20 March, 2012

The Jar - A Short Story

Kiplin found a jar on May 14th. It was a pretty ordinary jar; a glass exterior with a metal bottle cap-like lid on the top. At first glance it looked like a stopped wine decanter, shaped in a delicate figure with an elongated spout at the top. The glass was pitted in some places, but otherwise in good shape for being found cast off the side of the highway and living in the wooded area beneath it.
She remembers the day she found it because it was her birthday; a day in which she woke up excited and quickly realized this day would be no different than any other. Kiplin started her day hopefully optimistic until she got to the kitchen and noticed the scrawled note boasting: “Happy birthday! Had to go in work a double shift, see you tomorrow.” Disappointment reined over her as she realized her mom would not be home for her birthday. She got ready and boarded the school bus at the end of the road, avoiding the other kids waiting, and arriving with enough time to get to her first class. She’d only been at the school for a little over a month, missing the first few weeks of class due to a small registration error, but effectively missing the crucial grade 9 social bonding that comes with a new high school.  Because of this she was having a hard time making friends and penetrating the groups of cliques that had inherently formed during the time she missed.
To the disappointing shock of no one, Kiplin spent the day being routinely invisible; students leaning over her to speak to someone in the next desk, and the afternoon not improving by being told “someone is sitting here” when she asked if she could join a table in the cafeteria at lunch. She overheard a few students talking about a birthday by her locker, and when she happily exclaimed it was her own birthday the kids barely looked her way and one muttered “so what?” By last period it had started raining, crackling lightning and claps of thunder rolling in the distance, lighting the classroom up with each bolt. The bell rang and Kiplin made her way to the bus line when a horrifying image popped into her head: her backpack lying on the floor under her desk, holding her house keys, wallet, phone and all her school work. With her mother working the night shift she would have no way to get inside the house, or get her mom’s work number – she had to go back.
She sprinted back down the pavement and up the stairs to the school, heaving the thick wooden door open and blasted through the halls. Adrenaline coursed through her body as she descended the multiple stairwells to get to the science lab and finally burst through the door, eyes frantically searching identical rows of seats. Her backpack was put on top of the lab bench; she grabbed it in a fell swoop with her right hand and took off back out the door and down the hall. Her lungs were on fire as she sucked air in, fueling her heart as she raced up the stairs and shoved the main door open just as her school bus was pulling out.
She yelled – hopelessly - waving her arms trying to signal the speeding bus, the backsplash from the tires hitting her like a bucket of water as the bus sped off unaware. Thunder rumbled above her, lightning striking the air like a firework then vanishing back into the darkness like someone pulled a plug in the sky. Kiplin stood in the middle of the sidewalk on the near deserted street, rain beating down on her and rolling in large drops down her flushed skin as it dripped down her neck into the collar of her jacket.
The walk home was long. It was almost an hour before she got to the highway leading to her house; it had stopped raining just as she reached the bridge over the ravine leading into the woods. The faint colours of a rainbow made in the mist showed on the horizon, the taste of grasses and wet earth carried through the air as Kiplin stopped on the bridge and leaned over. Garbage littered the edge of the ravine running under her feet, strewn from cars concerned with making appointments on time. She watched as a duck swam with its mate casually throug the floating soda cans – and then something caught her eye. A glimmer flickered on the edge of the bank below, creating a solar flare blinding her for a split second enough to shield her eyes. “Whoah,” she exclaimed, suddenly curious.
She walked to the end of the bridge and made her way slowly down the wet bank, feet sliding a few times as mud kicked up her leg and over her shoes. By the time Kiplin reached the creek bed, her shoes were half sunk in the soft mud and she lost sight of the object. She slowly moved down the bank, shoes softly sucking as she took each step, as she caught a glimpse of the object again. It was a larger object half buried in the mud, about the size of her forearm with a curved top. Her eyes fixated on the object as she got close enough to pick it up. She used her hands to scoop the mud away from the sides, freeing the object and carefully plucking it from the ground.
It reminded her of some kind of vase as she turned it over in her hands and feeling the small cap with her fingers. She couldn’t tell if it was empty due to the mud so she learned backwards and dunked it into the river, scattering the ducks who then quacked loudly at her. After a few splashes and rubbing the muck off with her palm, she noticed the glass was black, or cloudy. She scrunched her eyebrows as she slowly tilted the jar, and it appeared as though the inside shifted, like it was filled with fog. “Is there something in here?” She questioned to herself.
She clutched the jar to her chest as she walked along the gravel road, leading to her house. Her hands started to get warm, like she was holding a dish that just came out of the microwave; she held the glass out at arm’s length to examine it, muttering explanations to herself as she turned up her driveway. Once inside, she grabbed a glass of water, put the jar on the dresser in her room, and turned on the TV; the glass casting shadows from the sheen of the television. Throughout the night she thought she saw movement coming from within the glass through her peripheral vision, but whenever she glanced over it would appear opaque once more.
