Meet Frankie.

He is a dog of undetermined breed, undetermined age and undetermined origin.

He showed up at my friend Ingrid’s house a couple of months ago. Her son had come home from work one day and found this little dog in their yard. He greeted him as if they were long lost friends and promptly followed him into the house and jumped onto his bed as if he’s been living there all his life. At first Ingrid was very unimpressed with this little dog, as – admittedly, was I. He’s terribly hyperactive, bullied the other dogs, chased the cats, barked, yapped, licked feet and never, ever, stop when he’s trying to coach you into a ball game with him. Ingrid tried to find a home for him but the little dog clearly had no home, or nobody who wanted him back. Grudgingly, Ingrid realized that he would have to stay (she’s against sending dogs to the pound) and Henk proudly gave him a name.

Frankie.

As time passed, Frankie grew on all of us. It became very clear that he was very intelligent and very, VERY loyal to Henk. I soon realized that Frankie probably knew that Henk was his boss long before Henk knew that Frankie existed. I can’t help but believe that Frankie came looking for Henk and when he found him, it was clear that he would never leave his side willingly. Frankie started to grow on me when I realized how upset he was every time Henk left. We literally had to close all the windows and doors, because Frankie would spend the better part of an hour throwing himself at the door and looking for a way out of the house to follow Henk. Loyalty and love like that could not go unappreciated.

My relationship with Frankie also developed over time. Frankie was pretty skittish of strange people in the beginning and I was no exception. I took affront to that I’ll admit, because I’ve always been very good with animals, and slowly set out to show Frankie that I wasn’t the beast he thought I was. I tried throwing him his ball but – although he appreciated it, it didn’t bring us closer. Then, as I started coming to Ingrid’s house after riding, I realized that Frankie loved the smell of my riding clothes and shoe. So, I gave it to him to lick and do whatever dogs do to the Nasty flavours that I carried on the soles. Our bond grew and soon, Frankie settled with me, seeing me (I suspect) as a temporary substitute to Henk when he wasn’t around.

Really, Frankie saw me as his.

So, now whenever I’m at Ingrid’s and Henk is not, Frankie is my shadow, my surrogate son. When Henk is asleep and I’m awake, the little dog would come to me and keep me company (in the hope that I would get up from behind my computer and play ball with him). Ingrid always tells me that when Henk leaves and he knows I’m coming, he tells Frankie:

“Don’t worry, Alyss is coming with her boots…”

I don’t know how much the dog understands of it, but I can say that whenever I pull my car into the yard he starts whining like a little puppy. Needless to say, I’ve grown quite fond of him. You see, Frankie’s taught me a lot about determination and focus. I’ve never in my life encountered an animal that can be so focused on something, so goal orientated. If Frankie wanted something done, he would try and try and try again until he was either too tired to continue (after which he would rest, then start again) or he’s succeeded in getting what he wants.

It’s something I deeply admire in the little dog and a trait I hope to practice in my own life.

P.S. I took these pictures this morning, though I have to apologize, I have not yet brushed my hair. Yes people, this is Alyssa uncut… 😉

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And another part of Nasty Pixie Tale.

Hey there Peeps!

And, here’s another bit. I wrote most of this chapter as I sat waiting for my job interview at the school. I was early and they were late, so I had a LOT of time. 😉 Almost asked the English teacher to check my spelling. 😛

Have a good one and enjoy!

Alyss

Nasty Pixie Tale Part 7

It took an hour for the Nasties to get settled into something that resembled order.

The Great Ear Argument of 2010 was disbanded when Alyss finally lost her temper with the group and marched in like a play ground school teacher, snatching the jar from Kylie’s hands and shoving it into Mud’s after opening the lid. When Kylie tried to protest, Alyssa merely pointed a finger at her and gave her the Look which she had perfected during her time as a riding instructor. Even Tiffany seemed to settle down after that and appeared more relaxed when the group started exploring the cottage.

