Nope. Like All My Short Stories, I’ve Not A Clue What to Title This

For those of ya’all who are new up in here, I occasionally get the urge to write something “serious”.

I know, I know.

This is not what you signed up for when you jumped on the crazy train that is Kat O’ Nine Tales, but the good news is that I don’t do it often, and I always give a warning right up front so you can get your ticket punched and leap from the car before I begin.  Don’t worry, I’ll loop right around and pick you up on the trip back to what-the-fuckery in the next post.  In the mean time, here’s some juice boxes and a few comic books to keep you busy until I get back.  Keep an eye on your little sister, and don’t talk to strangers.

So, background for this bit.  I started it way back in the beginning of February when I’d just started packing for The Move–hence the “home” theme–but never got around to finishing it.  I might have left this story in the pot since I moved up the projected finish date for my book, but then my hand was hurting like a bitch on Thursday night and I decided to use the pain to finish–hence the length.  I’m gonna blame it on the paaaaaain, yeah yeaaaaah…

*ahem*

Off we go then.

UPDATE: I finally named my “child” and it’s “Borne in Armor”.
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At sunset the ocean turned the colour of fire and blood, a morbid reflection of the battle which had just ended.

The knight stepped out onto the sand, the wet ground immediately sagging under the weight of heavy armour, and then she dropped to her knees.

“I’m so tired,” she murmured, her voice barely loud enough to carry above the crash of waves.  She removed her helm and let her chin fall on her breastplate.

“It was a long battle, my lady,” her elderly squire moved to retrieve the helm from where it had fallen from his lady’s fingers, “and an even longer war.  But your enemy’s host has finally been crushed. You will be able to rest now.”

A clash of metal interrupted him as a pair of swords crossed over a prize looted from one of many corpses littering the field.

The squire turned back to his lady and shuttered as the victor ended his opponent’s life in a flash of sliver and a spurt of crimson.

“Let us leave this place, my lady. Let us go home.”

The knight pulled the metal gauntlets from her hands and then dropped forward so that her fingers clawed into the sand.

“Home? And where would home be, dear squire?”

“The land of your birth of course, my lady.”

The knight laughed bitterly as her head continued to hang low.

“The land of my birth? Surely you do not mean that place many leagues from here, where the hills doze in sleepy emerald waves with blankets of tiny purple flowers? Where cherry trees blossom and perfume the air so richly that you can taste their sweetness? Where Autumn mists creep through the Beechnut tree forest like leashes of silver foxes?”

She raised her head to look at the squire with grey eyes that were as hard and cold as her armour.

“Surely you do not mean that place.”

The squire scoured his mind for the correct answer to his lady’s peculiar speech.

“I do not understand, my lady,” he was finally forced to admit.

The knight stood up, “Assist me in removing the rest of my suit.”

“My lady that is unwise.  There may yet be enemies lurking at hand.”

“I am your knight and you will assist me,” her flinty eyes sliced into the squire.

“Yes, my lady,” he said quietly and began unfastening the knight’s breastplate.  He was loathe to place it on the damp sand yet did not have a choice.

“Do remember the first time that you helped me don this armour?” the knight asked as another piece of fitted metal fell to the sand.

“I remember, my lady.  You were fourteen, barely flowered, when you insisted that you would not become a spoil of war, that you would take your fate into your own hands and fight your family’s enemy.  And so your father humoured you, and gave you this armour, never expecting that you actively use it.”

A note of pride entered the squire’s voice as he continued his work, “How could any of us have known the conqueror that you would become?  How you would crush your enemies at every turn, destroy them in battle, and slaughter all who dared engage you.

He examined the gorget in his hands, “Truly my lady thrived in this armour.”

His eyes pleaded as he looked up, “And I would once again advise that my lady continue to wear it for her protection.”

“Counsel which was not requested of you, squire.  Continue your work,” the knight looked out into the ocean, “I would do this final task unburdened.”

A strange chill ran through the squire and his hands remained still, “My lady?”

The knight continued to stare at the burning water, “You claim that your lady thrived in this armour.  You are mistaken.  Your lady died in this armour.  And became something else.”

She turned to face him again, teeth clenched in anger, “I commanded you to continue your work.”

The squire slowly raised his hands, but then moved with deft, efficient motions until the knight’s entire suit lay in a pile on the sand and she stood before him wearing only a thin shift stained with sweat and blood.

“Is the land of my birth truly my home, squire?” she asked softly.

The ocean breeze combed through the lady’s long red hair and the squire was reminded of the little girl who would weave flowers into her braids.

“Yes, my lady,” the squire’s voice was heavy with urgency, “Yes, always.”

She smiled sadly, “Then I am to remain here.”

“There,” she said gesturing to the smoking battlefield with a bare arm, “That is the land of my birth, squire.”

The squire looked onto the field.  The remains of those who had fallen in sacrifice of his lady’s victory were being carted away for proper burial, but the bodies of the enemy would remain to rot and feed whatever carrion would find them.

“There is no home to be found there, dear squire,” she finished and turned back to the rolling waves.

“And now you understand why I needed to be free of my false armour,” the lady began walking toward the surf.

The squire felt the tide of panic rise as he realized his lady’s purpose.

“No!  My lady!  Do not do this!”

She did not respond but continued to the water.

“My lady, please!”

Her feet had just met the water’s edge when she paused a moment but did not turn.  The ocean foamed around her and up the shore from her back like the long lacy wedding veil the lady might have worn in a different life.  And then she was gone beneath the waves.

Tears were running freely down the old man’s wrinkled cheeks as the last gasp of sunlight was swallowed by the horizon.  He could not choke back his sobs at the bitter irony that, while he did understand his lady’s need to rid herself of her armour, she would have drown quicker had she kept it on.

red ocean sunset

Hammered, Head & Obnoxious Dogs: Moving ala Kat

I’ve discovered why people lose things during a move.

It’s because that while you start out packing things all nice and organized–Wonder Woman collection in one box, nunchucks and other weapons in another box, handcuffs, vibrators and flavoured body paint in a third–you eventually get to the point where you don’t give a fuck where things are packed as long as they are in a box and the hell away from you.

It’s particularly unwise to be disorganized while packing when your mother is offering to help you unpack.

(“Kat, I was unpacking your towels and came across a box labeled “Sir Thumps-alot” that was mixed in with them.  There’s a buzzing sound coming from it.”)

Despite my mother’s help, I’m still settling in so I’m way behind on my blog roll and on returning the comment love.  I’ll catch up soon though.  I usually wouldn’t do another post before I’ve caught up, but writing helps me maintain what semblance of sanity I have so I’ve decided to tell you about the moving day madness.

Moving day was as I imagine childbirth is like in that during it I was sweating, cursing and the male members of my family were terrified that I was going to flip out and scream and cry at them, and that by the end of the day I was exhausted and bleeding.

I awoke at around 4:30am on moving day.  And when I say “awoke” I mean that I just decided to pull my zombie ass out the bed since I hadn’t actually slept in over a week.  I had a few things to finish packing before my brother and BFF arrived to help with the move, so I got out my pile of newspaper to begin wrapping.  Kira, however, decided that I wasn’t under enough stress so she decided to play “Let’s Be As Obnoxious As Possible”.

This game begins with your dog blasting into your pile of newspaper like a fucking maniac and scattering them all over the place.

scattered papers

Thanks, Kira.

Then she grabs your Domo stuffed animal which you are trying to pack along with the other Halloween things and takes off with it.

(Seriously, Kira does not play even play with her own stuffed toys so this was completely just her being a brat.)

((I don’t have a picture of this because I was too busy chasing Kira down to get the damn animal back.  I eventually decided that I didn’t care and let her shake the shit out of it.))

Finally, when your BFF brings you doughnut for breakfast (because pink doughnuts are the breakfast of champions, ya’all), your dog proceeds to smack around the bag containing the doughnut with a fury that would be the envy of any pimp.

american eskimo dog, pink doughnut, dunkin' donuts

Kira wants this doughnut. Oh yes she does.

After playing this charming game with my dog, I then heard tales of my mother trying to take apart and move an old entertainment center from the spare bedroom where I would sleeping.  Apparently the screwdriver wasn’t working so she just took a hammer and smashed the bastard apart.

smashed furniture

The remains of the battle left by Mumma’s Hammer

I was unaware until that day that, not only had I received my love of slutty boots from my mother, but also my destructive nature.  To prove that the psychotic apple doesn’t fall far from the insane tree, I too employed a hammer about an hour later when I was trying to take apart an inversion table.  The only difference is that I called my hammer Mjolnir and declared myself to be Thor while doing it.

We were in the final process of carefully moving haphazardly throwing the furniture into my mother’s house when I nearly split my forehead open.  BFF was holding my iron coffee table frame with the legs facing out and I decided to headbutt the bottom of one leg.  This was not BFF’s fault at all, I’m seriously just a major klutz who walks into shit like this.  And what made the situation even worse was that while my mother and BFF searched in panic for a bag of ice to stop the swelling I could not stop laughing.  Again this is about par for me to be laughing my face off while blood trickles down from a huge goose egg erupting on my forehead.

Once the swelling subsided, and the final pieces of furniture were moved, we went to do what I do best–drink Tequila–because when you have a possible concussion it’s a good idea to suck down two margaritas as quickly as you can.

margarita

I held it against my forehead to keep the swelling down so this was for medicinal purposes.

I might not have drank my ‘ritas as quickly except that our waiter was totally vibing on BFF and kept bringing us booze.  And I drank it because that’s the kind of friend I am to sacrifice my liver to get my bestie some nookie.  Unfortunately BFF was not drinking so the efforts of our enamored waiter did not impress him at all.

Don’t worry, I still drank enough for two people.

Thus concluded Major Moving Day.

Mini Moving Day Mini Post tomorrow.

I’m Lethal In Bed

Even a badass, independent chick such as myself sometimes really needs a guy in her bed.  Namely Mr. Sandman.  He’s been avoiding me for the past few weeks and as soon as I find out which slut he’s cheating on me with, I will cut off his sandbags.

Sandy should know better than to test me because I’m always a dangerous individual, but even more so when I’m in an insomnia phase.

The Reign of Kat’s Insomnia Terror began when I was about twelve.  (Yes Sandy and I have been in a dysfunctional relationship since I was twelve years old.  He couldn’t even wait until I was a teenager.  The fucking pig.)

beware dangerous womanIt started when my parents couldn’t figure out why I was having difficulty staying awake during the day.  The mystery was solved when my mother woke up in the middle of one night to find me trying to get out the back door.  When she asked me what I was doing I replied by making some kind of unholy snarling and grumbling.  My mother called a priest and after being assured that I wasn’t possessed, she concluded that I was just sleep walking.

My parents thought that a change of location might cure my nightly excursions so I went to live with my grandparents after this.  The plan seemed to work until one night about a week after I’d moved in that my grandmother was startled from her sleep to a scream of, “Oh SHIT!” followed by the sound of someone shaking the huge antique writing desk.  (FYI, this was during the brief period between my profane toddlerhood and adulthood when I was not prone to foul language, so my grandmother was pretty shocked by my outburst.)

The next night, my grandparents were still awake when I took my nightly jaunt.  They were sitting at the dining room table when I joined them with a glazed look on my face.

“Are you okay, Kat?” my grandmother asked.

I continued to stare at the wall.

“You’re sleep walking, Kat.  Why don’t you go back to bed?”

I answered my grandmother by picking up one of the many ashtrays overflowing with cigarette ash, taking a deep breath and spitting as hard as I could into it, causing an explosion of ash to cover my grandmother, my grandfather, and the dining room table.

After a third night of my roaming the house my grandmother took to booby-trapping the hallway to make sure that I didn’t make it to the backyard…because having me break a leg by tripping over some strategically placed chairs and puppy gates makes a lot more sense than letting me wander around.  Luckily while I continued to sleep walk throughout secondary school, I at least never broke any part of my darling body.

Nowadays while Sandy and I still are often at odds, I don’t sleep walk anymore.  No no, as was discovered during the time that I was living with my ex, my insomnia has taken an even more dangerous aspect.

One night while living with my ex, I was feeling particularly frustrated with my current phase of insomnia, so I poked him in the back as he slept.

“What?  What do you want?” he demanded.

“I can’t sleep.”

“So what do you want from me?”

“Well…” I batted my eyelashes and twirled a lock of my long hair.

Ex rolled his eyes, “Forget it.  I’m tired.  You’ll eventually fall asleep.”

“No I won’t!” I pouted.

Actually I did, which is a fucking miracle since I was frustrated on two fronts at that point and this was back before I was aware that a pair of AA batteries could have helped with both issues.

Unfortunately, as often happens when I managed to doze off during an insomnia phase, I had a nightmare.  In this dream a old man in a wife beater and boxers was kicking me.  I wasn’t kicking his ass back because he was an old man and where the hell is the challenge in that, but I finally caught his leg in my dream and dug my claws into his calf.

“OW!” he screamed.

“I told you to stop kicking me!” I yelled at him, digging my nails deeper as he struggled to kick me again.

“OWWW!” he screamed again, “OWWWWW!  STOP!

At this point I woke up to discover that I had curled up against my ex–as I would often do to his annoyance since I am always cold when I sleep–and was digging my claws into him.

“Why did you do that?!” he screamed.

“I was dreaming!  I’m sorry!” Unfortunately when you’re laughing your face off while apologizing, people tend to doubt your sincerity.

This is why when a girlfriend of mine was recently talking about how she has a “no sleep over rule” after she gets busy with a guy, because she doesn’t want them to get clingy, I told her that I have that rule, only it’s for their safety.

no sleepoversno sleepovers

In closing you might have noticed a theme of when I tend to go through insomnia and as you can see, it always coincides with stress.  And what with moving, packing, working crazy hours and putting a deadline on finishing my novel, I can’t imagine why I’d be having difficulty sleeping.*

*Only another week or so of Kat’s moving bullshit and then we’ll be back to regular bullshit.  And post that’s aren’t quite so long–geez!