Poem: The Artist Takes Over

The gentle sounds of the piano caress my soul,
 A steady beat softly mixing sorrow and passion.

The beat drones on, the anticipation of the singer's mark,
 Rising as I imagine her voice carrying me along.

Timidly she starts, her eyes darting to and fro,
 Licking her lips, on the cusp of faltering.

Then the moment passes. 

Her voice grows stronger, the artist takes over.

The nervousness of singing for her lover banished.
 The artist takes over.




Wall of Destruction – Lena’s Story – Outline

So, one of the characters I wish to write about in a future book would be Lena. Tilor’s girlfriend that he can not wed because he is an Atlantean noble and she a commoner. Sounds familiar, right? Well, in a way it is, but she gets her own adventure.  Here is part of the outline I was thinking for her story.

– Opens as Lena is with Tilor at the Atlantis Airport saying goodbye to Tilor as he gets ready to go back to duty in Sundaland (start of Wall of Destruction – WoD).

– See her life in Atlantis, 3 days later, as she learns of the strikes on Rama. How the folks of Atlantis are excited and think the war will be over soon. The city is euphoric and Lena believes Tilor will be back soon. She is worried because she has not heard from him yet.

– Day 4, going to work Lena hears of the counter strikes of Rama using their WMDs. How they destroy Sundaland’s colony and base and Lena is worried about Tilor. She has not heard from him for the last two days and is fearful that something happened to him.

– Day 5, Tilor walks into Lena’s bar to surprise her. He tells her of what is going on and how the destruction of Sundaland’s colony was. He spends the day with her.

– Day 6, Tilor leaves to visit Risor. He has completed his trial and is returning home and wants to say good bye.. Rama attempts a strike on Atlantis and Lena sees the same attack that Risor and Tilor do in WoD..Afterwards, Lena and Tilor meet up and Tilor talks about her getting out of Atlantis. She agrees as the strike early that day unsettled her, even if not successful.

– Day 9, Tilor gets them passage on a boat bound for Africa. They plan to travel half way to Luxa (Egypt) and for her to stay in a small town along the coast. They will look for a house that she can stay in until the war calms down. Tilor doesn’t want her near any large city as they would be targets.

– Day 12, They near the town that Tilor found and then shop for a house to rent. They find a home owned by a widow and her children. The family makes baskets and Lena can help them to make baskets. Tilor pays for 6 months up front and gives Lena more money. They say their good byes as Tilor wishes to also go home to visit his parents in the Caribbean.

– Two weeks later, Lena is happy with Kala and her 2 children. She dreams of finally marrying Tilor and having children even though she knows that would be difficult. Tilor was a noble and Lena was just a common citizen. Plus Tilor was fearful of what his father would say. Then the peaceful calm she was enjoying was shattered as an alert of a tsunami coming towards the town causes all to run further inland to the hills. Luckily only the docks were destroyed as the town was up a slight rise and the tsunami was more a very high tide at this point. They count themselves lucky but then find out that Atlantis was devastated.

– One week later. The town had plenty of food and Lena was safe with Kala but she was very worried about Tilor and of course Atlantis itself. The city was said to be abandoned and most of the garrison of their town was sent to fight Rama. There were rumors that the Greeks were striking during this time of disaster. Rumors said they were striking along the African coast and other Atlantean colonies along the Med.

– 3 days later. Lena, Kala and the kids are woken to the sound of alarm and cries of war and pain. Lena goes out the door and sees that the town is under attack by the Greeks. With most of the garrison gone, the fight is short and desperate for the defenders as they try to buy the civilians time to escape into the surrounding hills and savannah.

– They are captured almost to the hills. the Greeks take them on their boat and take them back to their city across the Med in Sicily. There Lena, Kala and the kids are used as slaves. They are luckily not raped as Lena learns the Greeks are asking for a ransom for the hostages they have taken. Lean and Kala confide with the other slaves that were there before them that Atlantis will probably not pay for them as she has her own problems with the city being destroyed.