In theory, they had everything that they needed there. There were enough places for people sleep on (though some would have to share) and it had a kitchen equipped with the needed basic utensils. There was provision for electricity, but further exploration revealed that there was sadly nothing to power up the house with. Tiffany popped up in and around them as they bustled around, her demeanour changing from a pleasant, introspective young woman to a somewhat wrathful spirit. It became very clear after several incidents that they had to make sure that Tiffany or Mud was alright with their actions before they tried to touch or look at anything in the house. Mud gave her permission with her calm, amused zombie air and eventually patiently told Tiffany that the Nasties were welcome in the house and could do whatever they wanted as long as they kept it either decent or secret.

Tiffany was an anomaly that took some getting used to. There was a definitive part in her that was very schizophrenic, as if her true self and her ghostly self didn’t quite communicate very well. Like roommates who worked different hours. She was a force to be reckoned with when worked up, her protective streak surpassing all reason. Yet, when calm, she was wonderful to be with (as opposed to interesting when she was worked up), having the same otherworldly view of situations as Mud did. Her ghostly eyes seemed to see everything and when she smiled it was as if at a joke that none of them understood. She told them that she had come to awareness in the cottage and that she had been quite content to be there, not really questioning her own presence until she had been provoked by the attempted break in. She could not leave the cottage, her reach stretching only as far as the porch. That didn’t seem to trouble her as much as it did the others who also eventually came to the conclusion that she didn’t really grasp that she was dead.

Nobody felt like breaking it to her.

Although they seemed to have everything that they needed to make themselves comfortable, the Nasties were faced with a rather daunting problem. There was no food in the house and as Marsha pointed out dejectedly, it was all very well having everything that you needed to prepare a three course meal, if you didn’t have any ingredients. By this time, most of them had gone a whole day without eating and the strain of it was beginning to show. Even foul tempered Alyssa confessed that caffeine withdrawal was to blame for part of her general irritation with the world. At the mention of food, everybody once again couldn’t help but spare a glance at Mud, who was the only one besides Tiffany who didn’t seem affected by hunger. Even Antonio got a few odd looks every now and again and Kylie tactfully wondered whether Alyss was a vampire bat or a fruit eating bat.

Everybody tactfully covered up their necks after the remark.

The only option that seemed open to the Nasties were for Antonio, Marsha and Kylie to try and see if they could hunt something to bring back. Mud and Phil were to go on a foraging expedition of their own to try and see if they could find any edible plant material and Alyssa elected to remain behind with Tiffany to keep the spectre company.

Antonio, Marsha and Kylie travelled together in a small group as they went into the forest, their senses on high alert as they searched for any signs of something living. Marsha was the first to speak as they moved out of sight of the cottage, her tail low with anticipation.

“You know,” she said mildly. “I hate to sound like a stick in the mud but, I don’t think I can kill anything. I mean, it’s all very well saying that we can hunt but… Killing something? I don’t think my instincts are that far developed to just kick in and help me do it.” She glanced at Antonio who huffed out a tiger breath and paused to smell the air.

“True,” he said, sounding calm but his anticipation showing in his tail as it twitched left and right. “It’s a bit… Barbaric. My suggestion would be that we try another stream or something like that to fish in. I’m sure we’ll have more luck this time with only three of us hanging around it.”

Kylie laughed and shook her head, but they didn’t miss the relief in her voice. “You guys have no imagination,” she said but winked and gently touched each Nasty’s head before she fell back to look in the cottage’s direction. “You think they are alright on their own?”

Marsha made a considering sound and rose to her hind legs but Antonio smiled and nodded. “I think any one of the Nasties we have here at the moment are formidable.” He intoned. “I would hate to mess with anybody.”

Marsha stretched her back before dropping back to all fours. “Do you think that we should go and look for the others?” she queried. “Like Suzanne, Jenn and Aheila? I’d hate to see them out by themselves at night.”

Antonio huffed and motioned to them to follow him as he trotted ahead. “Again,” he said when they were moving forward in a slow jog, “they are three people who are very capable of taking care of themselves. I think they’ll come to us.”

