Fiction? page 3

Looking out the window of the floating restaurant at a small gaggle of geese swimming and feeding, she was startled by his noiseless approach. She wondered why rich people were so weird, needing silent waiters? Where she’d come from it wasn’t very wise to allow for others to sneak up on you. Living on the streets, a teenage castaway misfit, had been rough and toughened her. Still, it was irritating this young man, simply doing his job, had so easily unnerved her.

Forcing herself to smile, expecting him to offer her a desert menu, she noticed a martini with an olive garnish on his serving tray. In a soft voice he said, “Excuse me miss, that gentleman has sent this to you.” She looked in the direction he indicated and felt the blood in her veins turn icy cold. Trying hard to suppress a shiver, she stammered, “That man is no gentleman and I won’t trust a drink from him.” The waiter gave her a startled look and said, “The drink is safe miss. I watched the bartender pour it.” She shook her head and through clenched teeth said, “He is more than capable of paying off a bartender to do his dirty work.” She could not stop herself from shooting the man on the other side of the restaurant her sternest glare saying, “If looks could kill…”

The man who had sent the drink stood suddenly, the chair flipping over behind him. His face reddened as he snarled loudly, “Bitch.” Other patrons in the restaurant began to murmur excitedly. It wasn’t every day they witnessed such a rich and well known artist lose it in a public. He stormed over to the retreating server and took the martini glass from his tray. In his true character, previously known only to her and a few unfortunate others, he threw the drink in her direction and snarled, “You could have had me. Instead you chose that loser. Look at him with a younger girl. He didn’t need you, and now you have nothing and nobody.”

The bitterness and rage of his words threw the patrons in the restaurant into frenzied chatter. Cell phones were capturing the scene in pictures and videos. She knew he’d never be able to purchase them all to keep the scene out of the media. She could see a panicked look on his face betray he’d became aware of his folly. Relieved, she knew his fan club would finally see the monster. For so many years he had painted himself as kindly and wise, the words in the songs he’d published were simply part of his false image and it had pained her to hear him on the radio. Each time she’d switched the stations to avoid the horrific memories his voice would induce.

Suddenly, and beyond her immediate comprehension, she felt as though a wave of peace and protection was pouring over her. In this new comfort zone she turned to look in the direction the monster was pointing to and saw a man with a younger girl, a girl late teens or early twenties. The restaurant became as silent as an empty church as she started to speak. She turned to the monster and said, in a voice filled with compassionate resonance, “He wanted children and I couldn’t give him any. He’s happy and that is all that ever mattered to me.”

She sat back down in her chair, suddenly desiring to see the desert menu. She sipped from her glass of iced tea and let her mind wander to wonderful times. Times when he’d been her one and only true love. Times he’d loved her with equal passion and tenderness. Times when sex was pure, joyful and simply another way of expressing the depth of their love for each other. The monster had not been able to steal away her memories. His torture had not been strong enough to break her. Through it all she’d clung to the memories of true love and the strength of those memories kept her alive.

Looking up in hopes of locating her waiter she noticed all eyes looking at something else capturing their attention. Curious she turned to see her love had slumped to the floor, tears flowing from his downcast eyes. She stood and walked to him, to then kneel down while gently consoling, “If you’re going to puddle, I won’t let you do it alone.” His young companion, still sitting in her chair, her hand on his shoulder simultaneously said, “Dad do you know this woman?”

He raised his head in response to the two voices and looking into the eyes of his long lost love answered her, “Yes my child, she is my true love.” To her he said, “You did that for me? All this time I’ve thought you fell in love with someone else.” She looked from him to his daughter and said, “You needed children to complete your life.” The young girl looked at her, an impish smile playing at the corners of her mouth and said, “I think maybe everything is perfect now.”

She didn’t understand the girls words until he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her into an embrace that caused her to helplessly sway, overcome by his touch of love. He said, “Her mother and I never loved one another, we are great friends. She knew I could never love any other woman after you. I wanted children and she gave them to me. She’s a good woman and a great mom. Now she’s gone to find her own true love. We’d come here to chat about how to deal with the fallout, the media and all.” She smiled and said, “True love is always a good story to tell.”

As they both rose the patrons and staff of the restaurant bust into wild applause. Cheers of congratulations rose. Many faces were mopping away happy tears they’d helplessly cried. One onlooker silently slinked away from the crowd, spotting his retreat she knew he’d not finished with her. He’d be back, some how, some way, having in his arsenal a newly devised weapon in hopes to further torture her. She didn’t care, she was safe now and her true love, now knowing the truth would protect her from the monster.

