Looking up, Mira wondered how she was going to get out. Not only was the underground room far from the main house, but there was no ladder in the vicinity. She thought of her daughter and the question this morning:
“Mommy if you had a super power, what would it be?”
She’d answered flippantly. Now, though, she wished she had the strength of Superman and his ability to fly. Screaming with frustration, she paced the musty space. Her only hope was that Mitch remembered her intention to come here when he got home. If not, she’d have an unpleasant experience.
Taking his glasses off, Thomas slowly rubbed his eyes. Searching for clues in the book was difficult: this was the text she’d been reading when she disappeared and the subject matter wasn’t enthralling.
“You know she may have left of her own accord?”
“No Nathaniel, I know my wife. She’d never abandon her children – they mean the world to her. There was something about Highgate she figured out – something that put her in danger. I know it.”
Putting on his glasses, he turned to the text again. He could not give up! He sensed Sylvia’s life depended on it.
They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.
I say the way to my heart is for the man to cook.
They say if you want to win a man’s affections, cook for him. Daily.
I say if he wants to please me, he should spend the time in the kitchen.
They say women are cooks, men are chefs.
I say I am tired of daily meal planning. Let him have a turn.
Why is it that women are expected to be the ones who shop for groceries, plan the week’s menu, cook the meals. In modern society, women are also working at full-time jobs and bringing in the money. Our second job (raising children, running a home, and cooking) should be shared with the husband/partner.
I say the way to a women’s heart is through her stomach.
I say women are the true chefs, putting together meals on a budget and what is found in the fridge.
I say our reign of the home kitchen is over. We want to pass the sceptre to someone else.
The plant grew and crept along the wall, its leafy tendrils exploring the pristine wall. The creeper had been genetically altered and transformed into a listening device. In another part of the city, revolutionaries listened to the unfettered conversations of councilmen; conversations that lingered on the changes to bylaws that would prohibit personal freedom.
Prior knowledge enabled the freedom fighters to overcome those in power. In their victory, they claimed that freedom was a person’s right.
Once in power, the new leader ensured no plants graced the surfaces of his home and office. Then he began to enslave the majority.
The living room couch was like Grand Central Station: a flurry of daytime activity surrounded it.
Quick early morning cups of coffee were spilt on on the sofa before resting purses and briefcases were hurriedly grabbed from its centre. Once the early morning bustle was over, a sigh was heard and feet were placed on the overstuffed cushions. The lull in activity was welcomed before the beige couch was surrounded by the whoosh of the vacuum and the scent of polish.
Around noon either the twitter of book-club ladies, the rowdiness of the bingo group, or the tranquil chatter of the knitting club as preemie blankets were created was heard. Even though the space was busy, there was a calmness in the activity.
The afternoon lull was short before the plump seats were jumped on by energetic feet happy to be home. Snacks were eaten in the deep recesses of the cushions while in the next room the unmistakable sound of oil sizzled in a pan.
The couch was unused, but the sounds nearby did not bring serenity.
Then a favourite part of the day: storytime and the snuggles between parents and children.
The lull before the quiet.
Parent time while the television buzzes softly in the background.
Then the living room turns dark and the sounds of the night encroach.
The house sleeps as does the couch; resting fully and preparing itself for the repetition of the early morning routine mayhem.
The sight of the seaplane meant the influx of summer visitors had begun. Their arrival brought a buzz to the shoreline and increased revenue to many. But Jack did not look forward to the return of the family that had embraced him last year, then rejected him on the eve of their departure based on malicious gossip. He had thought their relationship stronger.
Days later, he saw them. She was cradling a baby in her arms and her parents were shame-faced. They had realised the error of their accusations when the child was born. He was obviously not Jack’s.
The train pulled out of the station, leaving Amanda standing forlornly on the platform. Regretfully, she thought of Max and the last words they had exchanged. Hateful words that would be difficult to take back. Now she was here alone, exploring the places they had planned to see together. Sighing, she hefted her backpack onto her shoulder and began the walk to the castle ruins.
Amanda gazed at the ruins in wonder. They were just as she imagined.
“Fancy seeing you here!”
Tears slowly fell down her cheek as she saw Max walking towards her with a smile of forgiveness.
Standing in front of the carved stone, he remembered when the artist was feted. People would travel from all over the world to see his work and admire his handiwork. Discussions would ensue on the meaning of the pieces and what had inspired him to create them. Then the scandal erupted. He was imprisoned, the many artworks torn down or vandalised. Except for this forgotten piece in the centre of the city. Unnamed, the early work stands proudly surrounded by office buildings. A remnant of a life that was crushed to pieces by the love for a young girl.