Kylie sighed happily and looked wistful as they stopped at a stream. “This is the most fun I’ve had in a long time,” she confessed. “So, what are we looking for?”

Antonio rose up on his hind legs and stared into the water, his hands in his hips. “Anything edible,” he said and looked at the clear reflection of the water. He could see the sky reflected in it and looked up, past the trees. Marsha looked at him with a small smile and waded into the water for a drink, her sharp wolf eyes scanning the rocks for any movements. Kylie moved a little upstream and proceeded to start turning over rocks, laughing with delight whenever she discovered something that protested being disturbed. Antonio in turn took off his shirt and also waded into the water a little bit more downstream. For a while, as the light continued to fade and darkness settled around them, the area was filled with the delighted and frustrated sounds of the Nasties’ fishing expedition. Antonio, after spending a few frustrating moments chasing after a small school of fish, found a perch on a rock and proceeded to try and ‘scoop’ the fish out of the water that swam his way as they fled from Marsha (his tail swishing beside him in a very obvious cat-like manner…). The wolf managed to catch one in her mouth, but confessed that it was quite by accident and proceeded to help Antonio. Kylie continued searching through the rocks until she was some distance from the two animals. The water was clearer there and she soon lost interest in the rocks and crabs and proceeded to look up as the stars started to appear in the heavens one by one. When she noticed one moving above her she grinned and ran to the others, keeping an eye on the slow moving light.

“Look guys!” she said. “A shooting star or… Comet or something.”

Antonio purposefully ‘missed’ a fish and sent a spray of water in Kylie’s direction before looking up. “That strange,” he said. “It moves very slowly.”

Marsha, who had moved out of the water and was sitting next to the bank drying her clothes, looked up and frowned. “That’s not a star you guys,” she said and got up quickly. “That’s…”

She was interrupted by a rather loud splash as Kylie dove Antonio off of the rock and into the water. “You two!” she snapped. “I think that’s an airship! Get up, you’ll be soaked!”

The two Nasties stopped grappling and looked up. Kylie looked up with a frown as she picked herself up out of the water and made her way to the bank. “All I can see is a moving light,” she confessed. “Antonio?”

Antonio stood up, water dripping from his fur, and squinted up at the sky. The two women watched as his face changed from confusion to happy recognition. “It is!” he said. “And I can think of only one person it could be!”

Kylie paused from squeezing out her ninja mask and looked up. “Suzanne!” she said delighted. “We’ve got to get her attention! Come on!” She started running with Antonio and Marsha quickly following suite, their caught fish forgotten.

The three raced after the light until the trees became too thick to see it. This didn’t deter Kylie though as she scrambled into one of the threes and scared it to the top. “Suzanne!” They heard her call. “Suzanne, down here!”

Marsha and Antonio continued to race in the direction the light had been moving which – coincidently – was also in the direction of the clubhouse. “I don’t think she’ll hear or see Kylie,” Marsha pointed out as she made her way through the undergrowth. “Hopefully she’ll notice the clubhouse.”

Antonio growled beside her as he leapt over a rotten log. “Not if she doesn’t see it,” he said. “I don’t knjow if the others have managed to find some lamps. We need to get her attention!”

They ran a couple of more strides then drew up short when Kylie dropped down in front of them.

“I don’t think she’s seen me!” she said frustrated. “I’m not high enough and, judging by her trajectory, she might just miss the clubhouse! If only I can get closer to her but ninjas can’t fly!”

The moment she said it the three of them looked at each other, a single thought bouncing between them. When Antonio started grinning, there was a hint of feline villainy in his eyes. “Kylie, you follow that light,” he said. “Don’t lose it. We’ll go get Alyssa…”

To Be Continued…

The Healer’s Touch 18 – Rewrite.

Good day everybody.

