Tag: Bane

BANE: Harry’s Bane By G. Ackman

Word: BANE
Harry’s Bane
By G. Ackman

Hi. My name is Harry. Sometimes it is “Hurry up Harry” or “Come on Harry.” I don’t move very fast, I know. I just don’t see the point in rushing through life. If you go too quickly, you miss so many wonderful things to see and smell. I don’t see as well as some do since I only have one working eye, but that’s okay. It doesn’t hurt me like it used to. Before, when I was in that mean house and then that noisy place, it burned all the time and always felt like I had something in it that wouldn’t come out. Then the spotted dog came to me in my dreams. He told me that someone was going to come visit me and that he wanted me to go with her. He said that she was still sad that he had to leave and she needed a new best friend. She had been a great mom to him and would be to me too (I didn’t know what that word “mom” meant at the time, but I believed him). He had funny eyes too. His both worked but one was brown and one was bright blue. He said he chose me because we are alike in many ways and it is just what this mom person needed.

Sure enough, a few days later, she walked into the noisy place. The spotted dog, who told me his name was Izzy, whispered in my ear, “That’s her,” so after she sat down on the grass, I walked right up to her and licked her on the nose. I was confused because she left without me. She came back the next day though with another dog named Oscar. I was okay with that. Izzy had already told me about him. He’s got a good heart but can be annoying at times. After a few scuffles, I let him know when to leave me alone. We play together now and I guess I would miss him if he weren’t here. I guess I even love him a little. He’s my brother (but still annoying at times).

I heard horrible stories from other dogs in that noisy place.  Some had been so mistreated.  Broken bones, shotgun wounds, starvation.  I could smell sickness and fear and desperation on them. Just like me, no one loved them.  One dog, though, came in telling stories about being loved and always feeling safe and warm and happy.  None of us believed him.  We thought we were always supposed to be unhappy or hungry or scared or hurt.  Now, though, I know what he meant. Now that I have a mom who puts stinging drops in my eyes that make them feel better.  A mom who holds and loves me.  Those who hurt us are the bane of the world.  I wish every dog could have a mom like I do.  Thank you, Izzy, for bringing us together.  I'll take care of her for you.   

BANE: Bane By Miriam Mancuso

Word: BANE
Word Count:
Bane
By Miriam Mancuso

Kendra was tired but she could stay awake long enough to see her little brother’s babysitter Oliver bring young John home. She waited anxiously on the edge of her bed waiting to hear a knock on the door. She already had a perfect plan to stay downstairs while Oliver and John waited for Kendra’s parents arrival at home.Kendra was only thirteen so she couldn’t watch a 7 year old all alone (according to Mr. and Mrs. Stapleton) but seventeen year old Oliver was. Kendra was ready to wow her brother’s babysitter with her knowledge of basketball history and sucky high school teachers. Kendra desperately wanted to look older so that Oliver would notice her as he would a Junior like himself.
She put on (way too much) mascara, lipgloss and lip liner as well as a heck load of blush. That’s what 17 year old girls wear, right? She then took a wad of toilet paper and evenly separated the bunch and stuffed it down her training bra. That’s also what 17 year old girls do…right? Kendra wasn’t sure her lipstick was dark enough. She applied a bright red over her already attention-grabbing purplish blue. Hey, she wanted to stand out!
She then heard the knock on the door that she had been longing for. She squealed and hopped ip and down in excitement. She was ready to watch Oliver fall in love with her. Kendra stopped in her tracks. There stood the bane of her existence, Maria SanLuis, on Oliver’s arm.
Kendra backed up the stairs and began scraping the lipstick off of her face with her balled hand. Then her phone buzzed.
“How’d it go?”
“I think I’m gonna find a guy my own age who can’t get cheerleaders.” That’s why 13 year old girls did…right?