– One month goes by and Lena was being treated okay. The Greeks were honorable and while still slaves, let them live in their own huts without bonds. Those that try to escape are cruelly tortured then killed but if the slaves are good and do their work, they are left to their own devices. Since most of the slaves are women and children the Greeks are not worried about a revolt. While the Greeks did not force themselves on the women, they let it be known that a favor for a favor goes a long way. Many of the women did decide to ease their existence. Lena couldn’t blame them.

– That night Lena is awoken to explosions as Atlantean vailixi strike the Greek town. Afterwards Atlantean armored troops enter the village and fight the Greeks. Lena watches as the Greek Hero, one imbued with the power of the Gods, kills many of the armored Atlantean troops only to be eventually cut down due to aether spear blasts. The Atlanteans rescue all the slaves and take them back to New Atlantis.

Think it could be a movie or integrated into the When Atlantis Fell movies?

A romance novel??? No, but yes

Well I thought I would try. I was told by my daughter that I need a little romance in WoD to make it more interesting for her. Well that intrigued me, I wasn’t going to write a “straight out of porn” scene. Not if there is a chance my kids will read it.  So I started to think..  And came up with this.   This is first draft of chapter one.

 

No, but Yes.

Leaving work sometimes is a bitch. You shut down, pack up and forget your emails. Hit the bathroom to freshen up. Then quickly run back to the desk to get your stuff before someone can stop you for that late meeting. Of course, that rarely works that way, right?

Jack heard his name as he was almost at the door. “Jack, leaving? We have that change to make this evening.” Said Lenny, running up to catch Jack.

“No problem Len, I am just heading out for something to eat and meet up with some friends then I will be back. The change is scheduled for midnight and its only six pm. So no worries.” As Jack clapped Lenny on the shoulder and quickly headed for the elevator hall.

“But, there are preparations we need to make and I am not sure of all the changes that will be made. Do you have all that listed and have checked them already?” Starting to get a whiny tone to him.

“Len look, it will be taken care of. You’re new and are not sure what is going on. You don’t want to screw up anything. I know. I have been there. Many, many times I have done these changes. It really isn’t that big of a deal.” Hitting the button for the elevator. “Go over the changes, check things over, take notes and put them in an Email for me to read later.”

Entering the elevator and leaving Lenny looking totally freaked out made Jack feel good. Oh shit, hitting the open door button. “Oh Len, don’t expect me to read it quickly or to have a conversation via Email, okay?”

This time he let the door close on Lenny, even more freaked out. The other riders were looking at Jack. Smiling he just said, “FNG,” shrugged his shoulders and turned back away from them.

Jack was thinking about the party he was heading to. Well not actually a party. One of the local bar and grill joints down the road. A ritual that he and lots of his friends do most Fridays.

Getting to his car, he looked around the parking lot. Times had been good to his company. The Dot.com boom landed squarely in his company’s lap. Lots of his fellow employees made small fortunes off the boom. They handed out stock options like parents hand out candy on Halloween. Of course, then it busted but still a lot of people benefited from the boom.

Most of the parking lot was filled with fairly new cars. Many of them expensive. A few Beamers, a Porsche or two and many beefed up trucks. Life was good and his fellow employees were still enjoying the benefits of the stock options.

“Hey Jack, when ya going to get rid of that toy.” Harry interrupted Jack’s thoughts. He was fiddling with his keypad to open his Lexus.

“It works for me, bud.” Unlocking his door and throwing his stuff in the passenger seat. “Get’s me where I am going and that is all I need.”

Laughing, “Whatever man, have a good weekend.” Harry said while getting in his car.

Jack smiled and waved, as Harry pulled out and drove off. Hmm, nice car but too much to go back and forth to work, Jack thought. He and his wife, Cindy, each had a car and he pretty much just used his car to go to work. Nothing special, just comfortable. He worked about 40 miles from his house. About 20 miles on the other side of Orlando. All he really needed was A/C and to get decent gas mileage.