If you’re here for the first time I bid you welcome to my blog. This is my little home in the internet, so please make yourself comfortable. There’s coffee and biscuits (somewhere) and lovely house guests. 😉

Today, I’m just going to write a little about why I decided to do a rewrite on Chapter 18. If you haven’t noticed, quite a lot of time has passed between 18 and what should’ve been 19. It was purely because I had been struggling trying to make Chapter 19 work. In general, I’m very fortunate when it comes to my writing, because I do it about as easily as most people make coffee or breathe. I know where my stories go, I know what I want and I know how to get it. It was then very troubling to me when I sat with Chapter 19 and realized that i could not make it work. I tried very hard. I started a paragrapth and got to about 1000 words then realized that I didn’t like it. I deleted it, and started again. No success, so I scrapped that bit and tried a third time. When that didn’t work, I realized that I had a problem on my hands or rather, I admitted to myself that I had a problem. I had known it when I wrote Chapter 18(1) but refused to awknowledge it because I had been pretty rushed to put the chapter up.

The truth was that I had once again tried to push my characters to do things the way I’d have done it instead of trying to make them do it their way. When I realized this, I thought that I could work around the problem, but the truth was that I needed to rewrite the whole chapter. I’m at a very critical part of the story – where the main mission, ie – getting Kim’s mother home, is the in process of being completed (or so we hope, no telling what might happen). I need to start wrapping up some threads, get in the required action and still have my characters whole at the end of it. I know how this will end, and it’s almost important that I start implementing that to leave room for, yes it’s going to happen, a sequel. With the chapter that I wrote, that just wasn’t possible.

I am losing a bit of dialogue I really liked, namely:

Kim stepped closer and rested a gentle hand on Shego’s wrist, feeling as if she was gripping a stick of dynamite that could explode at any second. “We have to,” she said softly. “You said that I’m not a hero Shego, not here – but the truth is, you became a hero again the moment you decided to help me. The moment you decided to risk your reputation and your own neck to help me find my mother. You didn’t turn me into a vigilante villain, you’ve become the reluctant hero, responding above and beyond the call of duty.” She tried to entwine her fingers with Shego but the woman jerked back suddenly with a curse.

 

I really liked that bit. I might try and work it in again, but the way it’s going it isn’t. Lol. Oh well, you win some, you loose some.

If I have caused a certain amount of irritation with the rewrite, I humbly apologize. I know how much I hate it when writers go and change something I sank my teeth into, which is why it took a lot of consideration for me to do this. Although I won’t promise it, I can assure you that this will most probably be the last time I have to do a rewrite on this story. J

Also, writing fan fiction is about learning what you can and cannot do. There’s been a big debate on the internet of late in some circles whether fan fiction is good or not and whether it does more harm than good to author’s reputations ect. I’m not going to get involved in that, but I would like to point out that if it’s done well, and innocently (ie – not exploiting the creator’s rights) then fan fiction is a wonderful way to explore your own style, to get used to the process of writing and to improve your work. This rewrite has been a wonderful exersize for me, and it’s taught me that I shouldn’t just leap into something and carry on if I know it’s wrong. 🙂 that’s not the way writing works.

We’re in the last stretch people, it can only get worse from here. I thank you for your patience and your reading,

Alyssa

@-;—

 

Cadbury’s

And, like a piece of chocolate, it suddenly feels as if everybody wants a piece of me. I’ve had more job offers and job interview invitations this past week than I’ve had in the past 10 months. I don’t know what brought it on, whether there is just suddenly this influx of work in South Africa or whether the Universe felt me lose my temper with the country and decided to try and give it one more chance by getting me a job. Perhaps it was my desperate plea that would have me find a solution to my problem that would not involve giving up my whole life and, truthfully, my horse.

I had been ready to go overseas, I still am in a sense, I have found out all that I needed to know, but two things have kept my soul screaming back. My partner and Basjan. In the past two weeks, my horse has shone more affection to me than he ever has, visibly acknowledging me as his. I could walk to him and catch him, he came when I called, and whenever anybody else tried to touch him, he’d shy away and towards me, clearly showing me that I was his security. It had made thinking about going abroad very hard.

