Izzy stared at her bloody hands not sure what to do about them.  The crazed man who’d tried to cut her tree down had come so close to success that she’d had to do the only solution that came to her…. become the same.

While Izzy was a host to a great many animals, and indeed a portal to a great many realms, no one really worried about the tree of life.  Her inhabitants had begun to leave her more and more often to see to their many schemes and dreams and to foster their progeny and pets.  Izzy didn’t worry.  Tree’s just don’t worry.  But then she was faced completely alone with a man and an axe.

Crazed people rarely realize that they can end existence.  They don’t think they’ll die and they don’t even think the people they go to kill will die either.  They just don’t see things that way.  Izzy thought he would flail at her, lose his drive and go find some windmill somewhere to tilt at.  But he was different.  He was properly armed, and her attendants were off visiting the nine realms and she was utterly alone and apparently completely vulnerable.  It was rather a stunning feeling actually.  She had never been “vulnerable” before and for a while she enjoyed the novelty of it.  Then he hit her.  And then he hit her again and her life force started to flow from the wound.  Stunned, she wondered if she could actually die.  Of course she couldn’t die!  She was the tree of life!  She connected all of the realms, and every living thing was a child of hers… even this, this….

Izzy couldn’t believe it.  She hated this man.  Izzy had never felt hatred, jealously, or love.  Izzy was a tree for the love of life!  But then when the third strike struck… well, Izzy found a new a new emotion.  Fear.   Considering her options Izzy decided to defend herself.  Izzy dropped a golden acorn she’d been saving in her highest bow and Izzy gave birth to herself.

The crazed man really never stood a chance.  She’d birthed herself into a lithe and strong self, and was motivated to save not only herself but her realms and her animal companions.  But the blood on her hands really did intrigue her and annoy her.  What now?



I used to call my brother “fluffy”.

I think this was probably a baby version of “Jeffrey” but his hair really was so soft and fluffy, that eventually it made all sense to me.  The day he angrily told me to never call him that again was really the beginning of the end of what may have been a good relationship..

Mostly, I hated my brother.  He told me my singing voice was awful.  I wasn’t allowed to touch a toe inside the carpet of his room.  One time, abiding by the rules as I spoke to his highness, his Spiderman surfboard fell and got a hole in it.  It was all my fault, of course.  I ran for my life.  He hit me, and blamed me.  My hatred increased.

That sounds dramatic, but he really did hit me and abuse me horribly.  I will never hate anyone the way I learned to hate him.  In the last several years he’s tried to “fix” our relationship with words.  Words are crap. He tried though.  He tried.

Somewhere after my father died I learned that if I just agreed with Jeff and all his bullshit ideas it would be fine.  You see, he changed his fucking mind every day and a half.  Why the hell did I bother trying to instill any logic in this person???  So, I just learned to agree.  I really hate liars…. and here I was, being a liar, because being a “truth-er” was just not working at all.  I could have said nothing… but, really, have you ever actually tried that when people are in your face?  You say nothing, and they push, and push and push…

Things got so much better when I learned to agree.  His kids are pretty great.  His wife is also pretty great.  I don’t think we would ever seek each other our for friendship…. but she is a really good person.  I don’t know why I didn’t like her sooner.  Probably because I can be such an arrogant asshole.  Okay, okay… women are supposed to be “bitches” but I really respect an honorable bitch.  I don’t respect myself that way.  With regard to Jeff’s wife… I never tried.  She’s a good person, and I never even tried because, really, who would go out of their way to relate to my brother?

And now he’s gone.  My Dad is gone, my Mom is gone, and the thorn in my side, Jeff (aka “Fluffy”) is gone.

And I am totally bereft.

Henry’s Day

Henry stared out the window, appalled that the car had left with mom and the kids and he was still home.  He continued to stare until the car was completely out of sight.  With a low and bitter sigh he went back to the couch and laid back down with his furry brown head on his feet.  Dad was still home, but treats and pets were rarely forthcoming from him.  Dad was definitely alpha, but mom was the one who loved Henry the most.  Henry loved mom too.  Everywhere she went Henry followed, and rarely did he take his eyes off of her.

Dad circled the house five times grumbling and touching the lights and the heater and the stove over and over again.  He did this everyday, touching things, counting the pets, jingling the keys around and around.  Henry had learned to stay on the couch and follow him only with his eyes.  Finally, Dad left and locked the door shaking it twelve times to be extra certain that Henry and the cats were securely fastened in.  He drove away and the pets were home alone.

Usually, Nathan the cat would come see Henry then and meow his nonsense at him.  Sometimes he even tried to lick Henry’s mustache, but Henry put a quick end to that each time with his deep growl.  Nathan never ceased to be amazed that he didn’t want a mustache licking, and he would pace off trying to look indifferent but really looking perplexed.  Sometimes, he would then go and lick Mickey the cat for awhile, but that aways digressed into a fight and Henry would have to go break it up.  Today, Nathan was sitting under the plastic Christmas tree taking it easy.  His back had been acting up again, and he had no desire to interact with anyone.  He was especially annoyed with the humans who forced medicine down his throat.  He really didn’t see a correlation between the medicine and feeling better.

Henry went in the kitchen to check out the food situation.  Dog food was in it’s bowl.  Dog food was Henry’s food of utter desperation.  Oh!  But what was that?  Cat food on the ground level? Yes!  Henry ate his fill, burped and wandered into the kids room and laid down on Elly’s bed.  He would really have preferred Mom’s bed… but Dad had yelled at him the last time he tried, and he hated it when he got in trouble.   Some how they would know.  Henry was deeply suspicious that Mom understood Nathan, and that Nathan the cat was really a rat.

Later, Henry was pacing the house again.  Cat food didn’t sound all that delicious for a second round… oh but wait!  Mom’s cookies were on the counter.  Henry had learned more than a year ago that if he snuck the human food and didn’t eat it all they would never know he did it.  He panted in pleasure at his bad self.  He stood up at the counter and helped himself to some sugar cookies.  Just then Nathan decided to come in and meow some loud nonsense.  Henry jumped, and in jumping he knocked some bowls to the ground.  Just as one shattered Henry ran to the front room, turning to be certain he wasn’t being chased by the noise.  Relieved, he relaxed on the floor and waited for his family.  Not much longer now.

After the celebration of the family’s return and after Mom chased Henry around the yard saying “I’m gonna get you!  I’m going to bite you severely!” like she always did, Mom finally went inside and to the kitchen.


Uh oh.  The jig was up.