Getting behind the wheel, he thought a little defensively, “I enjoy my house and life very much.” Don’t need to have a fancy car to enjoy life. He was happy with his life. A nice house, in a nice neighborhood. Pool, jacuzzi and backed up to a lake and forest. To top it all off, a wonderful family and lots of good friends. What else could there be?

Just Enjoying…

When he arrived at Paddies, many of his friends were already there, on the lanai. Jack went directly to them. The staff at Paddies knew most of them and would be out there regularly to make sure drinks and food were covered. So it wouldn’t be long until he was served.

The group already had two tables and he took a seat next to Donnie. Donnie was one of his fellow IT coworkers. Moving the ashtray closer to him, Jack lit up and turned to Donnie. “When did ya get here?”

“About 10 minutes before you. Kat should be here with Josey soon.” Kat or Katrina was Donnie’s wife and Josey was her friend. They worked at another company down the road.

“Have changes tonight, which sucks. Have to show Len how to do em.”

Laughing a little, “That’s what happens when you do the fun jobs.”

Denise, another one at the table joins the talk, “What time do you have to go? We were thinking of carrying on the party at our house after awhile.”

Her husband Steve chimes in, “Ya, we have a few others gonna join us over there around 9pm.”

“Nine, eh?” Jack said, “Sorry I have the change at midnight. Probably leave here around 11 or so.” Checking his Email, he notes that Len had already sent an Email, which he promptly ignores. “If yall go around 9ish, I will probably just head back to work then.”

“Leaving early?” said a new voice. Dominic was another co-worker of Jack. Dominic was with Sally and Shino, other co-workers.

Denise got up to give Sally a hug, then said while still hugging. “We are having a party around 9pm, at my house, and Jack doesn’t like us enough to join.” Sitting back down and sticking tongue out at Jack in the same motion.

“Nice” Turning to the new arrivals, “I have changes to make tonight. They start at midnight and I don’t want to go too far away.” Taking a swig of his newly arrived beer.

Some others showed up as well and Jack gave up his seat. He was leaning against the rail, listening to the chatting when Kat and Josey arrived. General welcoming hugs around for most of those present from both Kat and Josey. They were both very friendly and loved to give hugs.

“Come here teddy bear.” Kat said as Jack opened his arms to give her a hug. She was a lot shorter than he and fit so comfortably into his arms. Jack loved seeing Kat and Josey. They loved hugs and so did he.

He gently squeezed her tight into his embrace. She wrapped her arms around him moving her hands up to his shoulders and holding on tight. Her head was nestled into his chest and he kissed the top of her head. “I am happy to see you young lady.” he said softly.

With a quiet sigh that was loud enough for only him to hear, “I love your hugs baby.” A tingle went through him. She broke off the hug and moved on to say hi to others. Josey came by and gave him a big hug too, but the tingle wasn’t there.

Sitting there looking slightly lost, Jack quickly grabbed for a cigarette and lit up. Hoping to hide his feelings. He glanced at Donnie, who seemed not to notice. He was drinking and talking with Steve. Kat moved to a seat near him and started to talk with those at the table.

To cover, Jack looked outside of the lanai and up at the coming sunset. Thinking about her. Kat was five foot nothing; short and sassy, blonde hair with the most beautiful blue eyes. Eyes that could hold you til the end of time. He loved when she looked up at him sometimes from their hugs. How he would love to have that look every day.

He was happy with his life, but…. But she made him think in ways that he shouldn’t. She was married, happily too. He chanced another look back towards them and they were talking and laughing together. Just then she teasingly pinched Donnie’s cheek.

Yes, happily married. Jack turned back and berated himself. She loves life. She is happy and friendly and fun to be around. She likes hugs from big guys and that is it, isn’t it? He thought, “Jack don’t fuck it up. You have a good life, a loving family and lots of friends.” Yes, your wife is not as loving as Kat seems to be but she is good. Your children are wonderful. Be happy with what you have.

“Jack-san!” Shino asked a little exasperated.