Kiplin walked over the jar, relaxed as she picked it up to study it. She noticed the cap again and her fingers were drawn to it, tracing the grooves on the metal cap. She lightly twisted it, feeling the resistance with what was probably rust and mud from the stream. She turned the cap harder, dried dirt fell lightly onto the table below as she unscrewed it, finally removing it. She peered into the thin opening, and tilted the glass to get a better visual when she felt the weight shift inside. Startled, she glanced behind her for something to catch whatever was inside. She placed her cup on the table and grasped the glass with both hands, gently tipping the object so the elegant spout was directly over top of the cup. She felt movement inside and held the glass over the cup for a few seconds before gradually a sort of smoke escaped the decanter spout and gracefully swirled into the cup, like she was pouring clouds. The fog seemed to pour like liquid - only weighed nothing – and filled the cup to the top. She set the container down and picked up the cup, examining the contents swirling inside but taking up no weight, like it was a ghost.
She dipped a finger in it – it was cool like mist – and inspected it; her finger was shiny like she touched oil. Without thinking she brought the cup to her mouth and gingerly sipped it; it smelled like dew and had the texture of air with no taste. She set the cup back down, fastened the cap and sat by down to watch TV, not giving the glass another thought. An hour or two later Kiplin was ready for bed; she remembered her day and suddenly pitied herself. She turned off the lights and crawled under her duvet, not looking forward to another day. “I wish my life were different,” she muttered, a faint glow came from the jar – swirling fog – as Kiplin closed her eyes, too tired to notice.
Something was different. Before she even opened her eyes Kiplin knew something was different. She sat up and surveyed the room, kicking off her sheets and then climbing out of bed. The smell of waffles, hot butter and syrup filled the room as the sound of pans and clinking glasses could be heard from the kitchen. Cautiously Kiplin threw on some jeans and a shirt and walked by the glass jar on her table, too distracted by the waffles to notice it was void of the fog inside and was now a clean transparent glass.
“Hey babe,” her mother was whipping up more cake batter, fluffy pancakes and waffles lay on a plate on the table beside a vase of flowers, “happy birthday!” She put the wooden spoon down inside the bowl and grasped Kiplins face in her hand and kissed her cheek. She smiled as she picked up the spoon and started stirring the mixture again, humming to herself.
“Mom,” Kiplin started, in disbelief as her mother was never home from work until after she left for school, “why aren’t you working the night shift?”
Her mother smiled and started pouring the batter into the frying pan. “What night shift kid? I always leave after breakfast! I wouldn’t go in early and miss seeing you on your birthday.”
Confused, Kiplin sat in the closest chair at the table, “Mom my birthday was yesterday, you left me a note saying you had to work early.”
“What!?” Her mom stopped pouring the batter and rushed to the calendar on the wall, wiping her hands on her apron as she inspected the dates. Her face fell into a relieved smile, “Oh my god, you scared me kiddo. May 14th, ya ya, Wednesday, because I have that investor meeting today.” She clicked her tongue and went back to the bowl, rolling her eyes, “you are such a joker.”
Kiplin’s head swirled as she grabbed her backpack after breakfast and walked down the road to the bus. A few of the local kids were milling around at the stop and turned to watch Kiplin as she took her usual place a few feet behind everyone else. “Hey Kip, happy birthday!” One of them casually waved, as the others nodded in agreement, nonchalantly waiting for a response.
“Hey… thanks.” Surprised, she tried not to look as shocked as she felt, as the bus pulled up and the kids piled inside.
“Kip! Over here!” One of the popular boys at the high school was waving her to the back of the bus where all the cool kids normally sat. She glanced around and headed skeptically over to him. He patted the empty space beside him and smiled as she sat down slowly. “Are you looking forward to your birthday party later? Valerie reserved 15 spots, although it may be a few more if the twins show up. You know how they can be.” The boy carried on, rambling about the party until the bus pulled up outside the school where they got off, random students calling out happy birthday as she walked by.
Her head was swimming, as she followed the boy almost in a daze, turning her head when teachers and students wished her a happy birthday as they passed her in the hall. “Ok well here’s your class, meet me here when the bell rings?” He leaned over and kissed her softly, face going red as he smiled and turned back down the hall. Bewildered, Kiplin spent the rest of the day like she was in someone else’s life; people knew her, they liked her, and she had a boyfriend and a birthday party.
After school she came back home and ran up to her room. She slowly walked to her mirror and stared at herself; the same curly red hair, freckles and blue eyes. She pulled her hands up to her face and felt her eyebrows, nose, and lips until she was convinced they were the same as they were yesterday. She patted down her body and could see no noticeable changes. A car honk sounded as Kiplin was getting ready for her party. She bounced down the stairs, oblivious to the fact that the glass jar was missing entirely now, and ran outside to meet the crew who pulled up in a shiny red Mustang. She took a deep breath and opened the car door, smiling. She had no idea what was happening, but she was going to enjoy this as long as it was.
The car sped off down the road, over the bridge and towards Kiplin’s birthday party. Nobody noticed the man standing below the bridge in the creek, burying an opaque black jar with an elongated neck into the mud.


