Saturday, July 28, 2018
Welcome, to my sanctuary. Come on inside and relax for a while.
Writers are always talking about their WIP — or work in progress. At my “real job” I frequently have to ask executives and tech guys to “spell out” acronyms. I’m drowning in alphabet soup!
So, I just now laughed when I thought to myself that my WIP keeps getting pushed aside by my LIP, or my life in progress!
Maybe I’m the only one who sees the humor in that… but since they seem to think I’m “giving them lip” (mouthing off) when I ask for clarity or correction… Yeah, okay… I kill me. (Insert eye roll.)
The editing and proofing of Atonement in Bloom continues to limp along.
However, back to the first book, Atonement, Tennessee, I will soon be offering it in Spanish! That’s thanks to the talented Olga Núñez Miret, who did the translation. Stay tuned for more on that.
Since my head is in that quirky town, on a whim I decided to write an all new short story to share today.
As the world-building of Atonement progressed, some small, glowing, otherworldly pigs made their way into the Atonement-verse. They stole my heart. So they pop in for a visit now and then.
Without further ado here’s the snort — I mean short story.
Deme, Honeybell, and the Batmobile
Sunlight dappled the ground. It made shaded spots on her book, but Honeybell didn’t mind. The sun felt pleasantly warm on her white fur. Loud snuffling distracted her from the pages of the Fourth Branch of the Mabinogi.
“You do realize that they got half of that story wrong, don’t you?” Deme commented derisively.
“Of course they did. They’re only human after all. But that’s what makes it so interesting,” Honeybell defended the ancient tome.
She knew that her friend’s snarky manner meant Deme was up to no good. Although she had to admit that Deme used her bright blue eyes to great effect when she got caught doing something that wasn’t allowed.
Honeybell secretly wished she was as bold as her friend. However, it wouldn’t do to let Deme know that. There was no telling what mischief she’d get dragged in to by the blue-eyed pig if Deme knew Honeybell quietly longed to misbehave.
“The things Gwydion did in this story,” Honeybell began, shaking her head reproachfully at the antiquated book.
Gwydion Conquers Pryderi by E Wallcousins circa 1920
“We could visit him! Wouldn’t that be fun?” Deme interrupted brightly. “I know you love to go to Atonement, Tennessee just as much as I do.”
“Deme, you know we’re not allowed to go to human places without permission. Besides, Gwydion is always getting into trouble. We’d end up getting over our hooves into it with him.”
“Come on, Honeybell. We could be there and back before dark. You know the main reason for that silly rule is because we’ll glow after sundown. We have plenty of time to go for a romp and be back before twilight. None the wiser!”
Drat that Deme, she’s always got an answer for everything, Honeybell thought, knowing full well that she had just given in to temptation — and that easily.
“What if we just go check on your sheriff. Just to make sure he’s okay,” Honeybell relented. “Goewin wouldn’t get upset with us for that… I don’t think,” she added somewhat doubtfully. “But we mustn’t let him see us!”
The drift of small white otherworldly pigs answered to Goewin. They loved her and would do anything for her.
Deme pranced in place excitedly. Honeybell knew her friend adored Robin Warden, the sheriff of Atonement, Tennessee. Deme’s enthusiasm was contagious. Honeybell suddenly caught it.
“I’ll race you to the big split tree. I bet I can get through the portal and to Atonement before you!” Honeybell dared her friend.
Abruptly Honeybell stopped with one hoof off the ground.
Public Domain, Wikimedia
“Wait,” Honeybell said. “Robin sometimes visits the tree. That’s where he last saw Goewin. We’d have to be careful when we come out, in case he’s there. I don’t want him to see us. It might make him sad.”
Deme’s blue eyes sparkled. Her lopsided smile was evidence that she had mischief in mind.
“There’s another way,” Deme suggested.
With her right front hoof, Deme began scratching a design in a barren patch of ground. It was quite intricate. It reminded Honeybell of a Celtic knot design she had seen somewhere.
But where? Honeybell wondered worriedly.
