For #LineByLineTime “Flattery”: A scene based on another movie or book
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Poetry by myself and others.
For #LineByLineTime “Flattery”: A scene based on another movie or book
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For #LineByLineTime : Lines to be proud of.
The angel smiled wryly. “All mortals want to live forever. But what do they spend their lives doing? Worrying about the future, regretting the past, wasting the present. They find so many other things to concentrate on instead of the important ones.”
David couldn’t resist. “Important ones? Like what? What does an angel – a grim reaper, even – know about what’s important to a human?”
“Hah! If you had my job, kid, you’d know. Life looks a whole lot different on this side. All the people I’ve escorted, listening to all their regrets, and complaints, and begging to be allowed to come back to do all the things they put off all their lives, yeesh! Makes me want to molt my wing feathers.”
“We don’t just escort people to the Pearly Gates and drop them off, you know. We have to take them to the Seat of Judgement, and listen to the Creator pointing out everything they neglected during their time on earth. Always makes me glad I’m not mortal.”
He eyed David. “The number one regret and omission? Love. So many people worry about making a living, feeling like they’ve accomplished something, sometimes just surviving. But those things don’t matter. Careers will end. Finances, education, earthly pleasures, they all end. It’s not bad to want to do well, but spending all your time on them is wasting it. Five minutes, fifty years, a hundred even; the length of life doesn’t matter.”
“I can’t tell you how long you have, David. Only the Creator knows, and He doesn’t tell anybody else. All I can tell you is make the most of what you have – every minute, every hour, and every day. Living a century won’t make a difference is you regret wasting it at the end.”
For #LineByLineTime: Mean lines
Harper snorted. “The only thing my parents ever did to help me was paying Luthor to be my bodyguard. Not having to watch for bullies gave me more time to do computer stuff.”
Luthor jerked upright from where he had leaned against the window. “You knew? How? They told me not talking about it was a condition of the job.”
His small seatmate shrugged. “Like I said, I think half the time they forget I’m there. They talked about it over the dinner table the night they hired you. I didn’t know you then, but I kept my eyes open for a really big kid named Luthor, and you showed up the next day at school wanting to be my friend. I’ve been enjoying the lack of hassling ever since.”
Nita leaned over toward Luthor, her eyebrows raised. “So, the friend bit was an act all this time? You don’t really like Chico, here?” She wiggled her shoulders as if eagerly anticipating a fireworks display.
Luthor just curled his lip at her. “Didn’t Mrs. Williams say no trying to start something? As it happens I do like Harper. You, I can live without ever seeing again.”
“Oooh! I just want to die! He doesn’t like me!” Nita flung herself back in her seat with a dramatic fake sob and put her forearm across her face.
The seat hissed with the sudden pressure, or perhaps it was Minji expressing her disgust. “Must you be so dramatic? Why do you not take drama class if you insist on overacting?”
Nita dropped her arm to her lap while she rolled her eyes. “If I want to be a drama queen, what’s it to you? I think it makes life more interesting! Otherwise, I’d be screaming with boredom right now.”
For #LineByLineTime : Difficult Scenes
“They get to make choices, but we don’t?” Nita snarled. “We just get to be pawns in whatever weird little game you’re playing, huh?”
“This is no little game.”
The hair on the teens’ arms stood up and they stiffened as they felt power flow around them again.
“This is no game at all. This world balances on a tipping point. Rising Sun and Adoracion are battling to push it into chaos and darkness, where evil is a way of life and the innocent suffer endlessly. You are hardly pawns. Only you four have the talents, skills, and most importantly, the determination to win so that peace and order can prevail. The future of this world lies in your hands. The choices you have made before now brought you here. The choices you have made since are proof you are the best chance this world has to survive.”
There was silence as the teens digested this. Their faces showed their doubts, disbelief, and in Nita’s, anger still.
