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Vampire Huntress

Perhaps I should not read Dracula before bed, I had a dream I was teaming up with Van Helsing to go after a band of vampires (one of which was my crazy niece). The setting was modern and for some reason I had wardrobe people. I had to explain to them that wearing heels when hunting vampires was not sensible and I had a conversation with one of them about the time she went to a theme park and a domestic cat had lunged at her, knocked her down, and purred in her face. I woke up to my cat putting next to my head. – Jan 19, 2017

Here is what happens when a Facebook post of my actual dream becomes a challenge to write it out into a short story type something. Anyway, it’s a draft at this point, so I’m just fleshing out what I remember:

Vampire Huntress

Mist hung in wisps among the live oaks tinsled in Spanish moss, creating a haze around the moon from my view hidden behind a tombstone.

“Friend Terri. You must come, now,” Professor Abraham VanHelsing hissed from behind another tombstone. He was the cutest little old Dutchman, with his numerous degrees, his broken English, and a brown corduroy jacket with suede elbow patches. He reached out his hand, which I took, and we were off. Yes, I touched his hand and we were suddenly in the sanctuary of a well lit suburban home, surrounded by people.

“I did not have Host with me, or the garlic. Thank you for come with me, Friend Terri, but I cannot be put you in any more danger, dear, sweet girl.”

“Really, Prof. Van Helsing, I want to help you end these terrible creatures.”

“Dear child, is not one of them a niece to you?”

“Yes, but perhaps it is not too late for her. Maybe we can still give her soul freedom.”

“I fear she has gone too far for that freedom.”

“Then I am ready to make sure they will not do this to any others. What can I do to help you, Professor?”

The lights suddenly dimmed and we found ourselves watching TV monitors of surveillance cameras covering the back corridors of a closed shopping mall. We caught the images of four vampires, two female and two male, moving from one screen to the next. It was almost dawn and they had to find their resting places for the coming day… at a shopping mall.

Part of me wondered why their images could not be reflected in a mirror yet could be captured on video, while another part of me wondered what time period this was. These vampires looked very Lost Boys-ish to me. I could have sworn the blond male was a young Keifer Sutherland.

“Do not worry why they do not reflect in mirrors, Friend Terri. But you must prepare for hunt now. These ones will help you get prepare, and then come find me,” Van Helsing offered as he left five assistants behind for me. “I will be outside Macy’s when you are ready,” he added as he hoisted a Victorian crossbow against his shoulder and left another leaning against the wall for me.

The assistants were apparently my wardrobe people, each sizing me up and sifting through an array of clothes that had suddenly appeared. I didn’t mind the steampunk corset, which was surprisingly comfortable, or the looked-like-leather-but-felt-like-jeans pants they literally threw at me. But I had to draw the line at the high heeled buckle boots.

“Really? How do you suppose I am going to sneak around and hunt dangerous vampires in those? I won’t even be able to walk in them. Don’t you have anything more sensible for vampire hunting?” I pleaded.

“Women always wear heels and leather for such tasks in movies,” one of the wardrobe girls said. The others all shook their heads in agreement.

“Well, this isn’t a movie, and I need something flat and comfortable.”

“How about these?” another of the girls offered as she handed me the perfect pair of boots. They were plaid and leather and flat with buckles and spurs and a comfortable gel insert.

“Yes, I believe I can even run in those,” I said enthusiastically. “Now, let’s talk hair. I’m going to need it back out of my face…”

Ever so quickly, my hair was set in a long sideways braid and I was wearing a top hat that stayed on my head even when I shook it.

“Ladies, thank you. Do you think I am ready now?” I asked as I reached for my crossbow.

“Yes. You look like a vampire huntress.”

A black cat suddenly appeared, rubbing at our ankles. One of the girls reached down and lifted him so she could look him in his green eyes. “I love cats. One time I went to a theme park and saw a cat in some bushes behind a bench. When I called to him, he ran out, jumped into my arms, and knocked me down purring.”

 

 

And that is when I woke up with my own cat purring in my ear on my pillow. I am ready the Dracula sequel, so who knows what else I’ll dream. I like to think Professor Van Helsing and I kicked vampire butt though, even though I’ve never before used a crossbow or worn a top hat.