17 March, 2012

Baron - A Short Story

Everybody in the town of Kass knew about the Gatto house; a nickname given to the old man who apparently lived there. Gatto was somewhat of an enthusiast when it came to animals. He was a bit of a recluse; his sightings few to begin with – nobody getting a good enough look at him to remember what he looked like - but they got dramatically less frequent until a few years ago when they just stopped. Parents generally had a hard time teaching their kids to avoid the house when walking home from school on account of the wild animals living on the property seemingly alone. In 2004 the mall in Kass experienced their first zebra, when it jumped the Gatto fence and took a stroll through the parking lot.

Kass is a smaller town and inside lived a smaller community where residents generally spent their whole lives. Steve was born in Kass (like most others) and spent the majority of his time trying to escape it. His parents expected him to take over his grandfather’s automotive shop when he died, and guilt was often a force used to sway Steve to come back from whatever breakout attempt he planned. Trips to Belize, Japan, and Spain were met with voicemails about how the business couldn’t survive without him, and when Steve’s parents passed away a few years after his grandfather, he decided to put his dreams on a permanent hiatus.

Steve lived on his own most of his 20’s and resided in his grandfather’s old farmhouse on the edge of the town, where there boarded an expansive forest. His grandfather was an avid large game hunter, and spent the last retired years of his life in the woods with his .30-06 Springfield. Growing up his grandfather taught him about hunting, how to handle a gun, and all types of animals. Because of this, Steve was called on several times to shoot a roaming cougar or put down an animal that had gotten out of hand from Gatto’s preserve.

It was a typical Friday evening in Kass; a hot and muggy sundown with the absence of the cool night breeze making the air around him stagnant and dry– he choked on it as he was locking up the store door. “I need to get the hell out of here,” he always thought to himself. He turned from the large wooden door and shoved his heavy key ring into his old jacket, and headed down the dark road towards his farmhouse. He walked briskly; killing the 20 minute walk by thinking of all the TV shows that were on that night when suddenly his head whipped around, eyes narrowed and ears honed in on the sound that caused his mind to sharpen.

He stood silently for a minute, convinced the jingling he heard were the plentiful keys in his pocket, the ones shacking him to his life in Kass. His eyes darted around the perimeter of the forest, and swept back over the grass and down the road leading to the small building with the wrapped porch in the distance. He shook his head and continued walking towards it when he heard the noise again. He stopped in his tracks, cracking of twigs and gravel under his shoes echoed in solitude.