“What?” Jack looked at her and noticed she was trying to talk to him. “I am sorry Shino, I must have been daydreaming. What did you say again?”

Smiling at him, “I asked what changes do you have tonight.”

“Oh, sorry. Lenny and I are going to change some of the router configurations.” A little relieved at thinking of something else and worried that Shino had a clue as to what he was thinking. She recently transferred from his company’s Tokyo office into the US marketing team. Her, Dominic and Sally were all marketing folks.

“Ah, is that difficult? Can you not come to the party afterwards?”

“I am not sure. I have to teach Lenny how to do it and it could take some time.” He said, then took a drink. Looking back at where Kat and Donnie were sitting. He was surprised because Kat was looking at him and Shino. A smile and then she was back into that table’s conversation.

“Oh, can I see someday? I was not allowed to do IT work in Japan but I have IT degree. I could not get a job as IT worker there.” Shino said with a hint of sadness.

Jack was still trying to figure out why was Kat looking at him and what the smile meant. Did she think Shino and he were talking? Oh no, maybe, that was it. Damn it, Shino is cute and all but she just really wanted to know about IT stuff. She had a crush on Dominic he thought.

Well maybe Kat really didn’t think of him of more than a friend. Maybe it was just a momentary glance at him. Sighing, he really shouldn’t get worked up like this. It’s kinda messed up getting this way over a girl you can’t have, when you already have one.

“So ne” Shino said. It took a second but Jack realized he sighed out loud and Shino took it to mean he was sad for her last statement about IT work in Japan.

Putting his hand on her shoulder, “Yes, we can show you stuff. Next week remind me and we can talk to John to see if he can get some of his people to also show you things.” At least he didn’t have to explain the sigh. This is really getting bad. “Shino, will you excuse me please. I need to go to the bathroom.”

She nodded and he took his leave. Going to the lanai door, he glanced at Kat who was watching him go inside. He smiled and then turned to go through the door.

Sitting in the bathroom, Jack was staring at the mirror. He really needed to stop thinking of Kat like this. She was a married woman and he was a married guy. He told himself that it is nothing coming from her. Nothing more than a friend would show. Just needed to calm his hormones.

He walked out of the bathroom and Josey was there. Surprised to see her, Jack asked. “Line?”

She smiled, “Ya, guess just bad timing. Saw ya talking to Shino. She is pretty cute, isn’t she?” playfully asking.

“Shino? No, I think she likes Dominic to be truthful. She was just asking me about my work. She has an IT degree.” Jack stated, slightly unnerved with this turn of the conversation.

If it could, Josey’s smile just got larger, “Oh, that is all. I was just curious. Never thought you as one that would enjoy talking about IT so much.”

Jack blinked. “It was nothing, just talking about work.” A lady came out of the bathroom. “Looks like you’re up.” Then he quickly turned to go. Feeling a little queasy and Josey’s eyes on his back, he thought. “What is going on? Why am I so freaked over this?”

Once away from the bathroom, he slowed down before getting to the lanai door. He was feeling slightly flushed. The alcohol? No, he has only had one beer. He goes to the bar inside and orders a beer. Lighting up a cigarette, he figures he will stay there watching the game on the TV for a minute to give himself a chance to calm down. How can these two unnerve him so. He has to forget these feelings for Katrina before he does something stupid.

Taking a deep drag of his cigarette, he slowly blows it out. Out of the corner of his eye, he sees Josey coming towards him from the bathroom. “Hanging out in here now?” She asks.

“No just ordered a beer an just waiting for it.”

Another one of those smiles, “Oh, okay see you out there.” She turns and walks to the lanai door.

Jack watches her go then glances over at Kat who is also looking his way again. Through the bar windows he watches Josey go sit next to Kat and start talking to her. She looks up at him again with a smile and Jack makes eye contact. He starts to motion for her to come to him with his head when his beer arrives.

After paying for his beer, he looks back but Kat is talking to others at the table. The moment has passed. Jack sighs, stubs out his smoke and with his beer, heads to the lanai.

Would love some feedback..