For #LineByLineTime : Tearful scenes
Christie sat in her favorite rocker and slowly moved back and forth, staring at the display. “My children loved to do this sort of thing. All three were always making things, drawing pictures, and every Christmas they would make an ornament for the tree. They were so creative, so – so lively, so…” she stopped and began sobbing. “They were so alive, and they’re not anymore. Ronnie, Donnie, Juliet, my babies, they’re gone. James, my husband, they’re all gone. I’m all alone, and I can’t bear it anymore. I can’t stay here anymore, I have nothing left! I want to die! Please, just let me die!” Her throat closed until the last was a whispered scream.
For #LineByLineTime – “Misunderstandings”
Moonsinger pointed her tail at Shadowstalker. “Remove the shackles from this male immediately!”
Shadowstalker looked quickly at Loper, who only stared back and shrugged, passing the problem back to him. The older male shuffled his feet and switched his tail, but finally stuttered, “We – we can’t!”
The elderly female Striker stiffened. “YOU DARE! You dare to defy a Den Mother in her OWN DEN!” Her voice thundered in the cavern and echoed back from the passageways. Almost every Lunatic in the cavern cowered, covering their heads, including the beta males who had roused her ire. The shackled male only tipped his head sideways, watching Moonsinger change her tail from a pointer to a club. Striker changed her tail to a club as well.
The shackles on the male rattled as he moved in front of both females. “No,” he said.
They stared at him. “You would protect these two males?” Moonsinger demanded.
“You didn’t listen,” the male said calmly. “He didn’t say they WOULD not. He said they COULD not. There’s a difference.”
The females’ tails relaxed and they both sat back, moving their gaze to the beta males.
Shadowstalker and Loper exhaled noisily. Loper raised his head just enough to nod jerkily. “He speaks truth. We were not given the keys. We were to deliver him as he is.”
Moonsinger narrowed her eyes. “Then how can they be removed? I will not leave shackles on someone who risked their lives to save one of mine.”
The male before her shrugged. “That’s no problem. I’d have freed myself a long time ago, but I wanted to see where they were supposed to deliver me.”
Skyshaker shifted, slowly switching his tail. His head lifted and he inhaled deeply, sifting odors from the cavern air. Moonsinger tilted her head, silently asking what was wrong. He shook his, unable to determine why he was uneasy. The fire was warm, the sand was soft, his belly was full. Why did he feel he needed to be up and hunting?
Moonsinger began to tense up, reading his body language. She jerked, looking over at the opening to the nursery cave. Skyshaker caught his breath as a small weight settled on his front paws. He glanced down to see the two rescued kits. The older had brought his little brother in.
The pack leader bent his head to the little ones. The older stretched up and put his mouth to Skyshaker’s ear. “Watch my brother. Bad ones come. I need to gather our sisters.”
The two adults stared at each other. “Wait with your brother. I’ll go alert the others.” Skyshaker motioned for Moonsinger to protect the little males. She curled herself around them as Skyshaker moved silently to the nursery opening.
He took a deep breath and realized a new scent was on the breeze blowing into the cave through the opening on the outside wall. Bad ones indeed were coming. The air stank of the rogue he had killed his first day and the killers of the boys’ mother and pack. He slid across the room next to the opening and vibrated his throat in the inaudible signal he had trained the females to react to.
The females remembered their training well. Shadows moved without sound, plucking up their assigned kits and climbing the nets on the walls to the ledges above. The nets rose with them, leaving them out of reach of attackers. Skyshaker set himself ready, his fangs covered so they would not shine in the dark.
The smell of burning wood and the rustle of movement snapped the four teens into wakefulness. Nita and Harper were on their feet before their eyes were completely open.
Luthor stretched and yawned. “Morning already?” He rubbed his face. “Guess breakfast is up to me and you again, Nita.”
Minji rolled to her back and groaned. “It was not a dream, then? Ow, my back! This ground is far too hard. Perhaps next time I will try the hammock you suggested, Luthor.”
Nita collapsed crosslegged on her silver emergency blanket and grabbed her shoes. “Phew,” she muttered. “Need to do some laundry, but how?”
Harper heaved a sign and reached for his shoes as well. “Laundry, sure. I want a cup of coffee and a breakfast taco, myself. Mom was all ‘that’s unhealthy!’, but Dad always got some for both of us when he took me to school. School, huh. Wonder what Mr. and Mrs. Williams are doing right now?”