When he continued to walk, a feeling made him look towards the edge of the woods, and he could barely make out a white movement that stopped in-between two trees and watched him from over 100 meters away. “A doe? A coyote?” Steve’s head swam with curiosity while his heart hammered in his chest. Why was he so scared? The white mass started to move towards him, followed by a small jingling as Steve was glued to the road, watching the animal come closer to him.
It was a cat - but it wasn’t a regular cat. It trotted up to him causing Steve’s thundering heartbeat to gradually slow, like a wave of calm washed over him. The animal stopped at his feet and looked up, eyebrows seemingly raised as it questioned why he was alone at night – tail casually thumping rhythmically. “Whoah…” The cat was as big as a wolf; it’s legs long and slender, and it’s body was lean and muscled like it had never seen the inside of a house. Its eyes were red and its ears were pointed and large, almost like a horse. A piece of twine was around its neck; 3 antique looking keys hung from it, each a bright red, blue and green.

Steve sidestepped the animal, walking backwards toward his house, and gingerly stepped one foot behind the other as the cat padded along beside him. “Go home! Stop, stop following me!” His efforts were in vain, as the cat lightly stepped down the gravel road in unison with Steve’s footsteps until they reached his house.
--

A few weeks had passed since Steve found Baron - as he began to call him – and he started to realize what it was like having someone else around. The cat stayed outside the house for the first few days, disappearing at night and returning in the morning to the porch. Gradually Steve started letting Baron inside the house, where he ended up sleeping on the floor of Steve’s bedroom. Baron liked to be touched, and liked to be petted, but whenever Steve reached for the 3 small keys around his neck, Baron would hiss loudly and bolt out of the house into the woods.

One evening Steve was just locking up the shop, making sure the doors were locked as Baron waited outside. Steve started letting Baron inside the shop to mill around, customers astonished and perplexed by the large animal; some of the older men in Kass would claim Baron was a large dog, or wolf mix. Some speculated the animal came from the Gatto house, and was some extinct animal. Steve would laugh this off, but in the back of his mind he always wondered if it were true. When Steve clicked his tongue to call Baron, he animal took off down the road, stopping every few meters to sit on its haunches and thump its tail – waiting.

Baron eventually led Steve to the other end of Kass, near the lake where the Gatto house was. Steve did not want to go near it, it was falling apart and the visible animals present in the fenced yard were enough to stay away from. As Steve approached the house, glowing eyes came through the fence outlining the property. Baron darted up the path and scaled the fence with ease, like he was half his original size, and perched on the top of the fence waiting for Steve. Something told him to follow Baron, as he made his way to the fence to push it open. Chains rattled and Steve jumped back. Shrieks of startled animals cried out into the night, and suddenly stopped as fast as it started. The fence was locked by a bright red padlock.

Baron leaned down from his perch on the fence post, a gleam in his eye as he made eye contact with Steve. He lowered his head, as if bowing, and exposed the dainty keys swinging from the twine around his neck. Steve extended his hands outward slowly, so he wouldn’t startle the cat, only Baron stood steadily as Steve unhooked the red key from its crude knot and slid it into the padlock. The fence creaked open, as he walked inside the property, and made his way up to the front door. Steve was suddenly very aware there were animals not normally found in Kass, including a leopard in a tree, and a buffalo lying on a bed of straw, both eyeing him but saying nothing. With his heart beating, he cautiously stepped to the front door and tried to open it – but was met with a deadbolt. He felt silly for a split second as he checked the lock for a corresponding coloured key, but the lock was a warn brass metal, and Baron was aloof on the porch, not helping.

Steve crept around the porch until he was met with a back door, and it whined softly as it swung open. Dozens of eyes glowing from every room and crevasse watched Steve as he blindly made his way through what appeared to be the kitchen, unaware what he was looking for. The overwhelming feeling of calm was back, and for some reason he was not afraid. He pulled a string to a bare light bulb, and a flash lit up the room. The kitchen was full of creatures which darted out of view as soon as the light was pulled, Steve could only make out fur and tails for a split second, but he felt the eyes watching him. Baron jingled his way through the hall and headed upstairs while Steve followed. “I wonder if Gatto is in the house, or even lives here,” Steve thought, as if the thought never occurred to him. He climbed the stairs after Baron and was faced with three bedrooms, all three of the doors padlocked with coloured locks. Baron glanced at Steve, with his raised eyebrow, and seemed to have a small smirk on his face.

