And So It Begins

Hello! I know it’s been a while. Real life and all, which leads me to Spring gardening. The ups – not as many rabbits this year! (Will probably regret saying that by tomorrow when they come out in droves. LOL) The downs – just how out of shape am I? And the battles – let the slug carnage begin! What is really crazy is the Spring we’ve been having so far. Yesterday was the first morning we weren’t in the 30’s. Usually, by now our days are upper 50’s to lower 60’s. Friday is supposed to be 82F! Then we head back down into the upper 50’s, but still, It’s been a crazy Spring.

The other is the plants that I have lost this winter. We had snow, but it is Western Washington and usually we get snow once, maybe twice if at all. This year we had snow in October/November that stayed for a day or two. Then more snow here and there, but not enough to stick. I lost my rosemary and my Armandii Clemantis. The Clemantis I’ve had for quite some time. I think I planted it shortly after we moved in 22 years ago. Maybe it was just its time.

This is the only picture I have of it blooming. Below is what I found when I went out to scout the garden to see what I needed to get started on.

As you can see it was quite big and smelled wonderful when it bloomed. The only downside of clematis is that they want to climb on EVERYTHING! So I was forever battling to keep it off of the rhododendron and the lilac bush. That did not mean I wanted to get rid of it. Now it is gone and I am left with this stump, which itself is not bad looking, but I’m not sure if I want to keep it. It is pretty rotted. Also looks like a big undertaking to get rid of. This may take some more thinking before I tackle it.

I think I managed to get ahead of the shotgun weed. We’ll see as spring progresses. Still some things to do, like cut back the ivy. That is always fun. Well, I’m off. Over 80F tomorrow!


Summer Reading and it’s Pitfalls

Every summer there is a to-do list that I make. All the things that I hadn’t had time to do or was just too exhausted when I got home to do when school is in session. I try to get most of those things crossed off my list as soon as possible so I can have that needed down time to rejuvenate for the start of the next year. Even with a late start due to vacation NOT in Washington, summer cold that kicked my butt and the loss of our pet, my list is slowly whittling down. All that’s really left is the fun stuff. You know, cleaning out the gutters, washing the windows and skylights. Things when I was 10 years younger I never thought twice about because getting on and off the roof didn’t seem so daunting. What happened to the girl that would skip across decks that were nothing but skeletons (no floor boards), two stories up without a second thought? Funny how age and mortality, or the understanding of it, coincide.

There is one thing that is sort of holding me back from finishing my to-do list a bit faster, and this happens more often than it probably should. I love to read. (I know! Shocker, right?) Well, there is a downside to this. If I am really enjoying the book, nothing gets done until the book gets done. On laundry day that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Start a load, read my book until laundry done, switch to dryer and start another load in washer, read my book…you get the idea. When the kids were home and laundry was an all day thing, it was great! Unfortunately the kids have moved out and laundry ‘day’ has shrunk down to laundry ‘couple of hours’. Not a lot of time for the quality reading I want to do. And if it’s a series…well then we have a problem because there is more than one book to a series.

The worst I think was when I started reading Laurell K Hamilton. A friend lent me the first couple of books of the Merry Gentry series to see if I liked them, so I blame the lack of anything getting done for WEEKS on her. If any of you have read her series you know they are loooong. I think her Anita Blake series is now up to book number 28 with a couple of side stories. Then there is Sherilyn Kenyon. There is not enough o’s to put into the word long for her Dark Hunter and League series, and all the connecting series to those series. If I like the characters and the storylines I want more. It always saddens me when I come to the end of a book I really like and there is nothing more to read about the characters in that book. The two writers I mentioned above have not disappointed when it comes to more. There are a few more writers that I keep tabs on for the next book to be published in a long series, but these two are my favorites.

This summer I found a new writer I have come to like. K M Shea. My husband read one of her series and liked it so recommended it to me. I was looking for something to read so I decided why not. What I didn’t realize was that there was more than the three books that were connected to the particular storyline/world I started. The Snow Queen trilogy, Timeless Fairy Tales series, and The Fairy Tale Enchantress series all intertwine. When I finished that seventeen book series (there is more because the actually storyline is not finished, she just hasn’t written them yet), I found out she had more. The Magiford City has two trilogies that connect, the first being Hall of Blood and Mercy trilogy. The stories are written well, clean love stories with the supernatural elements (which I love!) and funny. That last part kind of gets me into trouble. Especially in the middle of the night when I giggle and it wakes my husband up. He’s not so amused.