One way or the other, I suspect my time waitressing is up. I try not to get excited about this and, admittedly, the idea doesn’t come without sadness. I’ve made a good name for myself in the restaurant, I have grown fond of the people that I work with and I’m very used to the routine. Although I work hard, I work wonderfully unsocial hours which gave me a lot of time to take care of Basjan and some of my personal ventures (read: Play FallOut 3…). I’m always concerned that another job would take up even more of my time than my three jobs did.

Though, (insert laugh here) I doubt that. A normal job would mean weekends. And two days break after each other.

I’m not getting too excited and although I’ve let the restaurant know that I might be leaving, I haven’t quit yet. The thing is that a lot of people want a piece of chocolate (women anyway…) but they never actually take it. Maybe I’m just cynical, but I’ll believe that I’ve got a job when I actually have an employment contract in my hands. I’m done making my decisions on false hope.

NastyPixieTale Continued…

Hey guys,

Once again – getting a little Nasty tonight. I’ve got time to kill for writing because i’m waiting for my Beta to get back to me about a chapter I wrote for my one story. To those reading this from fanfiction.net, it’s for the Healer’s Touch and I’ll tell you ALL about it later. 😉

For now, here’s the next instalment of our NastyPixie tale. Another one joins the ranks. J

Nasty Pixie Tale Part 6

The Nasties watched as Mud lurched to the door and opened the door with her precise zombie movements. There was a wail from the inside of the cottage and the rest of the group could hear cupboards being opened and shut.

“Awaaay!” The ghost started wailing again. “Staay! Awaaay!” There was a terrible noise from inside the house as things started moving around and furniture was slammed against the walls. The poltergeist acting ghost tried to slam the door in Mud’s face but the zombie effectively put her foot in the door.

“None of that now!” she said sharply. “You’ll break something.”

“I think that’s the idea,” Alyss muttered under her breath. “Kylie!”

Antonio quickly grabbed the ninja as she stood up again and this time kept her pinned to the ground. “Give them space,” he growled. Kylie sighed defeated and rolled her eyes.

The temperature in the area dropped considerably, causing the Nasties to draw closer together unconsciously. Mud however, remained standing, her face locked with determination.

“You don’t scare me,” she said patiently. “So I suggest you calm down and show yourself.”

The windows rattled as the voice shrilled menacingly. “Stay away from this house!”

Mud snorted. “If you can hear me you can be reasoned with,” she said. “Now, show yourself. Quietly. You might break a window. I think breaking my neck’s enough for one day.”

There was a definitive pause in the activity as the ghost seemed to consider this statement. “I cannot let anyone in,” the ghost said – her voice a little bit more reasonable. “This is my house to protect. Mine.”

“Possessive spectre isn’t she?” Marsha whispered under her breath. Kylie, who was still being pinned by Antonio, glanced at her and nodded.

“If she haunts this place she probably feels compelled to protect it. It’s completely instinctive. She sees this house as hers.”

“Ah well,” Mud said, smiling her half smile. “Then this is my house because something in here belongs to me.”

Everybody looked at the zombie surprised and for the first time, a faint outline appeared in the doorway. “Yours?” the ghost said surprised.

“Yes,” Mud said calmly and pushed what was left of her hair away from her head. “My ear.”

There was a communal feeling of shock as the group stared at Mud’s head to the spot where her ear was supposed to be. “And,” Mud continued, oblivious to their horror. “If something of mine is in this house, it means this house is mine by rights and I’m allowed to come in. Unless of course you can dispute that you were here before me. Which I don’t think you were because my ear’s been in here for as long as you.”

“Ah…” Without warning the ghost became corporal, her pale face scrunched up in worry. She wasn’t quite as tall as Mud, but looked up at the undead with a look of bewilderment. “What are you?”

Mud smiled and let her hair drop back. “I am Mud,” she said. “And you are?”

The ghost sniffed and pushed a strand of purple hair behind her ear. “Confused,” she said. “Completely.”