BANE: Bane By Janie D

Bane
Janie D

Now, she was a seemingly rational individual and realized that expelling him from her life was a wise move. Sometimes she managed to ignore his calls for days, occasionally for over a week. Nevertheless, she finally broke down and picked up the phone. It was that ever-present aura, that undeniable magnetic pull, that irresistible force, that even over the phone, pulled her back to him. Once she picked up the receiver, she was finished and her resolve would flee like a mouse from a cat.
For a while, it was good again and they went back to the routine of cars and bars. The excitement was never ending and a new adventure would be awaiting. He had many friends (although mostly they were cohorts that were enticing him to spend time away from work and getting into mischief. Mischief being a nice way of saying heavy drinking, drugs and women) who were on occasion helpful to have around for extra hands at the garage.
It wasn’t long before he fell back into his old ways, starting out for short periods and for long stretches between them at first. Those episodes became closer and closer together and for longer expanses of time. And to take the pressure off himself he began turning the tables and accusing her of doing all sorts of things, the things that she was sure that he was up to. Then the threats began. Vague threats about her family; threats that she knew he would be able to carry out. So, she stayed.
She stayed with him until that fateful night. That night he was relatively calm and carrying on normal conversation. They came home as usual and as she was making a bite to eat, like a switch, he started ranting and raving like he never had before. He said that he was going to kill her and everyone she cared about. As he went on and on she was looking around the room trying to see if there was a way to escape. Where were her car keys? How could she direct his attention away from her? But he knew what she was contemplating. That was when the terror began.
She tried to back away from him but he caught her and pinned her arms to her sides. Helplessly she struggled to rip herself from his ironlike grasp but stumbled backwards and fell. Now on her back, arms pinned to her sides with his knees. She was terrorized and had no way to block the blows that were repeated, over and over and over. As she gazed up at him between blows, she did not recognize the eyes of the man that she loved; a stranger glared at her with evil in those black eyes. She was unable to break through to him. He who was the bane of her life. Was this the end?

BANE: Labyrinth Planet By Michael S. Jones

Week 3 Word: BANE
Word Count 308
Labyrinth Planet
By Michael S. Jones

Daedalus Base Camp
Minos Dispatch 12.25.2219 E.C.

Dispatch Seven [7]

No, I have no idea if other mountains have labyrnths. We have established that this side of this mountain has five entrances. For all I know every mole hill has labyrinths.

Short-sightedness is the bane of this expedition. Central has documented stone-age societies as well as cultures so advanced that they wouldn’t even talk to us.

But the Theseans are the Other. Whoever they were they didn’t think like us. We are on the shore of a sea of knowledge and you provide a row boat.

If you had instruments in orbit you could see if there are other tunnel entrances. Logically of course they exist! Or do you think that we happened to land next to the only labyrinthian mountain on Minos?

You refuse to send an Exo-Archio/Anthropologist but give me terabytes [TBs] of books on past excavations. Do you think that these are Mayas? Prynths? You can’t even offer a cogent reason for placing brackets that repeat the clearest of terms in short form.

You just might be interested that Paige offers her report on reverse-engineering the ergonomic handle of the stone chisel found by Rich.

Their hands were slender with five long digits. Two opposing thumbs made for more dexterity and strength without our nearly useless pinky finger. The owner of this particular tool was left-handed.
[Report follows.]

Extrapolating, my guess is that they were bipedal. Five toes like ours? Prehensile? Absence of soil and flowing water inside the mountain argues against finding fossils. Is it dry enough to preserve bones?

Chief Engineer Paige Rutter is connecting drone fuselages. The fifteen sent so far make for durable and comfortable permanent quarters.

Pure science is financially inconvenient, but often leads to practical money-making discoveries. Consider missed opportunities.

Merry Christmas.

Family greetings follow.

W. A. Sloan, Commander

BANE: The Second Bane By Claire Robertson

Week 3 Word: BANE
Word Count 278

The Second Bane
By Claire Robertson

As they walked down the tunnel, Syria scoffed “Wow, soooo many dangers here.” She was right, they had passed no dangers, and though would never admit it, that scared both of them more then if there had been traps. Just when they started to calm down, the light became brighter, pulsing with more urgency. They sped up. After several hours they walked into another cave. The source of the light was at the center of the cave. There was nothing there. They searched the walls for something, anything. All they found was some paintings of animals. “I guess we just take it” Syria said, indicating to the ball of light. As soon as she reached out to take it, Magnus shouted “LOOK OUT!” Syria turned just in time to see a panther flying towards her. She lunged to the side just a Magnus grabbed the light. The panther screeched and fell, turning into dust. Magnus, still holding the light, said “Converterent de maledieto alligat ut vocatur in unum Minaya ad mortaliter et hoc unum verum forma revelare!” There was a blinding light and Syria was gone. She was replaced by a tall girl with waist length hair the same black as her brother’s. She was pretty, with an Asian face and eyes the same as her twin’s. They were gold-green and slit pupiled. Cat eyes. She remembered everything, the battle, the curse, and her name. Minaya Bane. She remembered her twin brother Magnus. “I thought you were dead.” She said simply. There was a screech. They looked to see that the panther had reformed. Worse, the rest of the animals joined it. We’re in trouble now, they thought.