There are a couple more trilogies/series from K M Shea that I haven’t read yet, but I decided if I wanted to get anything done they will have to wait. Since I do need something to read before I go to bed I decided to reread something. I do that a lot with books I like. I want to experience a certain feel, if that makes any sense. This series I have read many times. It has helped me through a time in my life when an event threw me for such a loop it took years to stop the world from spinning. Harry Potter. I was reading it when a tragedy that I won’t get into right now hit my family. I hadn’t realized I had kept rereading the books until my husband asked me how many times I was going to read them. I thought about it and realized I was on number 7 of rereads. I think it was because it was safe. There were no surprises and I knew what the outcome was going to be. It actually scared me to read a different book, but I pushed myself to and in a way that new book full of surprises helped me to begin moving forward in my life. I love this series either in book or movie form. I’ve watched the movies many times too, but it’s been a while since I’ve read the books. So, I’m hoping that because I know what is going to happen so I don’t have to keep reading I can put my kindle down and finish my to-do list a little faster. Because on that to-do list is writing and editing my own book. We’ll see.

Have a great afternoon!


Summer Vacation

Summer vacation for our school district officially started June 18th. What a year! We are in school, we are hybrid, we are online. And that was just the beginning of the year. When we finally decided that we were all online (or rather the state did) we could finally move forward in one direction instead of trying to set up two different scenarios of what school will look like. (In-building or online.) I was online until October, where I was pulled in-building to work with a special needs student. I was fine with it. It got me out of the house and made the days go faster. Although there were a few added items to the teacher/para dress code.

The last quarter of the school year we started hybrid school. (Half of the students in-building while the other half was online at the same time. They would switch every other day with Wednesdays everyone online.) It was a bit scary because we had not done anything like this before. But we had survived being thrown unceremoniously into online school March of 2020, we could survive hybrid. And we did.

So, now we are in summer vacation, and boy do we need it. All the stress of learning new ways to teach, some of the technology. Do I have covid, do I not have covid? If I do have I given it to anyone else. No, my cough is not covid, it’s allergies! If I don’t go somewhere besides work and home anytime soon I may go insane and commit someone bodily harm….. Well, that last one maybe not so much, but I can see where the isolation and worry would send some into that downward spiral. It’s exhausting because you can’t relax. What did happen is that in order to survive all the unknowns and changes I did not commit to any change because I knew that THAT would change within the next day or so. So why bother? “It is what it is” was something I clung to because I knew what was, is still, happening to the world is not in anyone’s control. All we can do is try to follow the guidelines the experts set out for us and pray we don’t fall victim to something that is so small we cannot see it without some sort of high-powered microscope. Ugh!

I keep digressing. Okay. Summer.

The weekend before school ended we headed to Michigan for our niece’s wedding reception. It was great to see everyone and have some fun. Mask restrictions were lifted for those of us fully vaccinated, which was great with the 90F+ degree weather. Michigan is a beautiful state. The only complaint I have is in the summer when you are in a hot and muggy room and need to go outside to get some relief from the hot and muggy, guess what. IT’S JUST AS HOT AND MUGGY! Gah! Other than that it was a blast. Back to school for a week and then we are off. Freedom!

First weekend, Father’s day and Birthdays. House clean and leftover food and I was set for the next week to do nothing but yardwork and getting ready for our Vegas trip. Unfortunately, our dog, Jack, was diagnosed with cancer. We knew he was not doing well. The last six months his health was deteriorated rapidly. When everyone was here for the celebrations I warned them I was taking Jack to the vets and there was a good chance he was not coming home. He was 17 years old and he had lived a great life. It was also the first time I have taken him to the vet and he was not shaking. I think he was tired of not feeling good and the pain. It was also one of the hardest things I have had to do, but at the same time I was mentally ready for the outcome. Unfortunately it does not help with the pain of loss. He will be missed.


Vegas was a lot of fun. We walked over 40 miles in one week. We lucked out with a couple of days in the 90s. What was weird was on that Sunday and Monday, we were cooler in Vegas than it was in Washington State! I did not miss that 116F we had on Monday. We are part of that 70% of people in the Pacific Northwest that do not have air-conditioning. Did we win anything in Vegas? We held our own. Ate some good food, did some shopping, sat out by the pool and relaxed. It was a great vacation.

