1. calyx [the sepals of a flower, typically forming a whorl that encloses the petals and forms a protective layer around a flower in bud|a cup-like cavity or structure, in particular|a portion of the pelvis of a mammalian kidney|the cavity in a calcareous coral skeleton that surrounds the polyp|the plated body of a crinoid, excluding the stalk and arms]
5. box-cutter [a thin, inexpensive razor-blade knife designed to open cardboard boxes]
6. suede gloves
7. dilettante [a person who cultivates an area of interest, such as the arts, without real commitment or knowledge]
10. drop box [(in weaving) a box situated on either side of the race plate of the loom that is designed to hold shuttles and to bring bobbins of colored thread in line as desired|a secured receptacle into which items such as returned books or videotapes, payments, keys, or donated clothing can be deposited]
Reason lays like a glistening bounty. She wraps herself in suede gloves and an obscure veil of espionage. She leaves the rest of us like empty calyx after the flowers receive box-cutter shave.
We were guilty of whispers of lurid and solicited truths. She, the dilettante that is she, hides her empty thoughts on a drop box painted in abstracts.
4. chaste [abstaining from extramarital, or from all, sexual intercourse|not having any sexual nature or intention|without unnecessary ornamentation; simple or restrained]
5. dowry [property or money brought by a bride to her husband on their marriage]
7. white sweet clover
9. the conventional position
A lovely set of arcs spells out a promissory dowry. A tender fawn or maybe a honeybee drawn by white sweet clover pollen. The idea sprouts maybe a wolf in sheep’s clothing using the conventional position before it devours prey. The act of self-possessed mind playing chaste or just animated figure exhausting possibilities.
1. lockjaw [spasm of the jaw muscles, causing the mouth to remain tightly closed, typically as a symptom of tetanus|an accent associated with the upper class of the northeastern United States, characterized by a supposed lack of movement of the mouth and jaw]
3. adjuration[an earnest request; entreaty|a solemn or desperate urging or counseling]
4. laconic [(of a person, speech, or style of writing) using very few words| brief, terse, succinct]
6. spare key
7. swan song [a person’s final public performance or professional activity before retirement]
8. mellisonant [containing or constituting or characterized by pleasing melody]
The spare key to my mind clicked at the wrong time. I was trapped with lock jaw uttering my mellisonant swan song to an ambiguous costumed witch. My canter was an electric shock posturing me as a laconic dope. Her turning away left me looking in need of adjuration.
In that moment, when flames licked the horizon and the sky burned with an orange glow, Taylor knew everything was going to be alright. An orange light washes over him. It feeld like a receding tide of stress relieving so many fears. The exhaling wind across the desert brings a taste of night’s chill. Taylor watches the blue fade to purple and then black. The truck’s headlights watches over the dry creek bed. The vast blanket of desolation buries any signs of life. His eyes search the horizons for traces. Satisfied there is nothing, he drives the truck down into the sand. The truck groans and lurches downward. Tires find rocks only to kick them up. A cloud forms illuminated by pale moonlight. It dances within a fading breeze. Taylor halts the truck where the creek once formed braids. It seems fitting to use the dead creek. His cargo needs not be found. Nor identified. He loosens the back of the trap to reveal a shovel. The sand gives easy. The headlights produce long growing shadows. The Earth opens wide to accept its prize. In the distance, calls of the night begin. The return of noise is partially unnerving. Distance is enough to restore the peaceful feeling. The moonlight plays with the senses. He back fills the hole quickly. His eyes scrub the shadows for movement. In a place with little respect to time, he begins to question if he overextended his stay. Quick feet find the path to his truck. An easy feeling resumes once he is inside. A deep breath and quick check of the mirrors calms down the pulse. Taylor starts up the truck. He drives across the disturbed sand a few times back and forth to smooth out the scene. Its perfectly staged now. Time to leave the place for civilization. Down a loose sand road another truck comes as he goes. Everything will definitely be alright in a few more miles.
2. irregular borders
3. woodcuts [Woodcut is a relief printing technique in printmaking. An artist carves an image into the surface of a block of wood—typically with gouges—leaving the printing parts level with the surface while removing the non-printing parts.]
6. rule of thumb [a broadly accurate guide or principle, based on experience or practice rather than theory.]
7. calculus [ the branch of mathematics that deals with the finding and properties of derivatives and integrals of functions, by methods originally based on the summation of infinitesimal differences. The two main types are differential calculus and integral calculus|| a particular method or system of calculation or reasoning||a concretion of minerals formed within the body, especially in the kidney or gallbladder.]
10. weather vane
11. savory [(of food) belonging to the category that is salty or spicy rather than sweet || having an appetizing taste or smell ||morally wholesome or acceptable.]
“The rule of thumb is no martini order skull be more difficult than calculus.” I explain to the bar maid.
