Someone could sit on that branch.
Sit there, and fire, low into the crowd.
Or flatten themselves narrowly
Fit into the unseen slice of space
That lives behind the trunk
And fire there, through that knothole.
Cut it down.
Leaves spread lovely
A beauty of green
Wealth of green.
Tiny flowers dot the green
White and green.
Pale newly green.
Deep darkly green.
Leaves spread lovely.
Let it stand.
You have one result:
Cut it down.
Chains on waists and trunks
Bind us together like the circle of life.
Mother earth, brother sky,
I borrow your words and rhetoric
So that we all may live.
Yellow bulldozers reflected in mirrors.
Railroad spikes and chainsaw plaid.
Let it stand.
I know you, tree.
I know you with my breath
And my bone
And my fingertip
That traces a blossom slowly
Then moves to a leaf.
I know your bark
I know your roots
Bumpy under folded legs
That kneel upon a picnic blanket.
I know you, tree.
Be at peace.
X-files Mulder and Scully USTAnd wherever I ride, ever staunch at my side, my squire and my lady shall be...
Another Saturday night, alone and dateless. Could be worse. At least I’m not out chasing ghosts or aliens or whatever the hell Mulder’s dug up this time. But then I’d be with him, at least.
Well, at least the odds are he’ll call soon. I glance at the clock: seven. He usually holds out until nine or ten, so I’ve got a couple of hours to kill, but sometimes he calls early, so I can’t go out. I could watch TV, I guess. Channel surfing isn’t going to cut it, not for two hours, but I can at least see what’s on.
God, that sounds pathetic. I need to jump his bones soon, or maybe take a vacation and try to get this out of my system. Like it worked so well last time. Either way, this codependency thing has got to stop.
Jeopardy, nah. Wheel of Fortune—um, no thanks. Reality show, hell no.
Hey, a movie. Man of La Mancha—I’ve never heard of it, but that’s Peter O’Toole, so it’s got to be worth a glance. I check the TV guide and discover that it’s a musical about Don Quixote. Normally I’m not one for musicals, but again, it’s Peter O’Toole. I stay on the channel and watch, and soon I am drawn into the story.
When it’s over, I click off the TV and stare at the screen for a bit. It’s spooky how much that reminded me of Mulder—no pun intended. A man lost to reality, on some impossible quest he’s dreamed up in his madness, looking for something that in all probablity doesn’t exist. That’s got Mulder written all over it in big shiny letters.
And the people who surround him; Skinner the padre, the Smoking Man the doctor, people who mock him at first and get drawn into his quest. God knows I can relate.
So, pushing a metaphor too far, where does that leave me?
Oh, stop fooling yourself, Dana. You know where it leaves you. Sancho Panza, the round little comic relief sidekick who follows Don Quixote like a faithful puppy for no other reason than that he likes him. Except it’s a little more than like for me, but hey, it makes no difference.
Poor Sancho, always getting taken for granted and ignored. He never got anything for picking Don Quixote up and dusting him off; just a pat on the head.
I’m so sick of being Sancho. Is it too much to ask for a little appreciation sometimes? Except for these Saturday night calls, Mulder doesn’t even seem to see me half the time. He definitely hasn’t figured out that I’m just itching to jump him, and I’ve done everything short of climbing into his lap and humping vigorously. I just want some attention. Did Sancho ever want that? Did Sancho ever want to be Dulcinea?
Humph. I’ll always be Sancho. I know that as well as I know that Mulder will always be chasing his impossible dream. He bends people around his crazy reality and he doesn’t even realize it. Sometimes I wonder if he even notices those other people. He certainly doesn’t notice me.
Yet I still chase after him, still pick him up and dust him off after he’s gone tilting at windmills. And when even his Dulcinea scorns him, I’m still there. There’s honor in that, even if there’s no real happiness.
I glance at the clock again. Ten-thirty. He’s late.
Screw this. I’m going to wallow in self-pity a little more. I’m going to bed.
Somebody knocks while I’m getting into my pajamas. I swear to God, if it’s a soliciter I’m going to shoot him. If it’s a Jehovah’s Witness I’m going to shoot him twice. No jury would convict me, not after the week I’ve had.
I open the door. It’s neither a solicter nor a Jehovah’s Witness.
“Hey, Scully. Listen, I know we haven’t had the best of weeks and you weren’t looking to happy yesterday so I brought you these.” Mulder shoves the flowers he’s holding into my arms, almost as if he’s scared he’s going to drop them if he doesn’t. He jogs in place briefly. “I’ve got to run. I’ll see you on Monday, okay?” And he’s gone.
Damn him, anyway. Where does he get off wrecking a perfectly good snit?
I stand in the doorway, my arms full of multicolored carnations, victim of a drive-by cheering-up, and start to grin like an idiot.
Maybe I’m Dulcinea after all.
An amusing incident:
Okay, so we're sitting around the dinner table, eating fruit salad and cheerfully discussing blueberries and the benefits of homegrown versus store-bought, and the next thing I know my (adolescent) brother is hanging head-first out a second-story window trying to pick blueberries from the top of our bushes and complaining about my characterization of teenage boys as being generalized. Because of course he's
not reckless or anything.
Slight AU Dresden Files pastfic.
Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden was concentrating on his name when he ran into the girl.
At the time, he’d been spelling it backwards. There was nothing else he could do, really. Marking time, wasting the night, walking one last time around this city he’d been brought to. Chicago. Nice place. He wouldn’t mind living there, maybe, when he grew up.
If he grew up.
Back to his name. At least it wasn’t changing.
E-i-f-r-o...no, wait, that should be another e. E-p-p-o-
The girl had been huddling on a bench, and it was pretty clear she’d been crying. Harry guessed he’d stepped on her foot. The way she was glaring at him, he must’ve done something. “Sorry,” he said, briefly.
“You don’t even know what you’re sorry for,” she snapped.
“Take your pick,” he snapped back. “It was a fucking accident, okay?”
The girl glared harder. “Watch where you’re going next time.”
“There isn’t going to be a next...” Harry trailed off. There really wasn’t. He was moving to the boondocks of Missouri or someplace, with some old fart wizard who’d probably lock him in a closet or something, and the White Council just waiting for him to make one mistake so they could kill him.
“Um? Are you okay?”
The girl’s voice brought him out of it. “Yeah. Sorta.” He looked down, and blinked. She was standing next to him now, and she barely came up to his collarbone. “Wow, you’re short.”
She scowled. “I know. It’s not like I don’t hear about it every day. You can’t be a cop if you don’t grow some, Karrin. Aikido champs aren’t five feet tall, Karrin. Better find somebody to take care of you in case you stay that short, Karrin.” Her voice took on a harsh, mocking edge.
“Ouch,” Harry said, feeling mildly sorry for her. “Brothers?”
She sighed. “Two, and a baby sister, but I’m the oldest. They’re all taller than me. Except Lisa, but she’s only six.”
“I’m an only child. An orphan, too.”
“Lucky,” the girl said, bitterly.
Harry thought about Justin, and laughed with absolutely no humor. “Not so much.”
“Harry.” He sat down. “You want to be a cop?”
“I’m going to be a cop,” she corrected him. “What are you going to do?”
He hadn’t thought about it, really. Right now he wasn’t even sure he’d make it to seventeen. “I don’t know,” he said, slowly.
Karrin looked him up and down from where she was still standing. “You should think about it,” she said. “It’s your future.”
Harry snorted. “Right now I don’t even know what’s going to happen to me tomorrow. I don’t have time to think about the future.”
“You don’t know?” She stared at him. “What do you mean, you don’t know?”
“My adoptive father just died.” The lie burned his tongue; not your father, never your father, and you killed him, Harry. “I’m going to go live with some old uncle of his tomorrow.” Another lie. This McCoy person had probably never heard of Justin DuMorne, and he certainly had never heard of Harry Dresden. His only virtue was that he hadn’t been at the Council meeting.
Self-righteous, arrogant old farts, looking at him down their noses and telling him that he deserved to die for breaking a law he hadn’t even known existed. Unfair, unfair, and not right of them to feel smug. How dare they shake their fingers at him, tell him the next time he broke some rule they’d cut his head off? How dare they pat themselves on the back for sparing the poor little orphan boy? He hoped they choked.
Harry was so busy fuming he completely missed the next thing Karrin said. He forgot she existed entirely until he got a vicious poke in the ribs.
After letting out an embarrassingly high-pitched squeak, he glared at her. “What the hell did you do that for?”
“You completely zoned out on me,” she retorted. Sometime during his fuming, she’d sat down next to him. “I said I’m sorry about your father.”
“Oh.” He tried to think of something to say to that, and failed; decided instead to pretend she was talking about his real father. “Thanks.” He looked at her again: tiny, blonde, blue-eyed, she looked like a prime target for a predator. “What are you doing out this late, anyway?”
“I don’t want to go home,” she said. “Not yet, anyway.”
“It’s not safe,” he said, and hitched a thumb at the cop driving down the street. “That’s the only cop I’ve seen all night.”
Karrin scoffed at him, and waved at the cop. “Hi, Uncle Peter!” she yelled.
The cop pulled over and rolled down his window. “Hi, Karrin,” he said. “New friend?”
“Sorta,” she said. “Are you coming over for dinner soon?”
“Thursday,” the cop said. “See you then, sweetie. I got to get back to my beat.”
“See you Thursday!” Karrin waved until he was out of sight, then gave Harry a smug look.
“Fine,” he said, and held up his hands in mock-surrender. “I’m sorry for being worried.”
“I’ve also,” she said, “been studying aikido for four years. I’m getting my second-dan rank next month. I could take you.”
Harry grinned at her, feeling his mood lift a little. “Bet you couldn’t.”
She stuck out her tongue at him, such a childish gesture from such a mature girl. Harry stared at her for about five seconds before both of them burst into laughter.
“You know something?” he asked, when they both managed to catch their breath. “That’s the first time I’ve laughed since Justin died.”
Karrin shook her head. “First time I’ve laughed since Mom told me I couldn’t start rifle training.” She scowled again, and drew her knees up to her chest. “I don’t know why she won’t just let me do what I want to! It’s not like I was even asking her to pay for it.”
“Maybe she doesn’t want her kids shooting at things,” Harry said.
“She’s letting my brothers go,” Karrin said, and sighed. “I don’t know. I think it’s just because I’m a girl. That’s why I’m out here,” she added. “I’m trying to handle this whole—thing maturely, and I know if I go in now I’ll just scream at her.”
“Makes sense,” he said, nodding. “Did you think about working on other stuff while you try to persuade her?”
“Like what?” she asked. “I’ve got aikido to keep me in shape, I’ve been talking to Uncle Peter about police life, I’ve done everything I can do. Rifle training was the next step.”
He shrugged. “Then wait. There’s nothing you can do right now, you just said it. So keep in shape, keep practicing, and wait for the right moment.”
Wait for the right moment.
Oh, God, he’d been so stupid.
“How did you do that?” Karrin asked, oblivious to his sudden epiphany. “How did you just make everything sound okay?”
Harry shook his head, scrambling for words. “I don’t know,” he said, honestly. “I just figured it out myself. When things aren’t going right, all you can do is wait it out, really.” He grinned, at her, at the world. “Then, when you get the chance, you show them.”
“Oh, I’ll show them all right.” She smiled back at him. “Will you?”
“Damn straight.” He stuck his hand out. “Let’s shake on it. I’ll show them what’s what if you do.”
Karrin gave his hand a firm shake. “I think I can handle Mom now,” she said, and got up.
Some ingrained sense of chivalry propelled Harry to his feet; once there, he figured he might as well get going himself. “Good luck.” They shook again, and he started to walk away.
“Hey, Harry?” she said, abruptly.
He turned around. “Yeah?”
“If you’re ever in town again, look me up.” She winked. “I’ll show you, too.”
He saluted, then went on his way. He’d show them.
No. They’d show them.