The padlocks in order were blue, orange and green. Steve glanced down at the cat who was sitting beside him and the keys around his neck – there was no orange key. He took the keys off Baron’s neck and tried each key in the orange lock but none would fit. He then fiddled with the green key as he pushed it gently into the green padlock and turned the knob.
It was a bathroom. Steve screwed his eyebrows together and looked around, expecting a room full of mysteries, but instead was greeted with an older 1.5 piece bathroom. The ceramic was old and the wall’s paint was chipped but otherwise the room was normal and devoid of animals. He walked back out and took the last coloured key from Baron’s rope and inserted it into the corresponding blue lock. He pushed the door open and screamed.
The walls of the room were covered in chalk drawings, toys scattered all over the floor, and there in the middle of it, cross legged and playing with a mouse, sat a small boy. The boy’s head whipped around and looked at Steve, startled for a second, then the expression turned jovial.
“You’re here!” the boy stood up and made a show of brushing the dirt from his pant legs, as he scooped the mouse up and put it on his shoulder where it crawled into his hood. Baron walked into the room gracefully towards the boy and sat down, tail thumping side to side as it leaned into the boy’s leg as he scratched the cat.
“Who are you, why are you here?” Steve had millions of questions as his brain tried to piece together what he was seeing. “Do you live here? Did someone lock you in here?”
“Nope!” The boy walked to the window and opened it, showing Steve how he got in. Steve cautiously walked to the window and looked down; a lattice lined the old brick making a perfect ladder up to the second floor window.
Steve used both hands to rub his face, pressing his eyes for a moment before speaking, “Why do you come here, where are your parents?”
“I live with my Nan. I liked the animals so I come to play. There’re also lots of cool toys here too. The animals are really nice, they’re my best friends.” The boy smiled like he wasn’t aware there was a leopard out front.
“Kid,” Steve started, “this is not a safe place for you, and these are uncared for, large wild animals. You could get seriously hurt being here.” Baron trotted over to the window ledge and lay down, casually taking in what was left of the sunlight and the conversation.
“Nu-uh, I care for them. I come by every day to feed them! I lay out straw and fill bowls and sometimes I even brush them when they come close. Nan comes sometimes, but she mostly hates the mice so I get to come by myself.” He beamed as he grasped the mouse from his hood and held it proudly in the palm of his hand towards Steve. “They won’t hurt you, or each other. Nan says they’re a family.”  The boy watched Steve for a minute and a hint of a smile spread over his lips. “I bet you wonder what the keys are doing around Winter’s neck, eh?” Baron’s ears pricked up and took note once more.
“Winter?”
“That’s what I call him, since he’s as white as snow!”
“Listen, do you know where the key for the orange door is?” Steve shifted his weight to one leg; he was getting tired of the questions he asked coming back with unsatisfying answers. He just wanted to know what was going on.
The kid looked at him puzzled, “You have it.”
Steve held out his hands exposing the three keys: red, blue and green. “I don’t have it, these are the only ones I have, and none of them will fit into the door. Bar-Winter took me here, I’m assuming the keys mean something, but the only door I can’t open is the orange one.”
“I couldn’t find the orange key when I was getting them together. I tied the ones I could find. He told me you already had the orange key.” The boy looked over at Baron strangely.
“Who told you… who told you I had the orange key?”
“Winter did.”
“The cat spoke to you?” Steve sighed and struggled for the words. “I don’t have it.”
“Cats can’t talk! I had a feeling, kind of like he let me know without talking to me. I put the rest of the keys on the string and figured you’d come by sometime. I don’t really know anything else; I learned to tie the knots from Boy Scouts.” He smiled and leaned up against the window ledge, his golden hair catching the glint from the moon.
Steve ran his hand through his own blonde hair and squeezed his temples as he tried to think this through. “I don’t have any other keys. The keys you tied to Baron’s neck were the only keys I got.” As if on cue, Baron strolled over and raised his head to nuzzle Steve’s hand which was inside his pocket. “Baron, look,” Steve started pulling out the contents of his pocket, “gum, a twist tie,” as he pulled things from his coat, his hand grasped his key ring and he held it out, “and my keys to the store. See? Nothing!” He looked at the boy who was looking into his palm, and his own eyes trailed down to see.
In his outstretched hand laid his key ring. The key ring that bonded him to Kass and to a life he hated. The light from the moon hit the ring and a glint caught Steve’s eye. The ring had several keys on it that belonged to his grandfather; ranging from his store keys, farmhouse keys and miscellaneous others that were just on the ring when funeral director gave them to him. Looking down he saw a small antique key he never noticed before. It was painted orange. His heart began to race as his brain sprinted to put together what was happening. “How did a key to Gatto’s house get on my grandfather’s key ring?” At this point Steve was just talking so his brain wouldn’t go into shock and give him a panic attack.
He stepped out of the room and stood in front of the orange door. Sweat trickled down his face, slipped off his chin and dripped to the floor. He took the orange key and opened the lock, pushing the door as he walked inside. Before his eyes could adjust to the room, Baron slipped past him and jumped onto a table against the wall. The room was large, probably a master bedroom, and mostly empty besides the table and an older bed. A layer of dust caked over the table, making it hard to make out anything that was on it.