BANE: Goat’s Bane By Beverly Jones

Week 3 Word: BANE
Word Count: 497

Goat’s Bane
Beverly Jones

Momma stood by the window with Sister beside her. I sat on the floor with a book on my lap. Sitting with a book is a great way to watch people who don’t want to be watched; they think I’m reading and I don’t let on any different. Baby crawled around on the floor looking under furniture for toys but finding only cat fur and dust bunnies.
Momma sighed as she looked at the yard. Other people have lawns that need to be tended, watered, pruned, planted. We had a yard. Not a thing needed to be tended; it only needed to be hacked back occasionally.
Here was the problem. Momma was allergic to grass. And weeds and trees. Allergic as in her eyes swelled shut and she wheezed for days. Sister and I could use the old-fashioned push grass-cutter on the grass inside the horse shoe shaped driveway. But between the driveway and the road was a sea of weeds moving ever closer to the house.
Momma turned around with a relieved smile on her face.
“I know what to do. I will get a goat from Linda.”
Linda was a friend down the road who always has acres of assorted critters. One year Momma wanted a fresh turkey for Thanksgiving.
Linda said, “Pick one out.”
Momma squeaked, “I don’t want to meet it before I eat it!”
We got a freshly killed and plucked turkey Thanksgiving morning, one Linda picked out for us. Well, it was almost all plucked. It took a while to finish it up before we could cook it.
So, we got the goat. It was the bane of Momma’s life, although she wouldn’t admit that. It was cantankerous, even for a goat. It distained the weeds in the front yard. It ignored the weeds in the back yard, but thought the grass inside the horseshoe shaped driveway was delicious.
“Well,” Momma said hopefully.”Maybe when the grass is gone it will eat the weeds.”
Of course it did not. When the grass was nibbled down to the sandy dirt, it went to work on the wood siding of our little grey house. We discovered what it was doing over the weekend when we were home all day. It was a crafty goat. It usually chowed down on the house while we were away.
But, we caught it munching on the wood one afternoon.
“Hmm,” Momma said.
But she said much worse than “Hmm” when we went out to go to school one morning. The goat was tap dancing, or maybe it was clogging, on the hood of the car. The hood looked like it had been attacked by hailstones.
After she said much worse than “Hmm” she yelled at it, “You are barbeque!”
I don’t know what ever happened to that goat. It just wasn’t in the yard after school.
Momma only smiled and somehow found the money to pay a neighborhood boy to cut grass and weeds from then on.

