Circles of Separation: Lowlands

“You can’t fight fire with fire,” said Odin. “Everyone gets burned.”

Chapter 64: Tension

“Thank God,” said Ide as she lay on the floor of her dear and peaceful lounge room. “No more hospital visits.” She had returned from the city for the last of Christopher’s visits to the surgeon after his broken leg. “No more fighting the city traffic,” continued Ide in singsong fashion. “No more crazy hospital. No more graphic YouTube videos.”

“What do you mean?” asked Salt. Continue reading “Circles of Separation: Lowlands”

Circles of Separation: Odin of the Great Valley

Circles of Separation: Part 3 begins.

Part 3 – Borderfirma Mountains – The Inner Circle
Odin of the Great Valley

Chapter 62: Tree House

img_9038The boys lay on the wooden floor of the tree house and gazed up into the moving leaves. It was a grand tree house; three stories, with a flag at the top, and lights that came on every evening. It was fit for a king which is just as well because the boys were royal. Malik was fourteen. He looked over the nearby palace roofs into the Borderfirma Mountains. This land belonged to his mother and the surrounding Borderfirma lands belonged to her siblings. The Borderfirma lands, together, made up the Inner Circle. Continue reading “Circles of Separation: Odin of the Great Valley”

Circles of Separation: In the Air

Peace, he thought, how unassuming you are. Yet, you are king of all the feelings.

Chapter 59: Forest Royalty

Amira looked out her kitchen window to the magnificent magnolia tree in her front garden. It had been the usher of spring with its graceful, pink petals since it was planted by Amira’s parents forty years ago. Back then, most of the houses in Waldmeer had lovely, loved gardens with flowering trees and shrubs and colourful bulbs and annuals. As so many of the houses in Waldmeer were now holiday houses, the original gardens were disappearing. Amira’s father, Lenny, would talk about the new gardens with contempt. “That’s not a real garden,” he would say as he pointed disparagingly to the en masse, clinical plantings and stretches of cement, tiles, and stones. “They are soulless places for the heartless.” He took it as personally offensive when the gardens of his long-time friends had been sold, along with their accompanying houses, and “improved and updated” for the new occupants with busy lives in the city. He would mumble to himself and go out into his own garden until he felt better. Each year, when the magnolia blossomed with fragrant majesty, he said, “You go through a dull winter when there’s nothin’ much flowering. It all looks pretty ordinary and then the magnolia comes out and you know that spring is in the air. It’s the kinda thing that makes a fella glad to be alive.” Continue reading “Circles of Separation: In the Air”

Circles of Separation: Protection

“At a time when Ide was totally dependent on the goodwill and skill of other people, she felt acutely grateful to everyone, everywhere, who does their best by giving what they have to give, no matter what issues they are facing in their own lives.”

Chapter 57: Sweet Ruthlessness

As Amira walked out of Handspun, she bumped into Gabriel and some of the Boys of Darnall who were taking a short-cut through the Arcade. The Boys included some women, two of whom were walking with the group today. No one in that group was, generally, friendly towards Amira, although, some were more polite than others. Gabriel, however, stopped to talk to Amira. Despite their problems, he did love Amira. Even if he didn’t, he was not a rude person. As Gabriel was talking, Amira could feel the eyes of one of the women boring into her back. It was Bridgette. She didn’t live in Darnall. She was an artist, like Gabriel, and lived in the city. Continue reading “Circles of Separation: Protection”

Circles of Separation: Handspun

“We’re our own worst enemy,” said Wolfgang.  “We’re, also, our own best friend.”

Chapter 54: Best Friend

Tonight was the last Dementia Unit dance class. Wolfgang was in fine form and had been talking nonstop. “I like making a noise,” he joked. “I should have been a politician. Do you know that I come here every morning to have breakfast with my Madeline?”

“No,” said Gabriel. “That’s devoted.” Continue reading “Circles of Separation: Handspun”

Circles of Separation: Narrow Lane

Put your efforts towards the things in life that enhance your highest self.

Chapter 51: Right Next Door

“We have taken matters into our own hands,” said Mullum-Mullum to Amira. “We had concerns about Gabriel’s safety in regards Evanora. There is no need for you to be worried, however, we ask that you not see him unless instructed to do so.” Mullum-Mullum gazed into the distance. Amira couldn’t see where he was looking. Nor could she see anything around him. Normally, if Amira saw Mullum-Mullum in her night-travels, she saw him in the setting of the Darnall rose garden. However, for some reason, tonight, he seemed to be standing in a blank space with no distinguishing features.

“I guess,” sighed Amira, “Gabriel hasn’t suffered enough yet.” Continue reading “Circles of Separation: Narrow Lane”

Circles of Separation: Personal Barometer

The more we veer away from our true nature, the more unhappy we feel. When we align with our better self, we feel happy and content again.

Chapter 47: Cat Fights

“You’re a jealous cow,” screeched the black cat to the tabby cat that was cornered on the thin end of the branch.

“The Great One is not jealous of the gods you make,” said the tabby with the tenacity of a worthy opponent, “and neither am I.”

Gabriel heard the commotion not far from his window in the middle of the night. As it was not subsiding, he got up in exasperation, pulled on whatever clothes were at the end of the bed, and went outside to search for the source of the untimely disturbance. He shone his phone torch into the tree but neither cat moved. The tabby couldn’t move and the black one refused to. After assessing the situation, Gabriel threw some sticks towards the black cat who conceded temporary defeat and retreated. The tabby could then escape. Continue reading “Circles of Separation: Personal Barometer”