Then we came home and I caught a cold….. (sigh)

I think today I can finally say my summer vacation can start (not including the week in Vegas vacation). Starting a routine of walking in the morning, then writing with what yardwork there is and errands afterwards. The house does seem a bit empty without Jack, but I also have some freedom to be out and about longer without having to worry about him. And I have the Dragon. Not sure she will know what hit her when I start to pay more attention to her. he he he.


Have a great day and rest of your week!


Thoughts that Wander to the Darkside

In keeping with my promise to myself that I was going to be more of an online presence, I was trying to think of something to write about today and it was hard. I usually like to keep things upbeat, happy when I blog. My poems are another matter, but writing down my thoughts I try to keep at least somewhat cheerfully. Today nothing is coming to mind that’s anywhere near upbeat, happy or cheerful. It’s all darkness, and that’s a bit more scary to unleash upon others. It’s towards the end of a hectic exhausting school year, we are starting our thirteenth month of COVID mind-numbing madness, spring as sprung and, while it is a beautiful season, it’s not my favorite due to allergies and potential migraines. The bottom line is, I’m just plain exhausted. Anybody else?

Okay. Here it goes. This morning I started out with some pretty ugly thoughts in my head. Not about anyone else, but about myself. Thoughts that drag me down as a person, a writer. As someone others want to get to know or be around. This tells me something in my life needs to change. I’m not sure exactly what, but what I did know was my inner monologue was my writer’s imagination drifting to the dark side. Taking random thoughts or observations and spinning them into something that is not entirely true. At least not to the extent they whispered to me this morning. When tears threatened, I finally told myself that I needed to stop. That none of it was true. It was just my overactive imagination trying to bring me down. Then I tried to figure out why I was in the mindset I was in.

Part of it, I think, is I work in a building full of people, but because of restrictions and rules I don’t get to talk to those people like I used to. We are all sequestered in out little areas, keeping contact to a minimum, only really talking when we see each other briefly by email or in the hall, and then usually about the student we work with. All the time in the back of our minds thinking, are we six feet apart? Have we been together longer than fifteen minutes? When can we finally take these damn masks off? There are no lunches together, no real time to just relax around each other. It’s all very isolating, and why I like my alone time, lately it has become overwhelming.

I’m not someone who believes that COVID is all a big lie. That it’s a conspiracy the government has concocted to take over control of us all. I know too many people in other countries that are in the same boat we are. Lockdowns, keeping apart, masks. Some are more strict than others, but it’s out there. EVERYWHERE. As far as the masks, I do believe they work. I’ve been fully exposed to COVID, but we were wearing our masks and most of the time, not all of it, keeping our distance. I know that is what saved me from catching it. But back to my head and it’s dark thoughts.

Tomorrow there will be a change in my routine. I can finally be in a classroom with other kids. (Shots, immunity issues. That is about all I can say with the confidentiality clauses in place.) I don’t mind being in my little room, but I think it’s starting to really get to me. The change of pace, more than just me or my student in the same room (albeit six feet apart) will be nice.

I also think I need a vacation. I don’t mean a weekend somewhere we drive to. We’ve done that over this last year. I mean, get on a plane and GO somewhere that is not…here. We are doing this next month. My niece is having her wedding reception in Michigan and we have the plane tickets. Four days of not being here. I can’t wait! This Saturday is the bridal shower which I will attend via Zoom. It will still be fun because I will get to see people I haven’t seen in a long time. We also are going to celebrate Mother’s day with my family. We are all vaccinated and it will be the first time we have all gotten together since March 2020. We have a few birthdays to celebrate, too.

So while the thoughts were dark this morning, they have become better as the day has gone on. There are other things I could do that I’ve been putting off, like losing weight, getting into shape. I can get outside more and work in the garden. Yes, it rains this time of year in Washington State, a lot, and it won’t help the allergies, but it will not be inside letting my head get the better of me. Writing this out has helped too. Another thing I should start doing again. Putting the pen to paper.

I hope you are staying safe, that you, too, can soon go somewhere that is not here, and have a wonderful rest of your week.


