for years. Your town doesn’t like strangers , mine doesn’t like it either . ” His chin raised up and stated his facts. I knew that stance and leaned back.
“None of us want strange people coming in and telling us what to do!” Sam pointed the string ball to everyone . A group standing in the hallway stopped and stared. The ball seemed to tease them. A few walked forward and leaned on the backs of the chairs. ” We think we know all. We figured out a lot of orders for ourselves. BUT”—-
He tossed to ball in the air, causing the string to unravel and fall on the heads of the girls sitting with Ginger. He grinned and handed the ball to the nearest girl.
” But there are plenty of people in all of our places that disagree with different ideas! People who will yell to all that only your group or my group is solely “– Sam drew in a breath and let in out slow and easy. ” heaven sent with no forthcomings or judgements needed. The people who will condemn anyone who don’t buckle before THEIR speaker. ” He looked around and smiled, but it was that haunted smile that paired with the pain in the eyes.
“We have more problems and yes, more workable ideas, this year than any in many a day.” Two of the grey suited with their long tunics and their sashes tight across their middle, rolled their eyes and left.
” The trouble is starting up. There were attacks on a number of lands, recently. The agreements are not being done . ” Ginger’s friend yelled out.
Sam raised both his hands up “We all NEED HELP, AND trade or just” his eyes now gleaming , ” new people with new tiers and books to mix up. New ways to fix illness or repair damages with new material? We can’t quit, not when we are seeing hope and good stuff coming .” Sam sounded more pleading and desperate than when he wanted help studying for the medicinal tests. Silly comparison. I thought . What was happening, now? I was wondering and uncertain again.

Waves

I glanced and felt the anger, resentment, the suspicions rising and the change in this “study group” . I had been around them, I had lunch and classes with many of them. Sam, Sherriel, Ginger are my friends, I liked them and they liked me. But this?!
I caught the Parliamentarian picking up the paper ball from the floor and shoving it into his pocket. The pain was engraved in his expression as he watched the dissolution of order. He walked away like an old seaman who was worn and tired from too many times on unstable decks.
” I don’t get it! Maybe because I am new and from the fringe.”
I frowned and was soaked in the fear, resentment and confusion. I was so far on the outside.( although Joy told me I was too far IN the padding). I looked around at the people packing up and Diamond trying to disappear into the folds of the couch.
” What is going on? Not just in the History study discussion group.! BUT HERE FOR DAYS.” I asked The black gentleman, Diamond and turning asked Sam, Sam was looking down the hallway. ” I CAN’T SEE WHAT THE –?” I couldn’t even figure out WHAT to call IT. My exasperation showed as I raised up on the stool beside the couch, so I could see the people walking behind me.
The black gentleman sat down and leaned forward, his elbows digging into the top of his knees. He still looked morose and his voice was husky. People sat down and settled in close to each other , to listen .
” Recent –history is here – its effect is showing through all of us, even if we don’t see it. We have pain, anger, resentment, frustration and possessiveness. When it becomes my village’s freedom to choose and your villages’ freedoms, everything becomes suspicious and questionable. Protection and fear overshadowing all the NEEDS . We don’t even talk or research in joint ways. The Government.” He glanced over at Diamond ” Governments’ officers can’t or won’t talk to people . They try-”
Diamond piped in to interrupt, his voice squeaking . ” too selfish, too dark, too concerned with making work for itself! The merchants charge anything and leave us all hanging and in need. None of us have enough to pay them!” His knees bouncing, casting lights that wriggle over the tabletop. One of the girls whispered in his ear and gave him a smile and a peck. He smirked and leaned back, tossing a wadded up ball of string?
The black gentlemen chuckled and caught the string ball.

nothing worst than waiting

The black gentleman put his hand on Ginger’s arm. She closed her eyes , opening them . He was staring at her with his eyes watering. He blinked.
” We are waiting, not for long. It has been a hard road.” He whispered. She glanced down at the table with the bowl of brightly colored round spots.

” Come on, ” Trevor said and jostled the black gentleman. ” They re not worth it.” She stood in front and shook her head purposely.
” We can get no where and problems rebound if we talk past each other. ”
Oliver, the stouter of the two, towered over her. ” Reserves are NOT rebounding. ”
One of the students from behind the couch sneered. ” let them go , they don’t want to change.” Another grabbed Olivers’ coat and twisted him around. ” Yes, they are!! They are sprouting and the water is clearer. We are–” ” Yesta, Darn! But there IS NO PROOF!! of anything believable!. Has there been any farm shows? any Orchard trains.? This is just a power grab and lies!!” Trevor jerked Oliver away.
Ginger’s shoulders sank . She licked her dark, tan chapped lips . Looking over all the people and the threatening faces , tightening grasps and shoulders framing their ears, she stated.
” I know everything has been tight. I know that some villages have more of — things than others. She frowned and looked straight ahead at the bowl of plum apples and orange tinted bananas. There was the proof, the brightly colored and plentiful spots. Still, there were not enough for everyone here. She would just wait. How long would everyone wait?