Baron had hopped up onto the table, sending an atomic cloud of dust into the air, settling onto his snow-white fur. Steve walked to the table and noticed only three things on it: a ripped piece of paper, a photograph, and an old notebook. Steve picked up and fingered the piece of paper; all that was on it was a phone number scrawled in faded ink. He set it down and picked up the photograph. The boy came up beside him to look.
“That was my grampa,” the boy pointed to the older man in the photograph who had his arms around a teenage boy and a young woman, “and my dad.” The photo was yellowed and curled with a single tack hole on top, like it had been pinned to a bulletin board for years. Steve’s heart leaped and hammered inside his chest. His throat was dry and his skin was clammy and on fire. Steve turned the photograph in his hand exposing sturdy penmanship in black ink: Family – 1962. “I don’t know who that lady is though.”
Steve swallowed hard. “That lady is my mother.”
Over the next hour Steve and the boy sat and went through the notebook, which was more of a journal kept by their grandfather on his animal acquisitions, breeding and observation reports. They learned he was a genetic engineer who worked in a government lab doing DNA experimentation, and more than once he took home the failed experiments. He had a government grant that was used to care for the animals, research, and the cost of keeping them, as well as a city permit allowing him to house the animals on the outskirt of Kass. The journal outlined his research notes, but most of it was equations and terminology that went over Steve’s head.
“This must have been his last research book,” the boy flipped through more of the pages, running his thumb over etched drawings of animals, and stopped at a page. “Hey, look, this is Winter… er, Baron.” Steve took the notebook from him and stood up to look at it under the moonlight through the window. The first page hosted an aged photo of a white animal in a nursery being bottle fed by a woman in a mask, as well as scribbling of height and weight. Steve scanned the pages and saw two words he recognized: Serval and Cougar. He looked down at Baron who was sitting on the floor watching him. Baron was pure white, long ears and a feline face. He wasn’t a large domestic housecat; he was a hybrid of two wild animals. His eyes glanced back to the page and noticed a word circled: albino. Baron was an accident – a failed experiment.
Steve walked over to the torn paper on the desk, after completely forgetting about it. He drew his cell phone from his pocket and dialed the number, not knowing what to expect. The boy stared up at him wide-eyed from his position on the floor, arm draped over Baron. The phone rang twice before a woman picked up. “Uh yes, hello,” Steve began, until the woman interrupted him.
“Auto King Limited, who am I speaking with please?” Steve exchanged looks with the boy, taken aback.
“This is Steve?” He shrugged at the phone while looking at the boy, who was now standing beside him.
“Hi Steve, we didn’t think you would call, we’ve been waiting to hear from you! I’ve faxed the paperwork to your store, and whenever you’re ready you can send it back. I’m confident you will find our offer competitive. I’ve also created an addendum to account for the animals as per your inquiry. Please let us know by next Thursday if you would like to renegotiate the acquisition, we look forward to doing business with you.”
“I’m sorry; can you just explain what you mean? What store? What acquisition?”
“This is Steve Gatto, correct?”
“No I’m sorry, my name is Steve Lume… there must be a mistake.” He glanced at the boy again who looked as though he was in shock.
“Oh right, yes I see that now. There is a note here that Gatto was your mother’s maiden name, my apologizes, Steve Lume yes, sorry again about that. The paperwork is for the acquisition of your automotive store in the town of Kass. We also received your message about the animals, and the addendum added will make sure they are all put into animal preserves as requested.”
“I’m sorry, can I just ask you who you spoke with in regards to all this?” There was a silence on the other end of the phone, as a chair shifted.
“Why, Mr. Lume, we spoke with you.”
--
2 weeks later the last of the moving trucks had come and left from the farmhouse, and Steve ran his hand over the red sold sign on his lawn. Mark and Cynthia were standing on the driveway packing the last of the suitcases into Steve’s old Ford. Baron sat, tail thumping rhythmically between them, sniffing the air every time Mark took a bite of his Oh Henry bar.
“That’s all of them Steve,” Mark skipped up to him, handing over a bottle of water. “You promised to call when you got there, don’t forget!” Steve ran over to the car to help Cynthia with the suitcase she was struggling with.
“Let me help you with that Cynthia,” Steve scooped the bag up and fit it into the back seat and closed the door. Baron ran up and slipped into the front passenger’s seat, eyes wide and eager to get on the road.
“Now, don’t you be calling me that,” Cynthia tucked a loose strand of silver hair behind her ear as she looked over at Mark licking the melted chocolate off his fingers, “family calls me Nan.” Steve laughed and gently squeezed her shoulder.
“I will call you when I get to the airport, and my flight will be a couple hours so I’ll try to call when I arrive at my new place.”  She brushed Steve’s golden hair out of his eyes before kissing him on the cheek. “Mark, come say goodbye to your cousin.” Steve ruffled the same golden hair and waved goodbye as he got into his car.
“Well,” he said aloud as he fiddled for his car keys, “I hope you like Scotland.” Baron looked at him in agreement. He started the engine, and drove down the road, passing the Town of Kass sign for the last time. Out of the corner of his eye he saw what looked to be a buffalo lumber into the woods. Steve laughed as he zoomed past, the red, orange, blue, and green keys jingling from his new, lighter keychain.