© Copyright 2021

I Don’t Understand

I don’t understand
why people hate so easily.
I don’t understand
why we can’t get along.
I understand
people are different.
Different colors
different cultures
different beliefs.
I understand
some people do not like different.
Do not like the unknown
do not like change.
I don’t understand
why we hate so easily.
I think many truly do not understand
what hate is.
When I was young, I used the word hate freely.
I hate the color pink…
I hate when it’s too hot…
I hate Brussel sprouts…
I hate…you.
One glace
from eyes the blue of midnight skies.
One word
falsely uttered with the innocence of a newborn lamb.
One quirk from lips
which truth is as foreign as the deepest parts of space.
Such small simple gestures
sent a tidal wave of rage so strong
my knees threaten to cave.
My site dimmed
covered with the hazy red from the deepest pits
of hell.
My body trembled as if the earth itself
shook with my rage.
My voice squeezed down, down, down
until a hoarse whisper was my only sound.
Those around me did not understand.
Those around me did not see
the man who had destroyed so many lives.
Who had wrote misery and grief
death and chaos
most of all, fear
so he remained free.
Only then did I truly understand
the word hate.
How I had used the word in haste.
In disregard for the power
that single word held.
I dislike pink.
I prefer a warm breeze to the hot sun.
As for Brussels sprouts…well
the word hate may still pertain
or at least a strong gag inducing distaste.
Most of all
I do not hate you.
Not for your differences,
not for your beliefs,
not because your way of seeing things is unusual
to what others may think as the straight and narrow.
I am willing to learn
what I don’t understand
because hate is a word, an emotion
I only reserve
for those people, places or things
that have truly earned the label of

© Copywrite 2021 Heidi Barnes

Open Your Eyes

I try.
Every day,
I try.
it’s never enough.
I see what I want,
feel the rush of love
a warmth that envelops me
soothes me
lifts me.
I cannot reach you.
Don’t you feel it too?
Can’t you see
all I want is for you to feel
what I know is true
what is real.
Fly with me.
All you have to do is
open your eyes and

© 2021 Heidi Barnes

Love and Kindness in Leadership Class

In these crazy, uncertain times, it’s hard to remember that there is a light somewhere at the end of this tunnel we are all traveling. It may be hard to see, but it is there. Somewhere.

As a Para-educator, we have had to weave through legal contracts to see just how we can help our schools, our teachers, and our students. Along with that we’ve had to learn new technology, which for some of us is very hard. I’m lucky in the fact that I have played around with some of the new ways of online communication that the quarantine has forced most of us to learn.

In my particular district we are are finally in the swing of online learning. It’s been confusing wading through the rules and requirements that change everyday as the district and government struggle through the chaos COVID-19 has made of our lives. One of the things I have to do in order to help my students is work through the videos and assignments that the teacher’s post every week. Today was Intro to Leadership. A class mostly filled with freshman along with a scattering of sophomores and juniors.

I was in this particular class (I’m not going to tell you the teacher’s name as he has no idea I am writing this. Although I may give him the link so he can read it. We’ll see.) Anyways, I was in this particular class for the first semester and was sad when I was pulled to help out in another class. Even though I have been in a Intro to Leadership class with a different teacher, it was a fun and informative class. It’s always interesting hearing students answer some of the questions posed. Remember, most of the kids are ninth graders so their life experiences are not as vast as an adults. (Although, I have to admit, some of the things said were downright scary! *shudders* ;))

Now for the reason I am writing about this. At this point in the class they are talking about Love and Kindness, focusing on the different kinds of love and do we truly understand what love is. What it means and how we use that one little word that means so much. As I sat watching the video the teacher had posted explaining the assignment and giving his monologue that normally he would give in the classroom, I thought, why isn’t this guy a motivational speaker? He speaks from experience, from knowledge and, most of all, his heart.

I’ll admit, it isn’t that hard to make me cry. I didn’t used to be like this, but when you’ve had a loss that completely destroys the foundation you’ve built your life around, crumbling it into fine dust, it does not take much to shake the barely pieced together foundation that you’ve managed to rebuild. No matter how many years have passed. But, dang it, he managed to once again bring the tears to the surface. Not bad you made me sad or angry tears, but good pulling at my heartstrings make me think that there is still good in this world tears. (I am getting better at keeping them from making a mess.) Why did he bring those tears? Because he is very passionate about his class, the students and the part of Leadership he is teaching, love and kindness. I just wish we would see more of it in the world. Some of the things I have seen, heard, over the last four years…. Well, that is a soapbox I’m going to stay off of for now.

Love and kindness. A concept that, in some places, seems to have gone by the wayside. Kinda of wish I could post his video so you can see what I am saying. He really would be an excellent motivational speaker, and we could all stand to learn a little love and kindness.

