Tabitha’s Wards

Urban fantasy is a subgenre of fantasy in which the narrative has an urban setting.[1][2] Works of urban fantasy are set primarily in the real world and contain aspects of fantasy, such as the discovery of earthbound mythological creatures, coexistence or conflict between humans and paranormal beings, and other changes to city life. The two share 90% of their genre DNA. However, the main differences are this: Urban fantasy focuses on an issue outside of a romantic relationship between two characters. Paranormal romance focuses on a romantic relationship between two characters and how outside forces affect that relationship. Trying to get out of the mindset of what has been done and examples can be difficult until I look at my son’s plant.


Our neighborhood in Magnolia Creek is every iconic family-friendly neighborhood street everyone paints. There is beautiful blooming trees and flowers during the spring and holiday decorations into the winter. There is a toy store that creates beautiful displays but has a special ‘display reveal’ just for Christmas. There’s the Ice Cream Parlor on the corner that serves remarkably creamy ice-cream-scoop cones and a Pizza Restaurant right next to it. The scent of marinara sauce and garlic will draw you right in the front door. There is the coffee shop/used bookstore next to an art supply store that has items from paint to photography. The pharmacy and grocery are not on the block but across the intersection tucked neatly behind large old oak trees as if it’s been there for centuries. Truth is, this small town has been around for centuries and the creatures within.

As you’re driving away from getting groceries, stopping for your favorite pizza, your going to drive towards the town’s nursery. This end of the main road leads into the town’s small plantation-inspired home neighborhoods complete with wrap around porches and iron gates. Past these homes, the road leads to farming lands and houses that are by themselves picture perfect on rolling hills. Before the neighborhood is my family’s Magnolia Creek Nursery, which is caddy-corner from the largest plantation style home which has been passed down through the family. The home came with the business or vice versa. Either way, I was born into this world, both worlds with a requirement of the name ‘Tabitha’ to always be in the family. I’m Tabitha but so is my mom and was my grandmother and her mother.

Our nursery grows and sells trees, shrubs, bushes, flowers, vegetable, fruit bushes, and herbs. We also have a beautiful assortment of stones and bricks. During Halloween, we sell some of the largest pumpkins in the tri-county area and bails of hay. At Christmas, we decorate the nursery, have snowman competitions, sell hot chocolate that features some of our greenhouse grown mint, and have the most magical looking trees for people to buy and decorate with their family’s ornaments. We even have a separate greenhouse for herbs. This was my specialty but not for reasons you would think. I do have a green thumb and can grow just about anything or help just about any dying plant. It’s my specialty because I can fill a certain order for certain customers due to my bilingual tongue. I was born with a rare gift that allowed me to speak to pixies. Our Nursery was home to the entire world’s population of these creatures. They do leave the safety of the nursery but it’s to help areas where there were wildfires or forestation that almost kill the wildlife.

A quick bit of information. THere are small towns all over the world that cater to the preservation of mythical creatures both small and large, winged and finned, dark and light. After the war on mythical creatures witches both good and bad have made a vow to protect what creatures are left. Have you ever drove through a picture-perfect town or the creepiest village as if you walked into a ghost story? If the town is too good to be true or to eerie that you wished wasn’t true, then it’s a foster town. Because both dark and light witches have vowed to take care of our world’s mythical creature there is an unspoken truce between us. There will be certain arguments from time to time but nothing that endangered our wards. Tabitha is a name that Pixies trust and is why the name must be passed down. In order to have a girl named Tabitha, I have 7 older brothers. They don’t have the gift of pixie speech which is Sylvan but they do have special jobs at the nursery to help take care of our wards from heavy lifting, being playful, to the protector.