© Zora Zebic 2016

Spill the wine

My dearest readers, I am so grateful for you and so very humbled by your likes, comments and appreciation. I feel compelled to give you an explanation of my tardiness in respect to my daily personal blogging challenge.

Well… I was finally headed for some much needed personal recoup time last weekend at my home in Amherstburg, Ontario when Sarah, my friend recovering from her triple bypass told me she had 30 bottles of homemade Italian Rossa wine she could no longer drink – the heart attack and all. She gifted me these bottles.

The reality is I am not a wine connoisseur, that said, I had to come up with an idea for the consumption of this gift! I pondered some and came up with what I thought was a perfect solution: a mix of PC Peach Mist stevia sweetened water to adjust the, according to my taste buds, acrid taste of wine! I sampled my concoction and found it pleasant; neither tartly overbearing or sticky sweet.

On Sunday I cooked my personal recipe of meatloaf. My technique replaces bread crumbs for the awesomeness of oats! Oats are exceptionally healthy and the wolfing down of this meatloaf is virtually guilt-free! My husband, overcome by the aromas wafting around his recliner, put down his television remote and came into the kitchen.

I, as has become my usual ritual, was perched on my kitchen stool at our island table. I clicked on the The Daily Post and read my first missed Daily Prompt. The word amused me as I had in mind to use the leftovers to make each of us a meatloaf sandwich for lunch the next day. As I envisioned the photo I would take to use as my Featured Image my authoring screeched to a horrific halt!

My husband, smiling tenderly at me, had turned casually to place two dinner plates on the table and that is the moment it happened, my laptop drowned in a flood from the overturned tall glass of Peach Mist Italian Rossa. I watched in horror as the plates in his hand bumped into my drink tipping it over onto my laptop. It seemed as though time slowed to a snails pace as my hand feebly reached in futile attempt to avoid the collision and I witnessed the screen turn deathly black. It didn’t happen instantly but instead the screen darkened from the centre outwards to it’s ultimate demise.

Frantically I overturned my laptop and rushed it to the kitchen drainboard in hopes of resuscitation. My dear husband tenderly pulled me into his arms, apologizing. “Oh, don’t feel that way.” I gently chastised him, as I said, “I knew better than to have liquid near my laptop. I have the honour of now wearing the dunce cap.” Barry asked, “What do you mean?” I said, “It is my rule at work there are no food or drinks around the keyboards at the computer stations.”

My laptop remains in hospital and I have not yet received a prognosis. In the meantime, my son Carlos, ever understanding and generous gifted me his old Macbook Air so I can continue to write.

©Zora Zebic 2016

 

 

Willie, King of Voice

For my 60th birthday gift I asked for tickets to see Willie Nelson. Barry was happy with my choice, as he too thought it would be great to see him perform live. Willie is 83 and we decided, should he sound frail due to his age we would still treasure the opportunity to see him. Willie’s performance proved anything but frail!

I wandered my thoughts back to the 1980’s when I’d seen Willie in concert in Calgary. Not knowing who he was yet, I was shocked to see many of the ladies in the audience taking off their tops, saluting Willie in a fashion he seemed to be happily familiar with! I kept my top on.

It was pure fascination watching a man, old enough to be my father,  wearing a bandana and long braided hair jamming and singing with a passion and a vocal sound new to me. I felt him embrace every single word, swirling each syllable in his mouth before releasing them into the microphone. “What a voice!” I said after his performance.

I learned that day Willie was part Cherokee and wondered aloud if his vocal sound had something to do with his heritage or exposure to the music of his ancestors. A very tall aboriginal Canadian man dressed in his regalia, overheard my question and turned to me saying, “He’s one of us, got some other blood too but that man is one of a kind. He’s all Willie, nothing but.”

I had smiled knowing I acquired another vocal master to list among my personal collection of nobody-does-it-the-same greats, those being Janis Joplin, Elvis Presley, Diana Ross, Aaron Neville, Roy Orbison, Patsy Cline, Etta James, Lou Reed, Dolly Parton, Don Henley, Joe Cocker and Tina Turner.

Returning to the present, about 30 years later, I watched Willie came onto the stage with his Martin guitar Trigger, named after Roy Rogers’ palomino horse. Despite the worn and fragile appearance of the instrument, Willie played it masterfully and took his audience on a tour of the heart of North America. An elegant Baby Grand Piano shone brilliantly under the stage lights beside Willie, King of Voice.

© Zora Zebic 2016

Teenage escapade

 

 

The last twinkle in the snow vanished as the nearby streetlight bulb went out. She pulled her tight skirt back down to her knees as he zipped himself. Like two snakes they slithered back into different entrances of the dance hall. Neither looking at the other, nor noticing they’d left behind traces of their teenage escapade.