Stay safe.


Copyright © 2020 Heidi Barnes

The Festival – A Suzi Story

Chapter 1

There’s nothing Suzy loved more than riding through the sky in style. Finding the perfect vehicle, she picked a brightly colored fall leaf, dressed in the brightest reds, oranges, and yellows. Hopping on top of it, she tipped it up, catching the tail of the blowing wind, and away she flew.

Riding the waves of the wind currant she dipped up and down, side to side…her tickling laughter could be heard echoing through the blue sky as she steered her leaf to her favorite place, Heidi’s house! Wouldn’t her dear friend be happy to see her. Taking her mind off of where she was going, she suddenly came to an abrupt halt, spiraling to the ground and landing on her face with an indignant plop. Rolling on her back, she brushed the hair out of here face, and staring down at her was a very annoyed looking Heidi. She seemed to have a red mark on her forehead…hmmm…ooooh dear.

Grinning up at Heidi, Suzy stood up, and flapping her wings, flew up to Heidi’s face. “I can fix that ya know.” Taking out her wand, she drew back her hand to fix her landing mark that she’d left on her friend’s face.

Quickly taking a step back and putting her hand up to ward off any “fixing” Suzi was planning, Heidi quickly said, “No, no! That’s okay. I can do it myself.” Waving her hand over her sore forehead, the mark and pain disappear. Taking a deep breath as she muttered a prayer for patience, she smiled and asked, “What brings you here on this fine fall morning?”

Landing in Heidi’s outstretched hand Suzi replied, “Well…I’m on vacation from my mandatory fairy retraining, ya know, seeing as how I’ve had a few mishaps, and I was thinking about how nice it would be to see my bestie. So here I am!” Settling in Heidi’s palm, Suzi looked at her nails as if there was something interesting on them. “Ya know…I hear there’s a huge fall festival going on for elementals and witches. I thought maybe you’d like to go with me.” Looking up from her nails she excitedly continued. “There will be contests and stuff, and I can show you all I learned! What do you say? Wanna go?”

Frowning, Heidi thought about declining. The festival was something that the elders had conjured up in order to entice those who chose to keep to themselves, those who were powerful and had lived longer than most of the so called elders, out into the open in hopes to talk them into joining the counsel, or find out some of their secrets. Personally, she thought, as one of those powerful witches who kept to herself, it was more a way to find their weaknesses or force of to agree to the restrictions that they had put on the rest of the magical community in order to control them. “I don’t know. You know how I like my privacy, only allow a few special individuals into my home. It’s why I live deep in the forest, away from prying eyes. If I go to the festival, they may think they could come and visit me whenever they want.”

Suzi’s smile disappeared, only to be replaced by a deep frown. “But Heidi…I’m not allowed to go without a sponsor. And if I don’t go and prove I won’t screw things up, they will take away my magic.” A small tear fell down her cheek, and the tiny drop landed on Heidi’s skin. One dropped followed the other as the little fairy began to cry in earnest, head bent, and shoulders shuddering, as she cried her eyes out. Finally able to catch her breath, she raised her tear filled eyes, a dirt streaked face up to Heidi. ” Please….”

Making her decision, Heidi gently wiped the tears away as she smiled down at Suzi. “How can I resist those big blue eyes. We will go and…,” her smile turned into a grimace, “see if you can stay out of mischief. Give me a minute to change into something more presentable.”

Carrying Suzi into the house, Heidi set her down on the kitchen table while she went to change out of her gardening clothes into a dress and walking shoes. Grabbing her cloak and basket she stopped by the door and asked, “Are you ready?”

Barely being able to contain her excitement, Suzi quickly flew over to Heidi and landed on her shoulder. Not wanting to wait another minute, Suzi decided to use a new talent she acquired. Closing her eyes, she visualized where she wanted to go and seconds later they were on the outskirts of the festival’s giant field. The only problem being was Heidi was sitting on a high branch in an ancient old tree, barely keeping her balance when she realized where she had landed. Unfortunately, she was terrified of heights. Closing her eyes, she muttered several angry swear words, and proceeded to take some slow deep breaths. Opening one eye she peered around for a place to land, and once calm she levitated gently down to the forest floor. Once firmly on the ground she looked around for Suzi, intent on killing her once she found her.