“The sun is close to setting,” Nita pointed out. “We need to find someplace to spend the night. We don’t need to be walking around in the dark, even with flashlights. If anyone is searching for us, we’ll see their lights.”
Minji pointed at a rock wall close by. “That looks like it will make an adequate shelter. If it gets chilly after dark, the rock will radiate heat. We will have our backs protected.”
“Not a good idea,” Luthor disagreed. “That rock will radiate heat all right and all the wildlife, including snakes, will be snuggling up to it.”
The other three teens stared at him. “So what are you suggesting?” Harper demanded. “Build a fort out in a clearing? I don’t think we can do that before dark.”
Luthor rolled his eyes. “Very funny. We need to get up to the top of Enchanted Rock. Fewer snakes, less wildlife, especially predators. Plenty of big boulders to put our backs to and they’ll radiate heat, too. Not to mention we’ll get a better view of the area.”
Nita wrinkled her nose. “I really hate to admit this, but Superman might actually be right.”
Harper groaned, loudly. “You want us to climb a mountain after we’ve been hiking all around it? I’m tired, I’m hungry, and more than a little freaked out! Why can’t we stay down here?”
“Snakes!” Minji snapped and pulled on his arm.
Despite Harper’s grumbling and groaning, the quartet made it to the top of the dome and found a large flat top rock with a lack of snakes. As the light of the sun slowly faded, Luthor pulled a firestarter kit out of one of his many pockets and started a fire with the sticks and branches he had collected during the climb.
Nita curled her lip at the snake Luthor was skewering and found a way to the top of the boulder. “You three can eat that nasty thing,” she told them from above. “I’ll be up here looking for signs of life and eating my sandwich.”
With the coming of true dark a breeze picked up and the teens pulled out their jackets and Luthor dug out several emergency blankets. “I always carry some of these. Habit.”
He was stretching up to offer one to Nita when her hand snapped down and clutched his. “Superman! I see something! It looks like firelight!”
For #LineByLineTime – A long hard day…
“Whoa! Whoa! Stop! Stop, now! We need to rest!”
The male in front slowed his steady lope and looked at the other two males. “Stop? Already? Why?” He shook his head and the muzzle around his snout rattled. “We’ve barely begun!”
“Barely begun?” The younger of the three males stopped to wheeze. “We’ve been running for hours! We need to catch our breath, have some water! Rest! How can you keep going like that? You’ve been in a prison mine for years!”
The oldest male collapsed, his breath whistling in and out. “Loper,” he gasped. The youngest male staggered to his side and groped for his water canteen. He fumbled the cap off and trickled its contents unsteadily in his commander’s mouth. After a few moments, the old male managed to swallow without choking. Loper gave him a little more, then took a couple of gulps himself.
The male in front rattled his muzzle again as he shook his head. “No stamina,” he muttered. “What have you been doing all this time, lying around the fire grooming yourselves?”
Loper gave his commander Shadowstalker another drink and took one himself. Then he looked at the unnamed male, and his skin rippled with shame. “You need water, too. How can you – I mean, the muzzle…”
The third male snorted. “Never mind the muzzle. I can’t even hold the canteen with these coverings over my limbs and tail. All I can do is run.”
Loper hissed and bounced over to him. “Hold your mouth up, I’ll pour some water in.” He did so, and the male swallowed without difficulty. Loper shook his head. “You’re not even breathing hard! I can’t believe it!” He recapped the canteen. “Neither of us have been lying around anywhere. We’ve been on a hard march to reach the mine, after we received orders. I just don’t understand how you can be in such better shape when you haven’t been able to run in years!”
The male shrugged and his web of shackles rattled all over him. “In the mine it’s work or die, and I’m too stubborn to let them kill me.”
His head jerked up and his ears pricked toward the ravine they had been running above. “Something’s being chased! Maybe our next meal!” He bounded off to the edge, looked down, and hissed loudly before leaping into space.