Spoilers, a vignette

 Posted by at 19:03  No Responses »
Dec 242013
 

“How’d you do this year?” she asked.

He didn’t jump. Just like all the other times, he knew she was there just before she said anything. Her visits never scared him. Unsettled, but never frightened. She didn’t work that way.

“Okay,” he said, as if such a bland non-answer could hold any meaning. “Not as well as I wanted.”

She chuckled. It was a light sound, empty of derision. She had never laughed at him. Sometimes she just seemed to find him amusing. “How many times has it ever gone as well as you wanted?” she asked.

He stared down the length of his slouched, seated body and let his eyes focus on nothing somewhere near his knees. “Always.”

She leaned forward from her seat next to him on the park bench. Dark hair fell in wispy strands around her face as she did so, glowing like incandescent filaments when they caught the fading sunlight. Her eyebrows turned up in a look of sympathy and concern, the corners of her mouth quirked up in perpetual wry amusement at life itself. “You set awfully high standards for yourself.”

He shot her a sidelong look out of the corner of his eyes and shrugged deeper into his wholly inadequate jacket. Clear though the sky was, the sun had done nothing to dispel the winter chill from the air. “I have to.”

“I know.” She did. She studied him for several moments and he continued his oblique observation in return. Everything about her smacked of impossibility. Her features were severe and soft, her eyes huge and shrewd, her lips full and thin. As ever, she wore a light, breezy gown that would have been at home in the height of summer or climbing into bed at night, but she paid the frigid weather no mind. “What will you do next year?”

“The same,” he said, “only better.”

She turned to look out across the pond, staring into the waning sunlight. It should have hurt her eyes, but she didn’t work like that. “Nothing different?”

He shook his head. “Nothing different. If I keep piling on new things, I’ll never finish the old ones.”

She nodded, her head rising and falling in time with her deep, even breathing. “You’re learning.”

He chuckled. “I’m shocked myself.”

Her eyes came back to him and the smile she now wore was that same strange, distant but knowing smile he’d seen so many times before. “I’m not,” she said. “It was only ever a matter of time. You were always going to get here eventually.”

“At least one of us thought so,” he groused. He shook his head immediately after, dismissing the reaction. “No, I knew it too. You’re right.”

“I think you’ll make it this time,” she offered. “Maybe, just maybe you’ll even go farther than you think.”

He arched an eyebrow at that. “Is there something you want to tell me?”

Her smile changed again, becoming an impish grin. “Spoilers.”

The wind kicked up and she was gone.

“Spoilers,” he grunted.

Jan 032011
 

I saw a lot of people glad to be done with 2010. The general feeling seems to have been that 2010 was a less-than-satisfactory year. For my part, I’m inclined to disagree: in March, I got a new job at an awesome company working with awesome people on an awesome project; in July, my groomsmen took me to Atlantic City; in August, I got married and then went on my very first cruise; in October, Cody and I went as a very convincing Rose and the 10th Doctor for Halloween; in November, my parents finally came down to Maryland for Thanksgiving; December featured one of our best New Year’s Eve parties ever.

So, y’know, go 2010. May 2011 be as good or better.

To that end as is custom this time of year, I have a list of goals that I’m planning to work toward this year. They’re not “resolutions” and they’re not carved in stone; either notion is folly. But they’re things I care about and want to get better at, which I think carries more weight.

  • Devote some time each evening to writing or playing guitar. The main thing here is taking care of my “daily chores” in WoW, and then setting it aside while I spend some time doing either of the above activities. Once I’ve put some good effort in toward either, I’ll allow myself to go back to playing more WoW. I love my WoW hobby, but I can’t continue neglecting my others!
  • Get better about watching my diet again. I’ve slipped a bit since the wedding, which is probably entirely unsurprising to anyone who’s gotten married. I haven’t backslid irrevocably or anything drastic, but it’s noticeable enough to me that I want to do something about it. So, I plan to. Having a Droid will, I hope, make keeping track of my food intake a little easier.
  • Finish unpacking the house. This includes getting some additional furniture (bookshelves) and also tidying up the pantry shelves so that we can actually start making use of the damn thing.
  • Build the vacuform machine I’m always talking about. I intend to for Halloween to be very interesting this year.

That seems like an ambitious-enough list to start with.