“Suzi!” she called out with a voice edged in anger. “Where the hell are you?!” Hearing a timid voice calling out here name, she looked in the general direction the sound had come from and spotted Suzi…hanging on a thin branch, skirt caught in the tree. Wanting to laugh out loud, but not wanting to hurt the little fairy’s feelings, Heidi sent a bolt of lightening to the small branch, causing the branch to break and sending Suzi spiraling down to the ground. Heidi had her revenge on the irresponsible little brat.

“New trick I see,” Heidi commented sarcastically, as she absentmindedly brushed a few flecks of dirt off her skirt. “I’m guessing you didn’t stay long enough to learn how to land properly.”

Pick herself up off the ground for the second time today, Suzi brushed off her butt and looked up at Heidi. “Jeez…when did you get so mean?”

“There is a difference between mean and teaching a lesson, little one,” she replied patiently. “That,” she pointed up at the tree, “was a lesson. What did you learn from it?” she asked, eyebrow raised.

“I learned you are mean…,” Suzi muttered.

Clearing her throat Heidi asked, “Excuse me? I missed that.”

Thinking twice about responding in a rude manner, Suzi replied, “I said I learned I should be more thorough with my teleporting. Sorry.”

“And maybe pay more attention in your lessons. No come on,” Heidi smiled as she straightened her cloak. “Let’s go see what the festival has in store for well-intended pixie and a mistrustful ancient witch.”

“Follow me.” Flying in front of Heidi, Suzi led them to a table where three rather comical looking witches with sour expressions sat waiting. “We have to sign in here.” If looks could kill, Suzi would have been reduced to ashes. “What?” Suzi squealed. “It’s not that long a line.”

Trying hard to quell her desire to explode, Heidi raised her eyes to the heavens while tapping her foot, praying to the Goddess for patience. The one thing she hated almost as much as heights, was waiting in line. Suzi wisely kept silent.

When the others waiting in line saw who was behind them, they quickly moved out of the way, bowing and giving greetings as they did.

“Good morning, Mistress.”

“I’m sorry, I did not see you, Mistress. Please. Go ahead.”

“So good to see you, Mistress.”

Smiling politely, Heidi greeted each in return as she slowly walked to the table where there was a sheet of parchment. “Good morning, Agatha. So good to see you.”

Snorting, Agatha, who sat in the middle, her expression growing ever more sour even though she tried to smile, said sweetly. “Mistress Heidi. I did not expect to see you here, as you rarely travel outside your wood.” Glancing at Suzi who smiled brightly at the witch as she hovered just over Heidi’s shoulder, she added. “You seem to have an unwanted…guest.”

Glancing at Suzi, her smile softened. “Not unwanted.” Heidi turned back to the three in front of her who were eyeing Suzi as if she were something vile. Making a mental note to keep an eye on her little friend, for elementals were hunted by those who used dark magic for their magical little bodies, Heidi turned her now fierier eyes to the three…ladies in front of her. Smile still pasted on her face as she watched with some satisfaction as the women paled considerably, she replied just as sweetly, “I would be sorely put out if anything…untoward happened to Suzi.”

Those who were standing around them trying to act like they were not watching or listening took a healthy step back. The message was clear. The three witches at the table were on their own if they decided to cross the sorceress in front of them. The two on either side of Agatha tried to distance themselves without moving from their chairs. Scowling at the two imbeciles, Agatha turned her glare towards Heidi. While powerful in her own right, she was not suicidal. She also knew Heidi well enough to know the threat was not aimed at her, but those around them. “Keep your wand in your skirts, mistress,” she spat, keeping up the pretense that Heidi was not her favorite creature in this Goddess forsaken world. “While there are those who would rather be a stain on the ground, I am not stupid. Your little companion is safe from me.”

Her smile broadened, Heidi inclined her head in a show of respect and acknowledgement. “Thank you, Agatha. I knew you one of the more intelligent ones. Good day.” With a slightly dimmed smile at the other two, Heidi motioned for Suzi to follow and they entered the festival grounds.

“What was that all about?” Suzi whispered in Heidi’s ear when she perched on her shoulder.

“A warning,” Heidi answered pretending to look at the wares at the first booth they encountered. Where she did not need a new basket, she had to admire the craftsmanship.

“What kind of warning?” Suzi asked perplexed.

“One I will tend to later. Be Careful little one. We are not alone.”