06 March, 2012

Relationship Principles: How to Get and Keep a Man

This is from the book Why Men Marry Bitches, and has some interesting principles on how to get and keep men you're interested in, and other womanly advice to not seem desperate.


While I agree with some I certainly do not agree with all of them. It really depends on what kind of game you're playing - or if you're playing a game at all.


Are these true? Have you had experiences where they work? Men, is this how you feel? Leave a comment below!




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Relationship Principle 1: In romance there’s nothing more attractive to a man than a women who has dignity and pride in who she is.

Relationship Principle 2: He marries the women who won’t lay down like linoleum.

Relationship Principle 3: He doesn’t marry a woman who is perfect. He marries the woman who is interesting.

Relationship Principle 4: When a woman is trying too hard, a man will usually test to see how hard she’s willing to work for it. He’ll start throwing relationship Frisbees, just to see how hard she’ll run and how high she’ll jump.

Relationship Principle 5: Done believe what anyone tells you about yourself.

Relationship Principle 6: Men see how you dress, and then make assumptions about your relationship potential.

Relationship Principle 7: When a man sees you wearing very revealing clothes, he’ll usually assume you don’t have anything else going for you.

Relationship Principle 8: When he sees you scantily dressed, he is not reminded of how great you look naked. He immediately thinks of all the other men you’ve slept with.

Relationship Principle 9: Every guy knows he can find a girl who is simply satisfied with satisfying him. They are much more turned on by a woman who cares about her own pleasure as well.

Relationship Principle 10: You can tell how much someone respects you by how much he respects your opinion. If he doesn’t respect your opinion, he won’t respect you.

Relationship Principle 11: It is better to be disliked for being who you are than to be loved for who you are not.

Relationship Principle 12: Men like to be curious. They like to feel that there’s more to the story than what they already know.

Relationship Principle 13: The mental challenge is not, “Can I get her to sleep with me?” The mental challenge is,”Can I get and keep her attention?”

Relationship Principle 14: You power gets lost the minute start asking, “Where do I stand?” Because what you’ve just told him is that the terms of the relationship are now his to dictate.

Relationship Principle 15: As soon as a man has his guard up, he will not fall in love or get attached. The only way he’ll get attached is if you lower his guard first.

Relationship Principle 16: When a women rush in too quickly, a man will assume she is in love with a “fantasy” or the idea of having a relationship. But if he has to slowly win her over, incrementally, he’ll think she’s falling in love with who he is.

Relationship Principle 17: Don’t even mention the word “commitment.” That’s the whole trick. The less you say about it, the closer you are to getting one.

Relationship Principle 18: If he has no guarantees, becomes attached, and thinks you could be gone at any time, that’s when he’ll cherish the idea of securing a relationship. 