The only danger to our mythical wards is each other. Some creatures are sworn enemies of others and some have an appetite that are like potato chips to them, you can’t eat just one. So our picture perfect or not so perfect towns are placed strategically around the world to keep mingling from occurring. It was a sunny morning when I went to the greenhouse to bid hello to the Pixies, bring them freshly baked bread and get ready for the day of filling herb orders for other witches when I noticed that the Pixies weren’t eating. I asked them what was wrong in their native tongue but all they did was prepare but for what I didn’t know. I went and asked my mom if there were any secret messages sent through flames but there was nothing. I tried to fill herbal orders but our herbs were luscious and green as usual.

We were all sitting down for dinner when my mother noticed that my brother Gunner was missing. My family went to look for my brother and I went to look after the pixies. When I got to the greenhouse they all swarmed over to me and hid under my apron, in my pockets, in my red curly tendrils, anywhere they could fit they were there. I could hear my brother hollering from the back of the nursery. The Pixies wouldn’t allow me to leave the greenhouse but I could see through the window that gunner was full of dirt and he was rubbing his wrists. My mother comes into the greenhouse,
‘Tabitha, I need you to do something that you would never do. I have prepared your room with all sorts of plants, potted trees and bushes, herbs, and some flowers. Essentially, I have turned your room into a greenhouse. Magnolia Creek is under attack.’ My mouth dropped open. I’m too young for a battle to protect the pixies. Who am I kidding, anyone is too young for this kind of battle. That’s when I realized this is because of an older witch. Before I could speak,
‘Tabitha listen to me. I need you to take the pixies to your room. You will have to make the walk alone. I need to stay behind and enchant the greenhouse and our nursery.’

I made sure all of my wards were with me and I didn’t walk. I ran and didn’t stop until I was in my room. The Pixies started to relax a little but the younger ones were still crying and upset. Usually, there is singing, playing, games, and helping plants grow but this time the younger ones stay close to my bed where my mother placed a large peace lily. I started to cast protection spells and incantations and the little ones worked on the peace lily. Gunnar was ok but he was the guard at my door. He’s one of the last lines of defense and I’m the last. My job is to keep these creatures safe because they have a job to do for future generations. I turned on the radio and learned that the entire town was started to turn dark and the greenery started to die. It was like the town was dying and without the pixies being able to go into the community to help ward off whatever this was attacking the town, it looked like every other town.

I could hear my mother yelling for Gunnar to stay put but to stay alert. THen I heard Gunnar outside my door, ‘Bram! What the hell are you…’ his question was stifled by what I wasn’t sure. Next thing I knew my door was pushed down by mud and the ugliest Goblin rode the mudslide into my room and after him, Bram entered. He was the warlock sworn to protect the goblin race from across the sea. The goblins do the opposite of what pixies do. Instead of helping things grow and live, they slowly torture and murder living things. Pixies and goblins will fight to the death if no one is there to intervene. More and more goblins came storming into my room and the Pixies were by my side in a matter of seconds. There was a flash and I thought I failed at my job. There were smoke and the scent of sulfur. When the air cleared I saw Bram on the floor with my mother and Gunnar standing over him with wands fashioned from herbs and apple branches. The goblins did seem to be affected any by Bram being unconscious and out of nowhere, I started speaking in a language that I didn’t even know. I looked at my mom as the Goblins started cowering and backing out of my room.

My mother stood beside me and said, ‘You are speaking Ghukliak. It’s the language of the Goblins. This means that you are both dark and light. This means you are the balance that is needed to maintain peace between all the mythical creature. THere is a lot to do!’ Her eyes were bright and her excitement was almost frightening. ‘Tabitha, first we are going to contact Bram’s family to work out a trade for the treacherous son. Then you will command these goblins to head home. Then we need to talk to the Mother Goddess and make arrangements for your future. The Pixies were back safely in their greenhouse feasting on honey wheat grain bread and Bram is the center of the arranged trade which came with him relinquishing his goblin wards over to me. I now have two mythical creature wards. I had spent some time with the goblins and they aren’t as bad as I thought. They just bring balance to life and view things differently.