BANE: Cure for the Bane of Being Plain By B.A. Sarvey

Week 4 Word: BANE
Word Count 494
Cure for the Bane of Being Plain
By B.A. Sarvey

“Petite” has a connotation of attractiveness. Fairy-like grace.
No one ever called Wren petite. Slight, (substitute ‘insignificant’) or small, the “plain” part tactfully left unsaid. Wren’s mother had hoped her child would be like the wren that serenaded her during her pregnancy. Wren found the strident repetition of notes annoying; would have preferred being Patience or Hope. She had plenty of those.
Wren was small, but unlike the tiny, brown bird, she sang offensively off-key, and no perkiness counteracted her plainness. She was awkward—socially, physically. So, timid Wren learned to shelter. Her walled garden and her books became her world Her arms had never stretched upward, allowing her to soar into the vast possibilities of life.
Still, the actual, the physical act of flying was something she secretly, paradoxically, longed for. And now, it was possible, thanks to one of her monthly forays into that used book store on Bleeker Street—the one she had sidled into during a rare outing years ago: a hodge-podge of dusty tomes doomed to topple with the slightest disturbance. Strategically placed chairs (complete with scowling cat) and an unexpected maze of alleyways made it inviting. Safe. Shelves rose to the ceiling, and the proprietor reached the top via a rickety ladder. Wren had fallen in love.
The book in question was purchased on a whim. A witch’s herbal, it contained lore about useful plants. Finely detailed drawings accompanied each description. Art and plants. How could she go wrong? Snug in an unobtrusive corner of the shop, Wren had perused the slim volume, coveted the handmade look and feel of the binding, hesitated at the price. Perhaps another time. Reluctantly, she made ready to close the book. One more page…. And the image virtually flew out. What a stately plant! Tall, proud. “Hyos…Hyoscy…Hyoscyamus niger,” the words tripped out. “Henbane.” She left the shop twenty dollars poorer, feeling infinitely richer.
Henbane hadn’t been difficult to aquire. Many greenhouses offered it. Cousin to potatoes and tomatoes, but also to mandrake and belladonna, it was to be treated with respect. Waiting for the biennial’s second season made her tingle with impatience. When the plant rose, majestic, towering above the pansies and coreopsis in her garden, leaves larger than her shoe, she knew it had been worth the care. One plant would keep her flying for months.
Flight! Finally. But how much henbane? The herbal was vague. Too little— nothing would happen. Too much—she might die. The toxic dose was unknown, according to modern sources. Still, what did she have to lose?
The pale green leaf, just one for starters, chopped, mixed with lettuce, cucumber, mint, drowned with tangy honey mustard dressing, prickled her tongue, nearly nauseated her. Hesitantly, then hastily, she consumed the entire salad.
Wren’s heartbeat quickened. A flush crept up her neck, her cheeks. She concentrated on feeling weightless. Saw her fingers become feathers. Couldn’t feel her lips. Struggled for breath. Reeled. Released the Earth.
Radiant, Wren flew.

BANE: Harry’s Bane By G. Ackman

Week 3 Word: BANE
Word Count 498
Harry’s Bane
by G. Ackman

Hi. My name is Harry. Sometimes it is “Hurry up Harry” or “Come on Harry.” I don’t move very fast, I know. I just don’t see the point in rushing through life. If you go too quickly, you miss so many wonderful things to see and smell. I don’t see as well as some do since I only have one working eye, but that’s okay. It doesn’t hurt me like it used to. Before, when I was in that mean house and then that noisy place, it burned all the time and always felt like I had something in it that wouldn’t come out. Then the spotted dog came to me in my dreams. He told me that someone was going to come visit me and that he wanted me to go with her. He said that she was still sad that he had to leave and she needed a new best friend. She had been a great mom to him and would be to me too (I didn’t know what that word “mom” meant at the time, but I believed him). He had funny eyes too. His both worked but one was brown and one was bright blue. He said he chose me because we are alike in many ways and it is just what this mom person needed. Sure enough, a few days later, she walked into the noisy place. The spotted dog, who told me his name was Izzy, whispered in my ear “that’s her,” so after she sat down on the grass, I walked right up to her and licked her on the nose. I was confused because she left without me. She came back the next day though with another dog named Oscar. I was okay with that. Izzy had already told me about him. He’s got a good heart but can be annoying at times. After a few scuffles, I let him know when to leave me alone. We play together now and I guess I would miss him if he weren’t here. I guess I even love him a little. He’s my brother (but still annoying at times).
I heard horrible stories from other dogs in that noisy place. Some had been so mistreated. Broken bones, shotgun wounds, starvation. I could smell sickness and fear and desperation on them. Just like me, no one loved them. One dog, though, came in telling stories about being loved and always feeling safe and warm and happy. None of us believed him. We thought we were always supposed to be unhappy or hungry or scared or hurt. Now, though, I know what he meant. Now that I have a mom who puts stinging drops in my eyes that make them feel better. A mom who holds and loves me. Those who hurt us are the bane of the world. I wish every dog could have a mom like I do. Thank you, Izzy, for bringing us together. I’ll take care of her for you.