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Tiny Poems

Sometimes you get a few lines of rhyme in your head and you just have to get them on paper. But then that’s it. What do you do with them? I don’t know, but here are a few of mine:

The mirror on the wall

It never lies

It reflects my fears

and all the lies

Jan 10, 1998

Will you be my resting place,

When my days are long?

Pick me up and carry me,

When I’m not so strong?

March 12, 1998

i’m drowning in a pool of misery

all i am and want to be

suffocating, i cannot breathe

the undertow, kills me

3-11-98

What a pretty calamity!

A beloved gone to waste…

Who would have given it all up

For just one little taste…

…yet now in solitude.

10-8-98

I still have dreams of you,

Nightmares actually.

But I can’t change that past,

It’s now a part of me.

11-28-98

Soothing thoughts stroke my brain,

Promising to rid all my pain

3-?-99

I wish I could get away from myself,

Spend a day in the life of someone else

Spring ’99

Make me believe

in make-believe

While you hold

My heart in your hands

Spring ’99

All of the above poems were obviously written by me, Terri Klaes Harper

Dear Long Lost Friend

Dear Long Lost Friend & Those I Have Loved,

If I take the time to look back over my life, I see moments and people swirling, never stopping. It always keeps moving. Life doesn’t stop.

But I am sorry I haven’t paused to thank you for being one of those swirling faces. Each one is special. Each one helped make me who I am today. Some encouraged me and gave me hope. Some broke me down so I had to build myself back up, stronger. Some tested my moral fortitude. And some held me and let me cry.

I see pieces of laughter and inspirations to be better. There are adventures and quiet moments.  Fear. Wonder. Loyalty. Love.

Each person in my life helped mold or chisel a piece of me. All are part, though some more so than others, of the masterpiece that I am, or hope to be. Because that’s how it works. “We’re all in this together,” and wow, isn’t that the truth!

You never know the words you say that will forever stick with another, so please, choose them wisely.

 

Forever Yours,

Terri Klaes Harper

 

A Girl Gets on a Bus…

Or

Tales of How Our Choices Effect Others, Part I

Or

All the Bananas in the World Cannot Fix Crazy

Once upon a time a girl got on a bus. Why and how she got there is really only the beginning of the story though.

She was an unhappy girl, and had been for some time, presumably even before she had her first baby at too young an age and suffered postpartum depression, which she denied and refused help for. Instead, she made threats of awful things she could do to the baby, and had a second one by a different father two years later, a pregnancy she attempted to hide for five months, even though it was obvious.

Her unhappiness and clear resentment of the children and herself lead to her yelling at them and neglecting them for hours in the mornings, because she felt it unfair she could not stay up and out all night and sleep the morning away. Why did they have to wake up? Why did they have to eat? Couldn’t everyone just leave her alone? She only truly lived at night. And the girl’s grandparents, who had taken her in when she had nowhere else to go were treated to fits of anger and screaming for their attempts to help care for the children who were still too young to care for themselves. They did not respect the way she was choosing to raise her children. It was none of their business if the baby girl cried from hunger pangs through the morning hours while she slept. How dare they try to overstep her parenting! After all, they were her children- her things. So instead of being grateful for their help and caring, she disrespected her grandparents and was cruel to them every chance she had.

One day, the girl moved in with her boyfriend, not the father of either child, and took the children with her…at least for a few months, until it got hard. She requested the grandparents take the older, harder to deal with child, the boy. She had always liked him less anyway and made no attempts to hide it. The boyfriend seemed to need someone he felt he could fix, and the girl was in need of fixing, and so it was a perfectly unhealthy combination for a codependent relationship.

It occurred to the young girl while she was launching and breaking items around her boyfriend’s father’s house as the couple fought one day, that she’d had enough. Yes, she was done. It was time to “minimalize” her life. Everybody expected her to have a job, to take care of her children, and to be a responsible, like an adult. Who needed that? It just wasn’t fair! And so, with nothing except the clothes she was wearing, her wallet, and a pair of sunglasses, she took her boyfriend’s deceased mother’s bicycle and peddled herself under the hot Florida summer sun at least 30 miles to a bus station. There she purchased a one-way ticket that would take her 3,000 miles away. She couldn’t take the crazy demands of everyone. Too much was expected of her. They were sapping away her free spirit, so she let it loose, like a bird, like the homeless people whom she had always admired, with their carefree lives.