Her glowing smile is a puzzle. Savory lips part as I spy the constellations in her eyes.
“How about our legendary martini?” she starts to move as if my choice had been made.
My eyes follow the dress made to look of woodcuts with irregular borders. I really don’t notice this color.
Her head turns back to catch my gaze.
Not weather vane needed to see a cold front moving toward me.
“It will be perfect!” She exclaims “Out here… We can be free. A green house with every environmental feature.”
“Imagine all laminate floors and steel beams to save the trees…. After they take out those on the middle where the house will go.” He smiles. “The dream house.. Once they tear out that horrific brown stuff growing where the sod should be.”
“Our own 3200 square foot 3 bedroom, 3 and half bath place for us two!” she looks at the full-size SUV. “And the dogs.”
“It’ll look so much better when they build the other 35 homes here. Nice manicured yards. This country life is really what we looked forward to.” he smiles back at her.
“Ouch!” she swats at a mosquito “We’ll need an exterminator! And a lawn care guy. But they have to be green.”
1. turn signal
4. swain [a young lover or suitor|a country youth]
5. gibbous moon [any moon that appears more than half lighted but less than full is called a gibbous moon. The word gibbous comes from a root word that means hump-backed]
6. fen [a low and marshy or frequently flooded area of land|flat low-lying areas of eastern England, formerly marshland but largely drained for agriculture since the 17th century|wetland with alkaline, neutral, or only slightly acid peaty soil]
8. bombshell [an overwhelming surprise or disappointment|a very attractive woman|an artillery shell]
9. Lilliputian [trivial or very small|a trivial or very small person or thing|early 18th century: from the imaginary country of Lilliput in Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, inhabited by people 6 inches (15 cm) high]
10. mawkish [sentimental in a feeble or sickly way|having a faint sickly flavor]
I would pester her. The brunette bombshell whose melodious voice could corrupt my every thought. But like some mawkish lilliputian werewolf want-to-be, I waited upon a gibbous moon to become full and set me free.
I realize with no car in the garage, i was no more than a swain. The person driving down the road left turn signal stuck on like i had no idea when to turn. And when i did, there I was stuck in fen, knee deep in ooze.
The autumn chill descended over the town and with it came rot and ruin. October’s breath plays in the streets. Dense blanket of fog keep the Sun at bay. Breezes swirl but lift nothing but a few leaves. The stiffling scent of certainly wasn’t moving away.
The Almira dogs stop their incessant howling. Sounds fail as silence takes a bite from the hustle and bustle of Suburbia. Wood creaks,slightly muffed like under a rug. Two mutts slowly back away from the fence made of chicken wire and old beams. Wood crumbles. Wire rusts through instantly. Tentatively they take their last steps.
Trees sway above. The fog moves a little further. The stench lingers. Upon the next house, another life falls.
2. distils [*alternate spelling of distills]
4. musk [a strong-smelling reddish-brown substance that is secreted by the male musk deer for scent-marking and is an important ingredient in perfumery| a relative of the monkey flower that was formerly cultivated for its musky perfume, which has been lost in the development of modern varieties| *late Middle English: from late Latin muscus, from Persian mušk, perhaps from Sanskrit muṣka ‘scrotum’ (because of the similarity in shape of a musk deer’s musk bag)]
5. viol [a musical instrument of the Renaissance and baroque periods, typically six-stringed, held vertically and played with a bow]
10. tinctured [be tinged, flavored, or imbued with a slight amount of| denoting a dye or pigment|‘imparted quality,’ likened to a tint imparted by a dye]
11. cowslip [a European primula with clusters of drooping fragrant yellow flowers in spring, growing on dry grassy banks and in pasture]
The owls swagger within the boughs of the apple tree. Their song reminiscent of a viol. It strikes a nerve like a villain.
My nightly trek. Moonlight harvesting of cowslip for tinctured distils. Instead my sweat sodden clothes smell of cheap musk. This night stains my mind. There something unnatural about.
“Come in Rogers. Are you there?” The silver box speaks again
“Piece of junk! Like the damn tin can that got us stuck here!” Rogers kicks a stone and tries it again. “Yes, we are here on this damn empty rock!”
“We have a read on you finally. We show ship is down. What’s your status?” the silver box squeals out it’s song.
“We’re stuck. Phillips is taping the ship together and calling this forsaken place Terra Firma. I’m looking for that water line on the map. I don’t think it works. The valve is missing.” Rogers calms down as he stares at the valve.
“You have 2 weeks worth of water left. You should just make a pick up if you can’t activate the ship.” the silver box continues “Check for life signatures, as your mission goals.”
“Well forget that life signature you saw here. The place is dead. Dead! Just like the two of us. Get another ship here. He can’t fix nothing without parts.” Rogers snaps back.
He touches the rusting wheel. His grandpa worked the waterline on Mars. He knew he wouldn’t be the one to die of thirst here.