BANE: Over Run By Nan Ressue

Week 3 Word:BANE
Word Count 452
OVER RUN
Nan Ressue
It’s the little things in life that can make you crazy. Let me explain.
When we lived in the country with our young and expanding family, we were gradually enmeshed in a friendship with Dan and Janice, newlyweds with limited means who usually stopped by to visit around noon or maybe quarter to six. They often would bring us a gift which proceeded a request to use or borrow something they lacked but needed. The last time it was a request for service. They had both accepted a summer jobs as camp counselors and needed somebody to babysit their two pair of adult gerbils. They would be caged and would need minimum care and feeding. OK. Why not? The bonus was that we wouldn’t have uninvited dinner guests for a while.
Let me introduce you to gerbils. They are small, sleek rodents which were a somewhat larger version of field mice and are purchased as pets by children who are not allowed to have a dog. They also hold the world’s record for copulation. As I was pregnant myself, I wasn’t too interested in what they were doing and they did it a lot.
Our boardinghouse gerbils were childless for a total of one night before the first babies were born. My own children were thrilled and they spent time watching and naming the new families of twelve.
Not many weeks passed by before the adults had produced another generation. However, an emergency was pending as my children hovered near the cages in horror.
“MOM”,they screamed. “The teenagers are eating the babies!” I rushed to see the problem and quickly decided what to do.
“Call your father,” I commanded who came on a run. “Go get any container you can spot…Boxes, bird cages, something with a cover and off they went. Transferring the teenage cannibals took lots of coordination and, before you knew it, the stacks of cages and containers which were being piled on a big chest of drawers began to tip over. Off they went, down the cellar stairs, under the freezer, and some through a hole in the screen door, much to the cat’s great delight. I did what I usually do in the face of hopelessness. I was leaning against the wall in hysterics while my husband yelled, “What good are you? Standing there laughing doesn’t help at all”
We finally did manage to corral quite a few, restack the cages, and secure the doors. We actually turned out to be pretty good babysitters. We started with four and sent home thirty-two.
The lesson you should learn from this domestic tale is as follows: If you decide to get a pet gerbil, just buy one.

BANE: The Bane of Moving Day By Maggie Robertson

Week 3: Bane
Word Count 492

The Bane of Moving Day
Maggie Robertson

The memories weave through my head as I confront the dark recesses of the basement. No light is bright enough to ease my nervousness. I’m sure they’re lurking in here, and every shadow flicker alerts my radar. I’m trying to remain calm, relaxed, knowing just my thoughts might attract them, the way cats know who has the allergy.

I sort and clean, carefully inspecting each item before picking it up.
I’m an adolescent at summer camp. Piercing screams penetrate the night as girls’ flashlights catch the nightly visitors on the inside tent walls. Hitting the outside sometimes works to make them disappear out the bottom. Other times it launches them into the nearest open footlocker.

I dump a box onto the floor to give any that might be in there a chance to escape.
I’m in college, and a large one appears out of the bathroom cupboard. I spray it with whatever is closest; window cleaner, I think. The next night I flip down the covers on my bed and turn around; it’s on the blankets I just turned down. I sleep on the sofa.

I re-pack the box and gingerly carry it upstairs. I put on a tight-fitting knit cap and feel safer. Back to the basement.
Walking down the road in Poland, I feel the strand hit my face. I instinctively back up and here it comes out of the tree, straight for what I’m sure it thinks is a lifelong meal. I dance in the middle of the road, flailing and whirling in an attempt to free myself. At that moment a car comes up the road, its occupants no doubt wondering what that American is doing now. I’m caught between maintaining dignity and rising panic; I don’t know where it is.

The next box re-packed and safely upstairs; I’m wishing I had a Tyvek suit.
Huge, gorgeous, black and yellow, each web with the tell-tale zig-zag. They are particularly fond of hanging their art above the ripening black plum tomatoes. I learn to harvest while lying down.

Under the stairs is all the scrap wood I was planning to use for crafts. Nope. It’s now a gift for the next owner.
My 4-year-old is perched on the bathroom sink counter as usual. Upstairs to get pajamas, I hear my husband yell, and my older child calls for me in a panic. I rush downstairs expecting to find my youngest broken and bleeding, but no, one had emerged from a laundry pile and tried to make off with my 7-year-old. I assign my husband the task of finding it, but he is unsuccessful. The next morning, our 5 week-old chicks are cowering in the corner of their cage while it glares at them from the opposite corner. Releasing it outside, it covers half a brick.

Loading the last box of the last load into the van, I’m wondering if any of them are coming with me.