The problem? Both children were in the home that day, as even the boy had been allowed to visit with his mother for the summer, even if he couldn’t have ice cream when his little sister did. Now they were simply left behind at the young girl’s now ex-boyfriend’s (who was neither child’s father) father’s house. She had simply disappeared, making no arrangement for them whatsoever. The distraught ex-boyfriend quickly contacted the much resented grandparents, not knowing what else to do, and not having been given any instructions from the mother, whom he was afraid was going to kill herself.

But she didn’t. Instead…she simply got on a bus and left everyone else to pick up the pieces of the abandoned children, which is where the story really lies. Maybe if everyone had just left her alone and let her sleep when she had wanted…

Stay tuned for more possible stories. Any similarities of these tales to real life will be denied, chalked up to paranoia, and called a piece of fiction, as nobody would believe such an awful person existed anyway.

Throw Away Children

In the last couple months, I’ve been questioned as to why I haven’t been, and urged to begin again, to write. It is something I love to do, so why has it been so hard?

I finally figured it out. Writing is my release of feelings, and I’ve been keeping some in for far too long. The result, my constipated writing. Why should I hold back any longer? If I want to write again, I think I need to let this go.

Throw Away Children

I pray daily that I can forgive you for what you've done,
but so far that battle has not easily been won.
Did your advisors tell you a new one would "validate" tossing the others
 aside?
Are you hoping maybe you can actually do this one right? Yeah, right!
In raising your sweet little girl, according to her, I became her mother.
And with my parents raising your son, does that make him my brother?
The kids don't need or ask of you now and probably won't even past twenty,
So if you love them at all, leave them alone as the damage you've 
 inflicted is plenty
You should try to walk sometime in someone else's shoes,
though it's clear the only ones that concern you belong to you.
You affect concern and dole out unwarranted, nonsense advice,
but they haven't even seen you in Christmases thrice.
You thought they'd think your not wanting them, yet starting over with 
 another would be good news?
An obvious piece of evidence of the good your exit from their lives now
 proves.
Some things, believe it or not, are more important than eating bananas
Or the price of avocados in Florida.

dsc_0453Terri Klaes Harper 2017

Oh, and congratulations on being so tolerant, you know, except when it 
came to raising your own kids.

My Christmas Prayer 2016

My house is quiet this morning. The dogs followed me out of the bedroom but collapsed while I made my coffee. My husband softly snores yet with the cat. There are no excited children to open gifts. It is just me and thoughts.

Whether today is the true date of Jesus’ birth or not,  I am thankful that he agreed to come here and be born as a little baby who would suffer the trials of mankind, growing in communion and fellowship with so many imperfect people. These were the people who were looking for him, yet refused to see him.

Even as a baby he was born to die. He was a sacrifice. Imagine growing up knowing that. Then imagine him surrounded by the hatred and cruelty of mankind (not so different than it is today), and deciding to die for us anyway, Jew and gentile alike. In fact, he died for anyone and everyone who would choose him.

This Christmas, I am thankful for the greatest gift ever, God’s son. So many are lost, hurting, and confused. If I read the news, it brings me to tears more often than not. How can we believe in good when we are surrounded by so much evil? But I pray for this to be a day that gives hope. I pray everyone would have a small moment in their busy days to look past the commercialism and truly appreciate what Christmas represents. There is hope, if we only look. I pray we may all focus on the good and what we do have. I pray for hurting people to find peace. And I pray my little girl would always continue to love God and believe with her childlike faith.

john-1

Merry Christmas!

O Christmas Tree

The tree stood a mere 32 inches off the floor. She reflected on the tree from the Christmas prior and figured she should be thankful. That one had been a literal sapling, meant to be planted outdoors after the passing of the holiday, but it had deteriorated and died before Christmas day had even come. It was just as well anyway as living in an apartment didn’t afford much of a place for them to plant the bitty tree.

She tried not to see the parallels in the trees and her own lack of thriving. The positive side was that one strand of lights made this the brightest little tree she had ever seen. And after scanning the living room portion of their one-room studio apartment, she could see that shifting the items from the small corner table to the desk by the bed would provide a better vantage point for the tree and give it the appearance of a being taller.

After placing the tree in its new home atop the table, she decided it was best to be thankful for what she had and placed their small star on top. With a feeling of contentedness, she settled down on the love seat with a cup of hot cocoa. Unexpectedly, her husband arrived home from work, emerging through the door with a six foot tree he had won at his company Christmas party.