“Well, of course we’re not alone!” Suzi groused looking at the hundreds of people milling around them. “There are people everywhere,” she exclaimed rising into the air and throwing up her arms in a gesture to take everyone in, and causing more than one person to turn their eyes towards them.

Closing her eyes, once again praying for that patience she seem to never have, Heidi slowly moved to the next booth. “And now they all know we are here, too.”

“Oh,” Suzi said quietly, drifting down until she once again sat on Heidi’s shoulder, realizing what she had inadvertently done. Hunching in on herself, she groaned, “Sorry.”

“It’s alright,” Heidi smiled, tilting her head to gently bump the pixie. Then, in Suzi’s mind, she whispered, Those who are looking for us knew we were here the moment we arrived. Out loud, Heidi began to talk to the pixie about more mundane things. What her stores needed, a pretty piece of material, the weather.

Hiding behind a group of birch trees, two trolls stood together watching the arrival of Mistress Heidi and her obnoxious pixie Suzi.

“We must go quickly to Master!” Grindle whispered .”He will want to know of the witch’s arrival.”

Turning to leave, his friend Thorn grabbed his arm go halt her progress. “No…wait! We need to find out more. Listen!”

The conversation between Heidi and Suzi drifted over to the troll’s big pointy ears as they took in every word. Crooking his finger, Grindle motioned for Thorn to follow. They steadily kept pace, staying hidden behind each tree they came upon. Knowing what would happen to them if they were caught by the witch.

There were every imaginable creature, and some unimaginable as they were thought extinct, at the fair. As Heidi took in her surroundings, noting those who paid them no attention and those who paid a little too much attention, she listened to Suzi as she chattered excitedly in her ear.

“I thought griffons were extinct!” Suzi cried darting towards the huge half lion half bird creature who was preening itself as it sat in one of the grassy clearings dotted around the fair.

With a flick of her wrist, Heidi jerked Suzi back just as the griffon snapped its beak at her.

“Careful now,” she warned. “While the griffon is a majestic creature who, unless provoked, would not hurt one who meant no harm,” she cooed as reached up to pet the creature’s head. Bowing, it closed its eyes as she rubbed between them, a gentle purr emanating from its chest. Glancing at Suzi while she scratched, she said, “You are merely a snack. You must be careful, little one.”

Glancing over at the forest, she stared directly where the two trolls stood gawking. Terror filled their eyes as they realized they had not been as careful as they thought. Quickly looking at each, they nodded in consent and ran in separate directions. Regardless of their short stubby legs they possessed great speed and appeared to have just disappeared in a rapid blur.

Too preoccupied with the large creature who was once again eyeing her as if she was something tasty, Suzi pulled at the hood of Heidi’s cloak.

“Maybe we should look at something else,” she gulped.

Giving the Griffin one last pat, a small satisfied smile on her face, Heidi nodded and they moved on. At the next stall was a young witch by the name of Elena who Heidi had allowed in her small circle of people she called friends. With the demeanor of a shy young woman, Elena was anything but. Shrewd and almost as distrustful of others as Heidi, she picked one of her healing balms in a small clay jar with a cork stopper and handed it to her.

“You are being watched, it seems,” Elena mused.

“So it seems,” Heidi answered looking at the bottle before putting it in her basket. Pretending to look over some of the dried herbs hanging from the stall post, she continued. “It has been long since I have been in town. Who do those two belong to?” 

Elena leaned forward, signaling for Heidi to do the same.” Rumor has it the trolls are working for a very powerful Warlock, a name I would rather not repeat. But I can tell you, you must stay away from him at all cost.” 

“And why would that be?” Heidi responded, raising an eyebrow.

Carefully looking around as if to make sure no one was listening Elena continued in a hushed voice ” He is evil incarnate. Some say he is the Devil himself. And among other things, he’s responsible for the death of many of the pixies and the please take care of your little pet.”

Visibly wincing at Elena’s careless words, Heidi quickly corrects the girl’s assumption. “Suzi is not my pet, but I thank you for the warning. We will be careful.” Paying for the item, Heidi wandered off into the crowd, bracing herself for the outburst that was inevitable. 

The little pixies face was as red as the berries on the bushes scattered throughout the forest. Just as Suzi was about to release her rage, Heidi lifted one finger, and placed it to her lips, immediately silencing the tirade.

“The trees have ears little one, and they are listening.” 