© Zora Zebic 2016

City-girl

“All the pleasantries of home.”

“Hum. Perhaps you could string up some tarps?”

“There isn’t anyone for miles and I’ve seen you on the commode at home.”

“This is different. A stranger could canoe by and get an eyeful.”

“I’m fairly certain most canoeists would turn their heads. They are a decent set of people, for the most part.”

“What if a bear came along?”

“Seriously? A bear wouldn’t know if you had clothes on or not.”

“Still, it would embarrass me.”

“If a bear came along I think you would have a lot more to worry about than embarrassment!”

“Well, it doesn’t even have a seat. Do you just plop down on it, as is?”

“Yup.”

“There is another issue. No toilet paper holder, and, it’s a good thing I thought to pack some.”

She laughed and he smiled, remembering the first time he’d taken her camping. The woods had almost scared the city-girl right out of her.

© Zora Zebic 2016

Salts of the earth

The cake had lost it’s visual appeal to me, as all that remained was a portion of the centre, still I captured a photo in it’s miserable state. It amused me that people had chosen to eat the outsides first, considering the food dye and plastic tasting icing. But it did prove the adage ‘eye appeal sells!’

The server asked if I would like a piece and I said no, I have to watch the sugar – diabetes. She cast me her face of pity and I laughed and said, “I never much cared for sweets even as a child. Now offer me salty and we have a problem!” To that remark, her faced shone a grin of mischief and I knew I had just met a fellow salt lover.

What is it about salt that it tastes so fantastic? Salt brightens up the taste of every food and forever it has been used as a food preservative, which intrigues me. The amount of salt in the human blood stream is the same as the amount of salt in the oceans which leads some people to believe in the theory of Abiogenesis. Abiogenesis, a big word and a big study for another day!

I live near Windsor, Ontario home of Windsor Salt a/k/a Morton Salt, founded in 1893, which is located in an area once called Sandwich, until it’s amalgamation with the city of Windsor. I found it interesting to learn names that end with wich or wych are often associated with the brine springs in England. I love cool facts!

Lately though, I have been charmed by the Himalayan Pink Salt. I’m told it contains more minerals, which are essential to our health, however the factor that intrigued me was apparently you don’t need to use as much to achieve the great flavor in the foods you are eating. Very interesting, but I will have to read more on the topic. All in all, pink salt is pretty and looks great on the table as a complement to white pepper.

I’ve been reading about other salts of the earth. Hiwa Kai Black Hawaiian Sea Salt, ‘Alaea Red Hawaiian Sea SaltKala Namak Indian Salt are a few I have learned about and will buy-to-try, thank God for the internet!

Hiwa Kai Black Hawaiian Sea Salt is solar evaporated Pacific Ocean salt and some are combined with activated charcoal made from burnt coconut shells, ground lava rock/charcoal. Some are 84% sodium chloride with 16% trace minerals and may have a subtle nutty flavor according to The Spice House. The San Francisco Salt Company provides this fantastic data sheet.

‘Alaea Red Hawaiian Sea Salt gets the pink and brown colors from mixing it with volcanic baked red clay, which is rich in iron oxide. The salts play a big role in the Native Hawaiian cuisine and are also used to bless homes, canoes, temples and tools. The salts, according to Sea Salts of Hawaii are used in healing rituals, for medicinal purposes and formally in a purification ceremony called hi’uwai which is explained by the ‘Awa Development Council.

Kala Namak Indian Salt is an Indian Volcanic Rock salt. It was originally pink Himalayan salt heated to extreme high temperatures and mixed with Indian spices and herbs. It often has a strong sulfur smell when first added to food but once cooked the original odors of the dish return, that is as long as you use it sparingly. The salt also has an eggy taste. Kala Namak salt may be black, purpleish or pinkish-grey in color. At Livestrong.com I read Indian salt is high in iron and other minerals.

Of course I still use Kosher and regular table salt. Fine and coarse table salt has the benefit of added iodine, which is essential to human health. Another tip that is beneficial is that all salts should be stored in glass containers. Avoid metal as it may change the salt’s chemical composition as I discovered at Radiant Health Strategies.

One great warning: DO NOT eat Epsom Salts, or any bath salts for that matter. While Epsom Salts are great in the bath, consuming them will find you sitting on the can in misery as they have a massive laxative effect on the human body.

On a final note: Salt, as an ingredient in cakes, enhances the flavors as well as adding a list of other benefits to the outcome of the cake. I learned that at the Science of Cooking.

© Zora Zebic 2016