Honeybell’s eyes widened when she remembered where she’d seen that design. It was on the silver locket that Ralda-Esmeralda always wore.
“Deme, we’re not supposed to use that kind of magic!” Honeybell cried.
“Says who? Look it up in your books. This exact kind of magic is not specifically forbidden anywhere,” Deme said with a sharp nod of her head.
Deme used her back feet to kick a fine dust across the complicated design, giving it a finishing touch.
“There!” Deme stated with a satisfied shake of her curly tail.
Deme kicked her back feet into the air and clicked her hooves together. With her mouth she grabbed Honeybell by an ear. The two otherworldly pigs glowed brightly. Then they vanished.
An owl hooted from the branch of a nearby tree. Robin Warden gave it a suspicious look. Then he bent over the front-end of a black and white automobile. The hood was up and odd looking metal parts lay on the ground around the vehicle. The sheriff’s hands were covered in black grease. There was a smudge of it on his forehead too.
“What is Robin doing to the Batmobile?” Deme asked and started toward the sheriff.
“Deme!” Honeybell hissed at her friend and grabbed the other pig by the curly tail.
“Hey!” Deme complained in an offended tone.
“We can’t let him see us,” Honeybell reminded her friend in an intense whisper. “And it’s not really called the Batmobile.”
“Oh you take the fun out of everything, Honeybell. I know it’s a police car, but it’s more fun when Bethany calls it the Batmobile.”
“The fact that you know all that is evidence that you sneak off here more than anyone realizes,” Honeybell replied. “I think he’s trying to make it run faster.”
I couldn’t resist this 1947 Plymouth. (Wikimedia Commons) Robin might have a souped-up vintage sheriff’s car.
Robin sat down inside the vehicle. Honeybell could tell his leg moved. He seemed to be doing something with his foot. The sheriff’s car made a loud roaring sound. A dissatisfied expression came to his face and he got out and went to the front of the automobile again.
“Looks like it didn’t work,” Deme commented. “Whatever it was. We could help…” Deme began with a sly look at Honeybell. “But we’d have to get closer.”
Honeybell raised her eyes heavenward and asked for patience. Before she could reply, Deme trotted over to the black and white automobile. Honeybell hurried to catch up, but before she got near a flash and an electric pop came from the mechanical innards of the car. A whiff of ozone reached the pig’s snout.
Robbin warden jerked up at the bright light and sound. His head banged against the metal of the raised hood. The sheriff looked around in a startled manner. After a moment he went back to his work, but appeared to check and recheck everything carefully.
While he was busy reexamining the machinery under the hood, Honeybell and Deme softly tapped their hooves on the various parts that lay on the ground and even on the tools Robin would be using. They gave each one a tap and a snuffle-snort-grunt. Then they darted back to their hiding place.
Deme fantasizes about helping Robin catch bad guys. Pearl White, circa 1916
“I think that should help him catch bad humans,” Deme speculated. “Goewin would not object to us doing that, because it’s related to keeping him safe and well.”
“Do you think it worked?” Honeybell asked?
The sheriff wiped his hands on a dirty rag. He sat down inside the car and did something to make it roar again. Abruptly the vehicle zoomed away from its place. It skidded and swerved like a fish as it went onto the street. Robin’s eyes bulged in astonishment, but he gave a loud “Whoot!” as the car sped away.
“Yes. I’d say it worked pretty well,” Deme replied in a grunting chuckle. “Come on, let’s go after him!’
“No, Deme! You’re starting to glow,” Honeybell refused with a look at the darkening sky. “I’m glowing too. We have to go back home.”
“You’re such a spoil sport,” Deme complained. “I’ll race you to the split tree in the graveyard!”
Honeybell knew that was the long way home. She sighed but hurried after her friend.
The sheriff turned the supercharged police car around at the end of the road. As he headed back to his driveway, two small white, glowing shapes darted across the street.
If you have any questions about the “Atonement-verse” feel free to leave them in a comment. I love to hear from you. Hugs and glows!
Here’s the requisite shameless self-promotion…
Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I
This is a work of fiction. Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2018 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene
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