Relationship Principle 19: There’s nothing more prized to a man than something he had to wait for, work for, or struggle a little bit to get.

Relationship Principle 20: As soon as a woman hands a man a more serious commitment on a silver platter, he’ll be reluctant to take it.

Relationship Principle 21: Don’t be so blunt, obvious, or available that you come across as having already made up your mind about the guy.

Relationship Principle 22: You want to figure out his pattern, but don’t let him figure out yours.

Relationship Principle 23: Men are far more smitten when they feel like they are “stealing” your time away from something else you could have been doing.

Relationship Principle 24: When a woman make a man feel he’s trusted it makes him feel strong and worthy. It makes him want to be honourable and do the right thing.

Relationship Principle 25: Men like rules and they like guidelines. If there’s something you don’t like, he’ll respect you for voicing it. He wants to know what the “do’s and don’ts” are.

Relationship Principle 26: Men love knowing there’s a small part of you that they can’t get to.

Relationship Principle 27: Men read a lot into where you’ve been, by how dolled up you are when you get home. If you are dolled up and you weren’t with him, it will keep him wondering a little.

Relationship Principle 28: The magic formula is to give a little... and then pull back. Give a little... and then pull back.

Relationship Principle 29: Women are constantly being told amazing sex will win a man’s heart. This is false. Just because a man sleeps with you doesn’t mean he cares about you. Nor will good sex make him care about you.

Relationship Principle 30: the way to weed out the contenders from the pretenders is to assess their attitude about waiting for sex. If he likes you, he’ll be happy just being in your company.

Relationship Principle 31: The purpose of waiting is not just to seem classier. You also want to give yourself time to observe him and figure out key facts about him.

Relationship Principle 32: Who he tells you he is in the beginning has very little to without he will treat you. If there’s sex involved, he’ll promise you things you’ve never even heard of. 

Relationship Principle 33: When you aren’t mind-blown after sex, and you continue to focus on your own life, he’ll automatically start looking at you differently. Then he’ll start wanting to secure a relationship with you.

Relationship Principle 34: After sex, behave as if the relationship is still new.

Relationship Principle 35: Men are intrigued by anything they do not completely control.

Relationship Principle 36: when you maintain a bit of privacy and he has to wonder a little where you are, you are stimulating his imagination. The second he can’t get ahold of you he’ll send out an APB, or “all points bulletin”, to find you.

Relationship Principle 37: To a man, a relationship without sex represents a relationship with no love, no affection, and no emotional connection.

Relationship Principle 38: Always preserve the mystery. Keep the sex sporadic and unpredictable. It makes it much more intense for a man.

Relationship Principle 39: When a woman reacts emotionally, men get three things: attention, control and the feeling of importance.

Relationship Principle 40: when you are easily manipulated, he will assume he doesn’t have to give as much in the way of commitment in order to keep you there.

Relationship Principle 41: the best way to set limits with a guy when he’s testing you is by controlling the ebb and flow of you attention. An emotional reaction is always a reward, even if it’s negative attention.

Relationship Principle 42: Men hear what they see.

Relationship Principle 43: when a man tried to make you jealous, it rarely has anything to do with his desire for someone else. When you are upset he gets the reassurance that you care. 

Relationship Principle 44: Once you start doing the same thing he was doing, suddenly, the bad behaviour will magically disappear.

Relationship Principle 45: when a man doesn’t call, a bunch of scenarios will typically run through a woman’s mind. Similarly, his imagination will run wild when he doesn’t hear from you. 

Relationship Principle 46: The more rational and calm you remain, the more emotional he will become.

Relationship Principle 47: To a man, it is totally inappropriate to be emotional when talking about something important. When you speak calmly, he assumed it’s much more important.

Relationship Principle 48: Many men reduce women to a set of givens. A man relied on the fact that most women are emotional and that he’ll be able to push your emotional buttons once he find out where they are. When he can’t, he’ll often crumble and become the more vulnerable one in the relationship. 

Relationship Principle 49: He is testing to see if you believe in yourself. He wants to know who is at the controls. When you aren’t easily shaken he sees “This one can’t be manipulated.”

Relationship Principle 50: To encourage the right behaviour, state what you want, and then give him the solution. Show him how he can be your hero.

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