The Mother Goddess was accepting of my dual abilities but informed me that I’m much more than I realize. My family and I were direct descendants of Brigid. It has taken many generations for both the light and dark to reside within one human form. It means that I have the heart that is needed to keep balance. I was then blessed with immortality. Whenever there is a threat of battles or an extinction of a creature I am there to keep balance.


Jo/© thecreativeptsdgal.wordpress.com

Pixie Language
Pixies
Goblins

 

Solitary Truth

A mystery is a subgenre of narrative fiction; often thought of as a detective story.There are a number of sub-genres within the broad category of mystery/detective/crime fiction. They overlap and are open to subjective interpretation. I’m not a fan of mysteries with the whole cop-whodunit scene. I don’t even like the good cop bad cop scenes. So I tried something different after doing a bit of research.


We all rarely seen the old woman out in town. We rarely saw her at all. The occasional sightings are when she’s in the local hardware store or at the grocery store to buy M&Ms. We never saw her buy meat, bread, fruits, or vegetables. She kept to herself in the house by the river with woods surrounding the structure at the end of town. She had honeysuckle growing wild which brought beautiful birds and butterflies but we never witnessed her outside enjoying them.  When she was outside it was to tend to her massive garden, fish in the river, or care for her mini orchard of the fruit-bearing trees.

Holidays she wouldn’t decorate and wouldn’t hand out candy. She wouldn’t go to town gatherings or parades. The elementary children thought her to be a witch and would be afraid to look her in the eyes.  Some adults thought she was the reason that people went missing in the town. She was even interviewed a couple of times by law enforcement as a last resort. I thought she was happy in her solitude until I had her go through my checkout line at the hardware store. Beep-fishing line, beep-lightbulbs, beep-nails, beep-vegetable seeds. ‘Is this all for you?’ Her eyes met mine and that’s when I witnessed a teary response. Was she sad? Was she thankful someone said something to her? She didn’t reply but paid for her items with gold coins. I haven’t seen those in a long time. I know that they make newer ones but these were the old coins. I asked for her to wait a minute as I spoke to the manager. ‘She pays with those because they are easier for her to count. Take however much you need and put them under the till. I exchange them at her bank the next town over. It’s the only bank that I find will take them.’ ‘Do you know anything about her? She doesn’t speak, she’s always alone, and today I think I made her cry,’ I said sadly. ‘No one really knows anything about her, she was one of the first people to live in the town.’

I took her coins and handed her bags over, ‘Have a good day,’  I said but she didn’t even turn to acknowledge my farewell. I left work that evening and decided to walk by the river on my way home. It was shorter and quieter since people think the old woman is cursed or does the cursing. The sound of the river was soothing until a sound of a massive current of electricity echoed through the woods. As if a transformer was being turned on for the very first time. As I walked past her house I noticed that she was flipping larget switches and lights were turning on around the house, through the woods, and by the river. It wasn’t just lighting up her house. ‘Hi,’ I waved over at her. She jumped and came over to where I was standing. ‘Hello, young lady.’ Her voice was soft and comforting. ‘You really need to get home before the sun finishes setting. I can’t help when the light is fully gone.’ I looked at her puzzled. ‘The sun has already set. It’s dark and now you’re lighting everything up.’ She begged. ‘Please get home, come see me tomorrow.’ I nodded and hurried home.

I couldn’t sleep that night and was at her house at first light. I thought I would wake her up but she was already on the river bank casting her fishing pole. ‘Good morning,’ I said timidly. ‘There’s a fishing pole against the tree that I have prepared for you. Come cast a line and see what happens.’ I grabbed the pole and noticed that there was already a fish on the hook.  I looked at her and she nodded for me to cast. I picked a spot and let loose the line. We both sat there is silence until my pole jerked. ‘You’re going to need to hold on, it’s going to be a big one,’ she said to me in a warning tone and about that time I was nearly pulled into the water. I look at her with a surprised-regretful look. She smiled and patted me on the shoulder. ‘It’s ok dear, at first I lost many poles after I lost my husband.’ She withdrew her rod and started walking towards her house. What did she mean about losing her husband and rods? She was married?