Mud smiled and tried to pat the ghost on the soldier. She didn’t flinch or show any reaction when her arm passed right through the spectre and rather lurched into the house, straight through the young woman. “You can join the club my dear,” she said and moved to a jar that was standing on the bookcase. “The Nasty Club. Do you have a name?”

“TIFFANY!”

Kylie managed to squirm out of Antonio’s grip and jumped towards the ghost. “Great tattoo!”

For a moment, Tiffany’s face contorted with anger and her appearance became less corporal. “You tried to break into my house!” Kylie chuckled and shrugged.

“You really do this ghost thing well!”

Tiffany blinked and became more corporal, the heart on her cheek becoming more visible. “Oh sorry!” She said. “I don’t know why that happens. I just become so angry when I feel that people are touching my property. Are you with…” She motioned to the zombie who was struggling to open a jar. “Mud?”

Kylie grinned and nodded. “We’re all with Mud,” she said and motioned to the others. “Come on everybody, I think she’s… tame.”

Tiffany looked at the others with a frown on her pitched face, the tiny heart on her cheek almost glowing. “I still don’t know who you all are,” she confessed. “And what… the hell are those?!” She disappeared quite suddenly, only to reappear behind Marsha, Antonio and Alyssa. The three turned around surprised and looked at the ghost who was looking at them with equal fascination.

“Nasties,” Phil offered as he stepped forward with a small smile from where he had been hiding. “We’re the Nasty Nine Tiffany. Or… The Nasty Seven at this stage but I’m sure the others will pop up at some point. Do you remember Kylie’s drawings?”

The ghost thought for a moment then blinked as it dawned on her. She became less corporal, but smiled suddenly and stepped closer. “Of course!” she said. “Oh, that does make a lot of sense. Wow,” she laughed suddenly. “Hello guys! I’m so sorry for acting the way I did, I don’t know what comes over me.”

Antonio relaxed, though his feline tail remained twitching as he stepped forward and offered his hand to Tiffany. “Totally acceptable behaviour for a ghost.” He said with a smile. “Hello Tiffany, it’s great to see you.”

Tiffany smiled and reached out to take his paw like hand but hers went right through his. “Antonio right?” she queried then looked at her hand. “Oh dear – that doesn’t happen every day.”

Antonio chuckled, if a bit uncomfortably, and shrugged. “It’s not the weirdest thing that’s happened today. Let me introduce you to the gang. This is Phil,” he pointed to the green haired young man who waved good naturedly. “Marsha and…” Tiffany disappeared without warning and seconds later, another ghostly wail shook the cottage.

“Leeaave thaaat aloooone!”

Antonio and Marsha quickly rushed into the house to see what was going on, but Phil remained where he was, his expression sceptical as he heard a crash from inside the room. He looked at Alyssa who was looking out towards the forest where they had come from. The light was changing slowly to the soft colours of dusk, touching the cottage with a warm glow.

Alyssa sighed and looked at the not so naked anymore Nasty.

“Think she’s got an off switch?” she queried without mentioning names.

Phil smiled at her and shook his head as he walked closer to the door. From inside the house, the two could hear Kylie wail. “But it’s a human-zombie ear! I just want to see…”

“It just wouldn’t be the same,” Phil said wistfully and motioned inside the cottage where Tiffany was hovering over Kylie who was holding the jar with Mud’s ear in it. The zombie was leaning against a book case, looking placid as Kylie shook the jar at Tiffany. The ghost was clearly furious, though barely corporal as all the doors in the house rattled. Marsha and Antonio were looking around for something to distract either Kylie or Tiffany with, though neither was having any luck as the two were completely focused on each other. “Now, tell me you’re not impressed with this sight.”

Alyss smiled slightly and stepped closer, looking through the window at her strange friends. “The zombie, the ninja, the ghost, the tiger and the dog,” she started. “It’s like a bad bar joke.” She sighed again and smiled at Phil, motioning to him to step aside so that she could get into the house. “One, I have to confess, I’m happy to be a part of.”

Phil grinned at her as she walked past then hollered over her shoulder.

“Kylie! Put that down!”

TO BE CONTINUED…