“But Heidi she has no right…”

The look Heidi directed at the still angry pixie shut her outburst right down. Expelling a deep sigh, Suzi pointed to the woods beyond the fairgrounds. “We can find a spot to put up our tent in here.” And taking the lead she flew ahead of the ancient witch to find a resting spot for them both. 

After approving of the spot, that was a good distance away from the majority of the fair goers, Heidi gathered her magic, and with a few words and a flick  of her wand a simple tent appeared where the space once stood empty. 

“After you little one.”

Flying through the open flap Suzi gasped in surprise. The inside of the tent appeared twice as large as the outside would have you believe. The inside came equipped with all the comforts of home. Looking around in amazement, Suzi spotted a hollowed out tree stump with a thick  cushy pillow inside of it and red velvet curtains that covered the opening. “For me?”

A genuine smile stretched across Heidi’s face. “Yes dear one, for you”

Suzi could not contain her excitement as she flew around the tent, bouncing off the sides of the heavy canvas material, until she bounced into one of the lanterns that contained a burning candle. Just as the lantern came crashing to the ground, Heidi grabbed it and set it back on the table. Stopping mid-flight Suzi cleared her throat. “Um…I think I’ll go check out my bedroom.” and quickly darted behind the curtains. 

Sighing, Heidi walked over to the table and set her basket down on top before emptying its contents. Taking time to prepare a mid-day meal, she then sat down and took out the last content lying quietly on the bottom of the basket.

“What is that?” Suzi asked fluttering over to where her plate of nuts and fruits waited for her.

“A note that someone slipped into my basket when they thought I was not looking,” Heidi mused, opening it.

“What does it say?” Suzi asked before popping a juicy piece of peach into her mouth.

“It seems to be a warning of some kind,” Heidi frowned. 

Grabbing another piece of the delicious peach, Suzi fluttered over to perch on Heidi’s shoulder so she too could read the note. “Is it from that witch who called me your pet?” she growled.

“No,” Heidi answered absently.

“The nerve of some people,” Suzi snapped before shoving the piece of fruit into her mouth. “Me! A pet!” she continued as she chewed. “I should have turned her into a toad for such an insult. Or maybe a goat. What do you think?” 

As she talked juice dribbled down her chin landing on the front of Heidi’s dress. Glancing at the dots of juice that now stained the paper down to the mess that was staining her top, Heidi frowned. The pixie had every right to be angry. She just wished it was not with a mouth full of fruit.

Not waiting for Heidi to answer, Suzi continued her tirade as she lifted off of Heidi’s shoulder to land near her plate where she picked up a slice of grape.

“Maybe I will go and turn her into a mouse and feed her to the gryphon. Then we’ll see who is a pet and who is….”

Tuning her out, Heidi looked at the paper once again. There were four words scrawled across it. Four words that confirmed what she feared. That the festival was a trap. What she had not considered was, it was a trap set solely for her. The question was, who had laid it.

A cry of surprise followed by a crash brought Heidi out of her musings. Twisting towards the sound, she saw a flickering glow from one of the tents inner doorways. Muttered a curse, she quickly rose to put out what she was sure was a fire in the kitchen.

Fluttering to the floor, forgotten in her haste, the note softly landed on the rug, it’s words facing the tent’s canvas ceiling. 

You will be mine.

Copyright © 2020 Heidi Barnes & Suzanne Carey

We are not sure when each chapter will come out or how many there will be. We actually live across country from each other, as in on opposite sides of the continent, so our schedules are not exactly in sync, but we will do the best we can.

Writer’s Block Blues

I have the worst case of writer’s block. Because of the way the last few chapters fleshed out and the changes that occured, what I have already written won’t work. So I have to write the rest from scratch. Usually that isn’t a problem, and i know the direction I’m going in, but for some reason this time the words just won’t flow. I will say that last week might have had something to do with the fact we were in Vegas. There are a…few…distractions there, but usually I can get an hour or two of writing in. I didn’t even pick up my pencil or the journal I brought.


This isn’t the first time it’s happened. Probably won’t be the last. What’s troubling me is that I have been posting a chapter a week for a long time, and now I’ve broken the cycle. A writer’s worst fear is to lose the interest of his or hers audience. It doesn’t help that I’m back to work on Tuesday. *sigh*

One of the ways I try to work through a blockage is to just write down words. Sometimes they make sense, most of the time is just me rambling. Kind of a purge of everything that is in my head. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Time to find out.

Have a wonderful weekend!