She opened the door for me to walk ahead of her in the house. She has a beautiful cottage style home. Her kitchen had a beautiful wood stove, wooden cabinets, and homemade bread dough rising on the back counter. ‘Sit down dear, I’ll tell you what you need to know.’ I sat down and she placed a teacup in front of me along with some homemade cookies. ‘My husband, Frank and I were the first to move to this town. He built this house with his own hands always reminding me that this is the perfect piece of land. He was excited to fish, garden, and live off the land. ‘Wow, how old are you?’ I instantly regretted the question. She smiled, ‘I’m old enough to watch this town grow from just a few settlers.’ ‘Settlers? The first settlers of the town arrived…’ I trailed off watching her sip her tea. ‘That means that you are..’ she interrupted. ‘I’m old enough to watch the town grow,’ she said slowly. I would like to show you how to survive this town and help others live there day to day lives. I’ve been protecting this town for decades. I’m getting tired and need to teach a young person. Someone who loves this town like I do and can handle being alone and misunderstood.’

I do like being left alone and I do love this small town. ‘What about my job?’ I couldn’t believe I was considering the proposal of learning whatever she was teaching. ‘This will be your job and you would never want for anything, ‘she said as she gestured at the surroundings. ‘Let me explain. When we settled here we thought we hit gold. The land was fruitful and no one around. We built our house and waited for neighbors but no one came. That’s when we learned of the secret the land held. The river is full of creatures that come on land as soon as the last glimmer of light is gone. Even though the sun is gone the last bit of light is gone 14 minutes after the set time. My husband and I learned this the 1st night we were here. We were able to set a fire which kept them at bay. We would fish for them and use them as fertilizer for our garden and trees. We thought after years of fishing they would be extinct. That night we didn’t light any fires. We sat outside enjoying tea and the stars when out of nowhere my husband was drug into the water. There was nothing I could do for Frank. I come from a long line of white witches and part of my promise was to protect this town and I cast a spell for me to live longer. Not be immortal but live long enough to fight these creatures. What I do know is that they live underwater and they breed faster than rabbits. All the missing person reports that you see are of people the creature took.’ I looked at her in disbelief. Before I could say anything she interrupted, ‘Go home and think about it.’

I was home before dark and I walked into an empty house. There was no life and no messages or voicemails, no plans, just me. I went to the internet and searched missing person reports for this town and discovered some that dated all the way back to the 1800’s. In those articles, I found a woman had been committed to a psychiatric hospital a town over for ranting about creatures from the water. I also found a picture of the town’s founders and our very own solitary woman that everyone judged was there, smiling. She was beautiful. The next morning I was over at her house. ‘I would love to protect this town but I would like to know one thing. What is your name?’ She smiled and gestured for me to enter the house, ‘my name is Elizabeth. Are you ready to make the transition?’ she asked. ‘I would be honored but I’m not a white witch and I don’t know how long I’ll live.’ I said. She sat down and clasped my hand, ‘My dear, when I said that you would inherit everything that includes my powers, the house, the money, my skills, and knowledge.’

Here I am, being judged as I’m buying fishing line 82 years later. The rumor is that the last hermit took me as her slave and now I’m looking for mine. Little do they know, my sacrifice keeps them and this town safe.

Avocado Warm-Up

 

I decided that I was going to do some warm-up watercolor practice before getting completely adventurous. A fellow blogger, Kristian suggested avocado mixed in egg salad on toast. I already had a huge breakfast this morning so I substituted the toast with pretzels and it was amazing!

I was halfway through my creature painting when I decided to try this snack. My picky 8-year-old even liked it. The avocado added an extra layer of creaminess without taking away from the texture hardboiled egg. I think I found a good protein pick-me-up during the afternoons that run me down. I find that after a panic attack or overwhelmed protein helps a great deal.

If there are any culinary suggestions from near and far I look forward to hearing about them.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: