This blog is dedicated to the stories I've written over the years. Sometimes I get some time and add a story. Grab a hot cup of something and enjoy!

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Affected: Dancing Wind Epilogue


Well several weeks have gone by since I went public.  Dr. Rambles has been working with some powerful affected to “get the truth” out of our so called government officials.    But I’ll let her tell all about that if she chooses to do so.

I found out that “Fab” was short for Fabio, seems his mom was really into those bodice ripper romances that Fabio modeled for.  Yes, we’ve kept in touch with that Farm and I think Aunt Becca takes too many trips out there to take seed to them.    Now that partnership began with her taking them some seed as a thank you for helping me.  She took them some agave plants that I handled also.   They now make the best tequila in the world.   All legal like too.  ;)

As for me, I’m back at Aunt Becca’s ranch but I also have been working with the “good guys” of the Affected.  Here and there.  Sometimes I’m just able to gather some information where others have failed.    Dr. Rambles does a whole lot more than I can. 

I’ve had to restart all my experiments and such.  But I’m pretty sure I’ve been able to find the limits of my abilities.   While extreme stress does seem to enhance them, regular stress doesn’t.   

I really didn’t like being in the spot light and thankfully, I was ‘forgotten’ when more powerful Affected “came out of the closest”.  Hahahaha!  I like the quiet life. 

Aunt Becca is glad that the worse seems to be over and  has managed to wrangle a 5000 year contract with the government that NO government official or agency will ever take away her Ranch.   She did the same for the Farm which included all the land around it that was federally owned.  It’s huge now and that family has its hands full.   I don’t know how she does that.   She got all the water and mineral rights too.   She even managed to get some money for the damage the Feds caused when they stormed the ranch.  And then some extra.  Sorry taxpayers. 

Kassie is still amazing.  She has really blossomed into a natural botanist and has begun to make hybrids out of some of the plants I’ve been working with.   So not only is she still helping/apprenticing with me, she has begun her own experiments.  It’s awesome to watch.

The Greenhouses are bursting with plants and we’ve planted new orchards and gardens.  One of the things we’ve begun is testing the potency of some of the medical herbs.   We are looking for other farms to work with and are carefully going through all the applicants.  Only GOOD people will be chosen. 

I think if we plan it just right…and only deal with the people… we will be able to wipe out hunger in our country…and then we will tackle the world.   My Aunt has already begun working with schools in our area and sending “dinner” home with those kids who will take it.  We are making gardens at the schools for the kids to help with; I’ve just been handing out seeds.   The kids are even bringing seeds for me to touch for their own gardens at home. 

I’ve narrowed down what actually happens when I touch the seed.  The vibrations in me “jiggle” the DNA in the seeds to work more efficiently.  So instead of a lot of seed that never germinates, all the seeds do and they use their stored food more efficient until they emerge from the soil.  Then they are able to use sunlight 100%.  It’s just amazing watching what happens.   Even under the microscope. 

These vibrations are also what seem to allow me to understand and talk to animals.  It’s like my whole body just vibrates differently.  I wondered what was happening with my brain and so went in for a cat scan, MRI, and another brain scan that I never heard of.  My brain is like all lit up.  One of the staff brought in their “mascot” Sparky.  He is a beautiful Golden Retriever to ‘talk to me’ during that last scan and I guess my brain just really went nuts… but in a good way.   The same with me flying, these vibrations manipulate the air. 

So as you can guess, I’m spending a lot of time learning to control these vibrations and my abilities. 

Oh, and Betty is acting like an old married horse with Stanford, but anyone can see how happy they are.  And she is going to give birth sometime early next year.

I can talk to her filly too.  

The Affected: Dancing Wind Chapter Twenty-Eight

Chapter Twenty-Eight

There must have been twenty of them, all armed and all their arms pointed at the five of us.

Dr. Rambles told them that we were not there to hurt anyone but that we were just trying to get home.

They frisked us and saw we did not have any guns or weapons so they finally lowered theirs and asked where we came from. 

When Dr.  Rambles explained that we were running away from that building and pointed over towards where we came from, they started to raise their guns again but she worked her ability and while convincing them we had been prisoners there, found out that this group had been fed up with the comings and goings of that place ever since “The Event”.  They had figured out pretty quick it was not a legit place. 

I figured they would be putting two and two together pretty quick and decided to take control.

“Yes it was just horrible being locked up in there! Please we need to get out of here before those horrible people find us.  Can you please help us?”

The man who seemed to be in charge, stepped forward and said “My name is Fab…don’t ask… well if you’re some of those freaks, why don’t you save yourself?”

“We don’t have super powers or abilities.  Please we just need to get away, as far away as possible.  Will you help us?”

Then the man named “Fab” (and yes I was dying to know the story behind that name, I mean was his mom stupid enough to name him after laundry soap? Or did she think he was just ‘Fabulous’ at birth) hollered out “Junior!” (oh please, does this mean there is a Jr. Fab running around??) “Get the van started and take these people to town.”

“Thank you so much Mr. Fab!  We really appreciate it!”

“I’m not doing it for you, I don’t want those gooberment goons coming over here.”

Dr. Rambles just could not help herself “Why not?”

Ole Fab didn’t stand a chance but blurted out all about the still he had in one of the old barns, even going so far as to brag about how unique and efficient it was.   

Needless to say, the rest of the group hustled us into the van and Jr took off fast.  We didn’t even have seat belts on and kind of got tossed around a bit. 

Jr slowed down when we heard the helicopter, trying hard not to draw attention to us.  We didn’t realize that a few others from the farm also jumped into vehicles and drove in different directions all crazy like so the helicopter actually took off after one of them. 

Jr was more talkative on the ride to town, not sure if it was because Dr. Rambles was sitting up front with him or not.  But he filled us in on the happenings.  Seems we had been locked up for almost a month.  I had thought that only one or two at the most, days had gone by. 

No wonder I was starving.  I looked at my arms and only then noticed the needle marks.  All five of us had them. 

Anyways, back to the happenings.  I guess some of the Affected have had it with the government and someone (or more) has been ‘disappearing’ members of congress who have now been found to be BAD BAD people.   The Affected were demanding to be treated with all the same rights that God gave everyone else. 

I had to wonder how many other buildings were being used to ‘house’ affected.   There were five of us in this one… ten more would be fifty.  It was unacceptable. 

Just ONE held against their will was unacceptable.   I was worried about Aunt Becca and Kassie. 

“Town” turned out to be just what we needed.   The other three affected were able to call family and have them come and get them.  Again, that is their story to tell.  As for me and Dr. Rambles, well I called Aunt Becca and told her I was ok and she told me to NOT come home because she had just had a horrible visit by the FBI and Selman.  They even threatened to take her ranch if she did not tell them where I was. 

Good grief!  Why are they so interested in ME?  I’m not anyone nor do I have super powers. 

Dr. Rambles was able to get a hold of her husband who had been in the hospital with a heart attack.  She was horrified and decided she was going to fly home as fast as she could.  She didn’t think she would have a job anymore either. 

We both decided we would be safer if we went public.   And two weeks later, that is what we did.  

The Affected: Dancing Wind Chapter Twenty-Seven

Chapter Twenty-Seven

I sent some of the mice to look for the keys to the other rooms.  By this time, I was sure no one would see me in the plants, I was well hidden.    The foliage was much thicker now.  But I didn’t want there to be too much of a difference so I tried to pull in all the plants growing and just concentrate on the ivies.   I could feel the plants begin to respond and they began to slow down. 

I thought that by now I would be exhausted and weak but I actually felt pretty good.  I was still hoppin’ mad because I realized that Selman was probably behind all this. 

I had other mice search the whole place so that I could figure out the ‘lay of the land’ as it were.  It wasn’t as big as I thought it might be but it wasn’t small either.  I sent a few to find a way outside and they were happy to “show” me.   There was a small crack in one of the unused storage closets way in the back that actually had stuff in it with layers of dust. 

Outside looked to be a forest.  Well I was looking through the eyes of a mouse now.  Grass tends to look that way to them. She scurried along the outside wall until she got to the parking lot.  Now I could see for a longer ways and I could not believe where I was.

In the middle of NOWHERE!!!  How long was I out?  It was just fields forever!  Oh there were trees here and there but mostly just over grown fields.  Now again, I was looking through mouse eyes so I HOPE there was more.  I had her go completely around the building, it took her awhile but she did.  I didn’t see anything different or helpful.   It was the same view as outside the windows behind me.

Via the mice, I found room #3 and Dr. Rambles.  So I concentrated the ivy growth towards her.  The ivy grew out of the ducts in her room which were right above her bed.  One of the mice went into her room by squeezing under the door.  So I could “see” how the ivy was doing by looking through the eyes of the mouse. 

Did I mention that this was freaking me out?? But oh so cool! 

Soon I had five keys in my hands, four to the rooms and one to the front door.   The seven men were still running around the place being chased by the bugs until finally they ended up running out the back door.  Even the four security guards ran out.   The door closed with a solid thunk behind them.  

In Dr. Rambles room I could see she had woke up and was reaching for the ivy, as she touched it, I got a jolt!


I could see her nod her head and hear her whisper “Dani?” 

I whispered back in my head “yes and I’m coming to free you.”

I decided that this place needed to go and so gave the plants some last words.  They were to do enough damage to make it uninhabitable for humans but not enough to damage themselves. 

I gently crawled out of the planter.  I could see that there was now only one car left in the lot and nothing but a dust cloud on the road leading away. 

I went and released Dr. Rambles and the other three. 

I’m not going to tell the names of the three and yes they all did have abilities but that is their stories to tell and really this story is about ME! ;)

It turns out we were in a long forgotten building that was to be the first building of a new community.  It was a real estate office best I could tell.  But the community never took off.  And guess where?  No guess?


Yep I was about three hundred miles from home.  But the girl was from Canada.  The guys? One was from Florida and the other from Oregon.  The only thing they had in common was they were all three going to some meeting that had been arranged for The Affected. 

I wasn’t sure what to think but we all agreed we needed to get out of there.  We all ran back to the reception area where the plants had already begun again to outgrow their planters and slipped outside after I used the last key to unlock the door. 

We checked the car out to see if we could use it but there were no keys and none of us knew how to hot wire a car.  And it was an automatic, so no pushing it to jump start it.   There was only the one road and so we didn’t know which way to go. 

Thankfully a Robin pointed us in the right direction to the nearest “huumens” which I took as meaning a town.  Robins can be pretty abrupt and rude.  It wasn’t a town but rather a farm.    I guess they moved out to the boonies for a reason.  I guess they didn’t like to have people around.  I guess that is why they met us with guns.


Friday, August 1, 2014

The Affected: Dancing Wind Chapter Twenty-Six

Chapter Twenty-Six

Yes I am NOT ashamed at all.  I called every spider, ant, fly, roach, and creepy crawler I could think of. 

And they came.  Boy did they come. 

The bad guys (or whoever they were) began to beat on the door and make threats telling me I better move the bed and such and let them in.

Did they really think I was that stupid??

Well they began to scream when the fire ants poured out of the small gap in the door and began to bite them.

The one time I thanked God for fire ants! 

There were only three guys, the “Mountain” and the two geeks.  The mouthy geek and the quiet geek. 

I think that the Mountain squealed louder than the other two but I could definitely hear three squealers out there.  And they then ran and left my door open.  I did not waste any time.  I shoved the bed out of the way and ran out the door.  All the bugs had followed the three men. 

As I began to run down the hall, I saw an open door and peeked in.  It was the monitor room and I could see other rooms on different monitors.  Dr. Rambles was on one of the screens.  It looked like she was asleep on her cot. 

I remembered she and I had been talking when I was hit by the dart.  They must have got her too.  I hope they just took her because she was there and not because they knew about her ability. 

There was a number 3 written on a scrap of paper and taped to her monitor.  There were five all together and the one with just fuzz on it had a 1.  I figured that was mine.  All the monitors were watching someone.   Besides Dr. Rambles, there were two other females and one male.  

Just then a siren went off and I bolted out of the room and down the hall, the opposite way of the men.   I came to a door and the handle was jiggling so I shot up above the door frame as close to the wall as I could.  Just in time too, it opened and four men came rushing through.  I stuck my hand in the door way, stopping the door from closing all the way.  As soon as they ran around the corner, I pulled myself through the door and closed it. 

Windows.  Lots of lovely windows and a door at the far end that led outside.   Bu the windows showed nothing but a lot of empty fields.  No other buildings.  Some trees here and there.  Even the road looked worn and faded.  It was a single lane dirt packed road that may have had asphalt on it long ago.    The door was glass but only showed a small parking lot that had six vehicles in it. 

I was in some kind of reception area.  Or at least that is what it probably was back in the 40’s.  But that’s ok.   Because there were PLANTS in the room!  Lots of plants.  Why there were plants, I don’t know and didn’t care but I totally got to work. 

The reception room (as I began to call it) had those HUGE built in planters that were the rage decades ago.  So I crawled into one and began to touch and talk to the plants. 

Something different happened that day.  It wasn’t like when I touched the hay and became exhausted.  This was, well how do I explain something I am not sure I understand?

This was a ‘give and take’ with the plants this time.  It was like they could sense my desperation and so opened up to me more fully.  I felt literally connected to them all and I did not have to touch every single plant. 

We became one.  It was bizarre and so far, I’ve never felt that same thing.  Some of the plants were very old, I’d say at least 30 or so years old.  Remember we are talking about huge planters.  Like twenty feet long as they followed the windows and six or seven feet wide –from the window to the outer edge.  And the plants had already filled the planters.  They were well established. 

I think the difference may be because the planters had a water system that was like a drip system so they had constant access to water.   I’m not sure how they set it up but I could sense that the more water the plants used, the more water would be ‘pulled’ from the system.  And “we” pulled a LOT of water from it. 

There were five kinds of ivy type plants growing and I “sent” them through the duct system. 

I met a nice mouse in the planter I was sitting in and he introduced me to his family, all 389 of them.  They were more than happy to help me. 

And here is where it got really freaky.  I began to be able to see through their eyes.  I felt like the Beast Master (you know that old movie with Mark Singer? No? well google it then.)

The Affected: Dancing Wind Chapter Twenty-Five

Chapter Twenty-Five

To say I was angry was an understatement.  I was LIVID.  As soon as I was awake enough, I thoroughly searched the room, even floating up to the ceiling and inspecting every single inch of the place.  There was a camera that I immediately disabled by pulling it out of the wall.  The walls were cinder blocks and painted a dull white.  The only break in the walls was the solid steel door.  The ceiling had one light and two small air ducts.

The building was old though I could tell because when I pulled the camera out of the wall, some of the cinder block crumbled.  I could not really make the hole bigger with my finger but it just felt old.  But there were also a lot of cracks showing not only along the floor but on the walls.  It reminded me of a store I saw once in California where there had been a lot of earthquakes.  I remember asking my dad who briefly worked there, why were there so many cracks and he explained that they were caused by earthquakes.  The walls only held strong due to the rebar and filling in of the cinder blocks but the paint and mortar would crack.  Then he went on for fifteen minutes about the benefits of stucco. 

I also found a microphone hidden in the bed frame.  It was tucked in the corner.  I smashed that also.  I counted the seconds to see how long it took someone to come to the room.  Their monitors must be close by since I only got to 55 hippopotamus.   That is right, I do not say Mississippi.   So their room is probably right next door. 

I wish I could say that I fought my way out of the room but alas I failed in that.  I did try but I swear that the guy they sent with the geeks was made of stone and I would have hurt myself if he had not restrained me.  He was gentle about it, I have to give him that… he could have snapped me in half like a twig. 

“I’ll just rip them out again! “ I yelled as loud as I could. 

“Then we will restrain you.”

“oh yeah? Then what are you going to watch?”

I could feel that mountain holding me trying to not laugh.

“I’ve got rights!  You have no right to hold me here against my will!”

“We are holding you under the Patriot Act, so you have no rights.”

“So you are declaring me an enemy of the country?”


“Well then I hope you are ready for a war because that is what you are going to get!”  I then shut up and just watched them.  The big guy finally set me down but he kept his hands on my shoulders.  I think the thought I would try to float away or something.  But I refused to use my abilities in their presence. 

Finally they were done and I was alone again and I promptly busted the camera and microphone again.  And then I slid the bed in front of the door.  The room was so small that it was only an inch or two longer than the bed. 

I sat on the bed and began to call.  

Ok, since I really had no idea where I was, I didn’t really know which kind of animal to call and I was not like Tarzan who could make one call and all the animals would heed it. 

So I called the ONLY group of “animals” I KNEW would be around. 


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Affected: Dancing Wind Chapter Twenty-Four

Chapter Twenty-Four

I was never so embarrassed as I was right then. 

Well that did take that LOOK off of Dr. Ramble’s face and instantly my nausea lifted.   That is when I put two and two together and blabbed “you’re one of the Affected too!”

She did have the good grace to blush and she did apologize.  Yes she was one of the affected and her ability was twofold, she knew when someone was lying or keeping something back and …this is where the nausea came in for me… she could force someone to tell the truth.

She didn’t forget that I was going to share my last ability with her but I put up my hands and told her “I make plants grow too…please don’t hit me with that LOOK anymore!”

She laughed “well it is only fair that you now know about me since I got your secrets out of you.”

We both forgot about Selman as we shared our stories and how we became affected and all that came with it. 

Dr. Rambles had also been in a plane that day and while she was up towards the older limit, whatever happened did not spare her.    She did get a headache but she did not tell the FBI about that and she was able to convince them she was harmless.   I guess being honest did not extend to her!  Hahahahahaha!

We talked for over two hours about our abilities in the proto-room so that no one would be able to overhear us while I finished up planting the milkweed.  I also planted a couple radish seeds so she could see what happened.  She was amazed that they germinated within fifteen minutes.

We also could not hear Selman beating on the various doors.  

“At that rate, they will be ready to eat in just a few days.  Does anything happen to those who eat your enhanced foods?”

“Well, several people have been eating them for months and so far, no effects at all.”

And that got us into the experiments I was conducting at my home.   

When we finally came out of the greenhouses, Selman was still there…we had totally forgot about her.    And she was NOT happy!   (the greenhouses automatically lock so no one can just walk in without a keycard or key) 

Dr. Rambles apologized to her and bid me a good day and walked off.   I don’t blame her. 

I also walked off…or tried to.  Selman grabbed me by the arm and forced me to stop.

“I can arrest you and detain you for a very long time if you keep messing with me.”

Now her grabbing me really made me mad and since she was bigger than me, I did not think I could break her grip.

“I am NOT messing with you; I just want you to leave me alone.  I’ve done nothing wrong.” (oops good thing Dr. Rambles did leave) “I am NOT going with you to your lab.  Not now, not ever.  So leave me alone or I will go to the press and spill all about you trying to intimidate me and who knows how many others who have had this EVENT forced on them!” 

I was so mad.

“And if you EVER come near me or my family again, I will turn every animal within my range on you.   Just leave us ALONE!”  And with those words, I jumped up and she finally let go when we were about six feet up in the air. 

I thought I was done with her but she was more clever than I gave her credit for.  But hey, I’m only 17 and had been pretty sheltered for most of my life.

Well one day, Dr. Rambles and I were out in the prairie garden at the school (we have five different gardens going) and I got stung by a bee.  Or I thought I had.  Turns out it was a tranquilizer dart.  Dr. Rambles was shot too but I did not know that until later. 

I woke up on a cot in a dim room that had no windows. 

The Affected: Dancing Wind Chapter Twenty-Three

Chapter Twenty-Three

Things were going just fine at home during the last few days of spring break.  Betty was thrilled with her new boyfriend and Stanford was just wild about Betty. 

Spring definitely sprung that week.   We had finished planting our garden and the peach trees I had planted were already a foot high.  They would be ready to transplant in a couple weeks it looked like.

My experiments were set up and differences were beginning to show.  Of course the seeds I had not touched were not showing yet but the ones I had were.  Since I would not be doing anything until the next Saturday; keeping to my one week theme, not much else I could do.  They would be watered regularly by our watering system we had in the greenhouses.  Aunt Becca and Kassie would keep an eye on them and let me know if anything drastic happened. 

Kassie said she would skype with me several times during the week for updates.

However, when I got back to school, I found that one of my professors was no longer there and that a Dr. Lois Rambles has replaced her.  This was in my Plant morphology course. 

She was interesting and reminded me of the stereotypical grandma figure.   You know, the kind that would spoil her grandkids rotten but not take any sass from anyone.  That type that could give you a cookie even when mom and dad said no?  I would have loved to have a grandma like that! 

Anyways the trouble came and my life changed when Dr. Rambles caught me in the proto-room.  I didn’t even know she had access, let alone WANT to be there.   It started out fine since I had gloves on and was simply setting up one of the experiments for Dr. Ross.  Just some simple milkweed he was going to plant in the Butterfly garden.  He was trying to see which of two different species were preferred by a certain species of butterfly. 
First of all, Dr. Rambles startled me when she asked about the gloves.

“Dani, why are you wearing gloves?” she asked with that left eyebrow of her arched and derned if I wasn’t compelled to tell the truth.

“I don’t want to touch the seeds.” 

“Why not?” she asked with that arched brow still giving that “LOOK”.

I felt like she was just pulling the truth right out of me.   I tried OH so hard to keep my mouth shut but I could not for the life of me and I began to get desperate since I did not want my last ability known by anyone else.

“because I don’t want to skew the results…”  I was getting physically ill and did not want her to ask any more questions so I ran for the bathroom and threw up my lunch. 

She followed me in there. 

“Are you ok?” she asked me.

“I’ll be fine, just leave please.  I don’t like being sick in front of people.”  What else could I say? Hey your questions are making me sick? And I don’t know why!

“Well Dani, I will leave but I actually came to let you know that someone named Selman is waiting to talk to you outside.”

I literally moaned out loud as I came out of the stall and washed my mouth out at the sink. 

“I take it she is not your favorite person?”

“You have no idea.  I want nothing to do with her, she just wants to use me.”

And again with that arched brow “what do you mean?”

“Look, you’ll probably hear about it anyways since there are video’s on line but I have certain abilities.  I’m one of the Affected.  And Selman wants me to go to her lab and be studied.  I want nothing to do with her.  I just want to live my life the best I can.”

Then came the question that changed everything…

“What are your abilities?”

OH how I wanted to run away, just anywhere to get away from her but it was like my feet were frozen to the floor and she just stood there pinning me to that spot with THAT LOOK!!!

I started feeling sick again but the words were just pulled out of my mouth.

“I can talk to animals…” I groaned out. “and fly…” I was in some serious pain but she just kept staring at me with THAT LOOK!

“And …and…  I … can… ohhhhhhhhhhhh, I’m gonna be sick again…” and so I was.

All over her feet.

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Affected: Dancing Wind Chapter Twenty-Two

Chapter Twenty-Two

After we ate and paid, we locked ourselves in the bathroom.  And that is when I found that card Selman had given me.  My Aunt looked at it and said it was too thick for a normal card so she stuck her nail in the edge and tried to peel it apart.  When she saw the first wire she stopped.

“My first thought is to flush this thing but I think I have a better idea. Let’s find someone to ‘give’ this to and then get out of here.”

We went back out into the restaurant and saw that there was a line to pay.  We got into line and Kassie took the card and slid it into the jacket pocket of some lady. 

She sure is sneaky that Kassie!  I love it.  We got out of line and decided we needed to put a bigger tip at our table which had not yet been cleaned off.  So while my Aunt hunted through her purse for another dollar or two.  Kassie and watched that lady pay and then step out of the restaurant. 

We watched as she got into her car and then left.  The SUV was not far behind her! Yes! Success!

We figured they would catch their mistake pretty quick but it felt good to get one over on them.  So we headed back to the auction and Aunt Becca was able to get her stud –Stanford for even less than what she offered the owner.  Seems something upset him and he had a fit on the auction floor. 

What?  You think I had something to do with that??


Anyways… we were about a mile from the Ranch when Aunt Becca pulled off the road real quick and told me to grab my bag and get out.  I jumped out right quick and she was gone.  So I slipped my bag over onto my back and ran and jumped.  I took the short cut home. 

Sure enough I came to the Ranch the back way and slipped into the loft of the barn and what did I see by the house? A black SUV with Selman standing outside it. 

I knew that Aunt Becca would be coming to the barn to get Stanford settled in and yep she just blew by Selman.  HAHAHAHA!  I love my Aunt.   OOPS! Looks like Selman will need a shower tonight.  She just had to stand by that deep mud puddle and thus got a double whammy when the truck plowed through it and then the trailer a second later.  I think she will be spitting mud for a week!

I had a hard time keeping my laughter quiet.  But Kassie sure was laughing loudly. 

They worked quickly and efficiently getting Stanford all comfy and cozy in his stable.   I saw that Betty slipped into the barn from outside.  Her door to the meadow was open for her.  Actually all the stalls doors to the meadow were opened except for Stanfords. 

Since it was time anyways, Aunt Becca made Selman wait until all the feeding chores were done.  I don’t think Selman minded too much, since it gave her time to clean up a bit.  Aunt Becca finally gave her five minutes by her SUV. 

I couldn’t hear what she said but Selman left right afterwards.  I decided to follow her.  So out the loft I went.  She stopped about five miles down the road and met up with another SUV.  So I got myself comfy and did what any sensible person who could talk to animals did. 

I asked a couple bats to go and see what they were saying.  They didn’t mind at all since the headlights were drawing some tasty bugs out.  The two bats fed on insects as they listened to Selman talk to some guy.   I could see him and he looked like the guy who followed that lady out of the restaurant. 

They only spoke for about ten minutes and then they both left.  My bats friends came back and told me what they said. 

Now talking to a bat is a bit different since they have that sonar gig going on.  It was really cool because it was almost like watching a sonogram like they do on pregnant women.  So they gave me a “movie picture” with their words.  It was awesome. 

Neither Selman nor the guy, whose name I found out was Brad Spitzer… that may not be quite correct, I did get the info from a bat… were happy.  Brad was mad because I had sent him on a goose chase that almost got him tossed in jail because the lady called the police and said she had a stalker.  I don’t care who ya are, that was funny.  Selman was mad because she now thought I was still in Springfield shopping of all things.  Oh if she really knew me, she’d know I did NOT like to shop. 

Seems Aunt Becca told her that I decided to stay and get some summer clothes for the rest of the semester of school.  So they both were headed back to Springfield.

I laughed so hard I almost fell out of the tree.  The bats thought I was a bit off in the head.  I thanked them and they went on their way.  And I flew back home. 

Little did I know that my whole world was about to change.  

The Affected: Dancing Wind Chapter Twenty-One


Chapter Twenty-One

The next Thursday, my Aunt Becca, Kassie, and I went to Springfield MO for a horse auction.  We left super early so we could be there when the barn doors opened.  My aunt was looking for a new stud to breed Betty with.  Yep, my Betty refused the normal route of artificial insemination.  Now let me tell you that was some conversation.

“Dona think I’m gonna be lettin’ ye stick that thing up my daisy now.” Yes my horse calls her vagina a daisy.  I have no idea why.  I’m afraid to ask her.

“Youse best be gettin’ me a real stud cause this will be my last baby and I’ma feelin’ frisky.”

Well the price of horse semen did go up quite a bit so Aunt Becca figured it would be just good business to find a stud and buy him. 

I came along to make sure Betty’s “list of unacceptable traits” was considered.  It wasn’t a long list but included:  “No biting me” and “no whiner” and “no crossed eyes”.  Well she had me write at the end “must be romantic”, what the heck?  Where did she come up with this stuff?  I asked her if she had been sneaking peeks through the living room window when Aunt Becca watched her shows.   Seems we have a peeping horse.  And that led into a long discussion on how animals can smell what we are thinking and pretty much read our body language.  In other words, animals know a bunch more about us humans and how we are than we know about them.  Sigh.

Anyways, things were going great, I had talked to all the studs for sale and narrowed the decision down to two which met all Aunt Becca’s wants and Betty’s. 

Both were in the price range that Aunt Becca could afford and I was really thinking it would come down to their names:  Wrigley and Stanford.  It was while I was having another chat with Stanford that he told me someone was watching us and sure enough, I turned around and saw someone taking a video.  Now the man just kind of slowly turned as if he was videoing ALL the horses.  But the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. 

How dare he spy on me!  Well two can play that game.  I told Stanford I’d be back, slipped him a biscuit (these are like milk bones for horses) and then began to saunter around until I got to the rabbits.  Now the set up for the rabbits only had one entrance and right by that entrance was a beautiful rabbit.  No I don’t know what breed since I’m not a rabbit person.  I had a quick chat with the girl and kept wandering around.  The fella following me and trying hard to not be obvious about it, started to come into the barn but saw how small it was and stopped at the entrance.  And then he made a phone call.  I pretended to not notice.  But I took my time and made him wait by that door at least five more minutes after he hung up then I made way towards the entrance.  He took off and went around the side of another barn.  I stopped and had a chat with the rabbit.  Seems he was one of Selman’s people and he was giving an update of what I was doing.  Then according to Phoebe, the rabbit; he was told to back off since they had a lock on me anyways. 

I thanked Phoebe and rubbed her behind and between her ears and left to go find my Aunt and Kassie.   They did not know I had left the horse barn.

Since the auction would not start until 2pm and the owners of both horses did not want to sell outright but thought they could do better at auction; we went for lunch.   

We sat by a window so we could keep an eye on the truck and trailer parked at the edge of the parking lot.   It wasn't long after we got our food (Yummy Thai) that a black SUV pulled in and a guy I had not seen before got out with his phone pointed out like he was scanning and he pointed his phone right at our window.  I don’t think he could see in because of the tint on the glass which kept the hot sun out.  But I sure saw him.  All I could think was “Tracking Device”.

Somehow Selman had managed to tag me or my aunt or even Kassie with a tracking device.  I told my Aunt.   She was not happy.  Nor was I.  Even Kassie was upset.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Affected: Dancing Wind Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty

The plane ride home was uneventful thankfully!  I kept my butt in my seat and buckled with my bag right next to me.

There was a lady with one of those itty bitty dogs, some kind of tea cup terrier or something.  It had long hair and was really cute but as dumb as a rock!  We hit some turbulence and instead of whining that dog thought it was some kind of ride and would say “WEEEEEEEE!”  Well maybe it did sound like a whine to his owner because she would start fawning all over him and cooing to him thinking he was scared.  After this happened twice, I leaned over and told her that he was loving it. 

She just looked at me like I was crazy.  That’s ok.  The dog was eating up all that lovey dovey crap from her. 

Most of the chatter on the plane was about the plants that went haywire in DC.  I caught snatches of conversations here and there.  Finally I put in my earphones and played my IPod.  I did do some googling though when we could use our phones. 

Yes I laughed out loud when I read some of the speculations making the rounds.  One newspaper declared that plants were going to take over the world and enslave us all.  Another one thought that man eating plants would be soon coming for everyone.  One “expert” thought that it was some other type of Event and radiation from the sun had something to do with it.  I finally put my phone away and dozed off until we landed.

All our vehicles were on campus except our professors who had driven us all to the airport.  So we all went to campus.  Since Staria and I were the only ones with plant experiments currently going on, we headed to the greenhouses to check on things.  I managed to go ahead and plant my peach seeds, making sure they went into the proto-room.  All data and boring dates and such recorded on my laptop.   They’d go home with me Friday.

I also used the time to begin to design my new experiments.  I tried to come up with some smart and snappy name but I was having a hard time trying to name my plant growing ability.  How do you label an ability that speeds up plant growth?  I left it for later. 

I decided on five sets of samples using radishes.  One set would be my control and planted without me touching the seeds or plants at all.  The second set would be me just touching the seeds but never touching the plants again.  The third set would be me NOT touching the seeds but only touching the plants ONCE.  The fourth set would be me not touching the seeds but touching the plants once a week. The last set would be me touching the seeds and the plants once a week.  I knew I could expand this out to more sets of samples but I felt five sets would be enough for the initial experiment. 

I really did not worry too much about people eating what has been enhanced by my ability since the animals and my Aunt and even Kassie and I had been eating stuff at her ranch already for weeks and I’ve not seen any difference in any of us.  But I’d still keep an eye on us all.

Since we went to DC on the first weekend of Spring Break we still had a whole week left so everyone went home Monday morning.  I decided to gather up my plants in the proto-room and take them home with me.  Aunt Becca had given me a bit of room in the older greenhouse that she keeps her exotic plants in.   

She was thinking of getting two more greenhouses and growing coffee plants in one and tea in the other.  She got the idea when I accidentally messed with her two coffee plants and they responded generously.  The beans she collected about a week later were a deep but mellow coffee flavor.  She said that these plants usually put out more of a bitter flavor, which is why she was down to two plants.

Yes I know I’m ramblin’ again but dern it all, this is my journal and I’m a gonna ramblin’ if I want to.  SO there! Hhahahaha! 

The Affected: Dancing Wind Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Nineteen

And that is why when you woke up that Sunday Morning all the news was a flutter over how both the Capital Building and the Washington Monument were all tangled up in Kudzu.  

I was thrilled when they actually used the word “tangled”.  My mission plot was a huge success. 

And the best thing is that due to the videos taken on the plane and my group knowing I could talk to dogs, NO ONE even thought to think about ME being the one who did it.  I guess no one thought one of the Affected could have THREE abilities.  Even though several videos and pictures managed to capture me walking around the places no one could really see my face.  None in my group had a clue it was me. 

Now I’m sure you saw some of the pictures of them trying to hack out all that kudzu, it took them almost the rest of the year to get rid of it all.  Can I help it that it would regrow over night?   Any part of the plant that was left would just keep growing and making seeds which would drop to the ground and grow just as quickly as the parent plant.  I watched each news article closely and kept good notes on it.  

My conclusion was that my abilities made the Kudzu grow at a rate of 120 times its normal growth.  So either that ability was getting stronger or it was the Kudzu growth abilities.  I would have to begin several different experiment samples to determine if my ability was getting stronger or if it reacted differently with different plants.   Radishes were a small plant that grew fast, so I’d start with those.  I did not want to start some new invasion of Kudzu where I lived.  I should have enough data about Kudzu from the event in DC.  And I could always find another spot that needed to be tangled up for a while.  Maybe the New York Stock Exchange?   

Now when I was in DC, I tried real hard to be careful in Atriums of the Botanical Gardens but I guess I was not careful enough.  Yeah, those plants got out of control pretty quick too.   I found a small article about that on the web. 

So while I did have mostly success, some things did not go as planned.  Oh and all those plants and trees I touched as I walked around the Capital Building… HUGE!  And oh so healthy!

There was this one peach tree that I had touched and I went back by it the morning before we left and picked a dozen peaches to take back.  I was going to feed them to my group and see if anything would happen.    But I changed my mind when I bit into one.  DELICIOUS!  These babies are MINE!

Ok, I may let them each eat one but the seeds are mine!

Turns out I had to share the peaches, TSA said we had to eat them since they would not let me take them through security.  But they did let me keep the seeds.  I was careful to not touch them.  I just held the envelope (yes the one that the Kudzu seeds had been in) open and they dropped the seed in.  I put that into an extra ziplock bag I had.  I was gonna be watching everyone very carefully over the next few weeks.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Affected: Dancing Wind Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Eighteen

All morning long, we went all over the gardens, inside and out and in all those amazing glass greenhouses.  I loved the main two story one and sat on a wood bench on the top floor sketching many of the plants.  I had already filled two of my camera SD cards up.  I still had three to go.  But sometimes you just had to draw the plants.

wasn't too bad of an artist when it came to drawing plants.  Staria was a great artist.  One could look at a drawing of hers and they would try to pick up the plant or flower.   I think the rest of us were pretty good because we drew all the time and practice does make one better. 

Now I had not forgotten about “Operation: Tangled” and had the little envelope in one of the smaller pockets of my backpack.   My plan was to go and “explore” the capital building during our lunch break and find all the best places to plant.  Since it was Friday, there should not be too many gardeners’ left working the grounds that afternoon.  Then when we were done at the botanical gardens, the rest of the group planned on going to some fancy Indian restaurant.  I told them that food from India did not agree with me nor did I agree with it so I’d go grab something and just head to the hotel. 

That part worked great.  I had figured out at lunch exactly where to plant all the seeds.  I was getting anxious to find out how my little experiment worked.  I figured if the hay would grow a foot and a half in three days, Kudzu should grow anywhere from five to ten feet in a day.  I thought that would be a good guess.  I was wrong.

I was so nervous when I strolled back to the Capital Building.  I mean that was where congress passed all our laws and such.  But I figured if a president could bang some intern in the Oval Office, people in that building probably did worse. 

But I didn’t want to get caught and here I was walking through the grass, touching all the trees that surrounded the building, with sweaty hands holding all those seeds. 

Thankfully I did not have to actually DIG into the ground and PLANT the seeds, I just kinda sprinkled them here and there by the walls. 

I would hold a few in one of my hands as I walked around “engrossed” in all greenery.  Yes I touched every single plant I could as I sprinkled two or three seeds here and there.

I made it all the way around the building but still had some seeds left.  Not a lot …maybe three dozen?  My thoughts turned to “what else” and my eyes looked up and saw, The largest Phallic symbol in the country. 

The Washington Monument.

Oh yes I did!

The Affected: Dancing Wind Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Seventeen

The evening went great! Everyone was kind yet curious and we had a nice long talk and I told them all the wonderful things about my puny abilities…well TWO of them.  I did NOT mention my way with plants.  I actually got a kick out of explaining to them how the animals talk to me and related what happened when my Aunt Becca rounded up the two cows and three pigs to be sent off to butcher and how the other animals were talking about how some of them were sent away and never came back and they figured they went to a better place.   I also told them about how the chickens complain about us taking the eggs they worked so hard to make each day but that I could distract them so easily with a handful of meal worms that would scream as the chickens ate them.

They were concerned for me to hear all that and wondered how I handled it.   I guess since I had already had a lot of experience on the farm, I never really thought differently of the animals despite being able to talk to them.  Maybe I was in denial? 

But I think I turned Bella and Jan into vegans with all my talk.  They looked horrified when I mentioned the meal worms screaming.  And since I was feeling a bit feisty and those two were kind of snobs already, I told them how I’d heard two house spiders talking once about wanting to go find a rich fancy house and climb into the humans noses as they slept.    I think I may regret that one later. 

Those two are actually very sweet but in a snobby kind of way.  They just don’t know any better it seems.  But they are also very generous.  For example Bella saw a homeless man holding a “will work for food” sign as we were walking to the Botanical Gardens.  Our hotel was just three blocks away.  Well she decided to give him some advice. 

“Dear man, you should try to grow some food for yourself.”  

See what I mean?

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Affected: Dancing Wind Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Sixteen

My group was waiting for me right inside the gate and of course as soon as I saw them I knew they were going to start asking questions so I stopped them with “I don’t want to talk about it right now.  I want to get to our hotel, take a long hot shower, and eat some pizza.  Then I will talk about it.”  It was a quiet ride to the hotel even though we all managed to squeeze our stuff in the trunk and all of us in one taxi.  So glad it was only a fifteen minute ride to the hotel. 

We had three rooms, two to a room.  Professor Hill and Randell Marker shared a room.  Bella Stromherst and Jan Mallard shared a room.  And I shared a room with Staria.  Just Staria, no last name; or so she claims.  Now she is a flamboyant one, let me tell you.  She has neon green hair and wears these multi-colorful, flouncy moo moo outfits that look great on her.  No make-up, not that she needs any at all with her fresh and pretty face!  When I stand next to her, I feel like a toad and she is a butterfly. 

Do you realize that toads eat butterflies?  Hahaha!  Ok, I do like her and we get along grandly.  And she doesn’t think I look like a toad.   She is also hilarious!  Staria is a grad student and her work involves plant-animal interactions. 

When I got out of my LONG HOT shower, she already had ice in our bucket, soda pop’s out of the vending machine, and the pizza ordered.

“Hurry up and get dressed, the rest will be here in five minutes and the pizza will be here in three.”

Did I mention that she was very efficient and people underestimate her all the time?  Oh and she is like a billionth degree black belt in some obscure martial arts?  We go to the same studio though she calls it a “dōjō”?

“And yes we have all already googled you and found the story from last year.”

Oh great, so they all already knew I could fly and talk to animals. 

“Any video’s from the plane online yet?”

“Seven.”  Crap!

“But don’t worry, you aren't showing any VIP parts so not many will watch them.”  I rolled my eyes at that… but she did have a point.  I decided I wasn't gonna let the situation ruin any more of my day because I love pizza!

The Affected: Dancing Wind Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Fifteen

You know that saying “God laughs at the plans of men”? Well He laughs at the plans of women too.

Everything was FINE until about halfway through the flight to DC. 

I had managed to cram everything I would need for the trip into my backpack so I would not have to worry about checking in any baggage.  So I brought it on with me.  Well I decided I wanted to take a couple of pictures of us on the plane and out the window, so I hopped up to get it out of the overhead compartment and well seems my feet never hit the floor. 

Now this was the first time AFTER the “EVENT” that I had flown and I did not realize that being back up that high would cause sporadic spaz’s of my abilities. 

As I floated up to the ceiling, I looked around and noticed that most people had their noses in their phones and IPad’s.  But there was that one lady… you know the “one” … that one lady who always has her nose in others business and then promptly gives her opinion on how you should run your life?  Well THAT lady  saw me and when we locked eyes, she shrieked LOUDLY and rudely pointed at me.  “EEEEECK! Look she is floating!”

I really tried to right myself and push me back down to the floor but it was too late.  Now EVERYONE was looking at me.  So what else could I do but be a smart butt but play dumb.

“What is happening?  Is this another Event? Someone help me.”

How embarrassing when everyone just took video.

I finally made it back into my seat and it wasn't pretty getting there.  I had to hook one of my feet under the arm of my seat and push off with my hand and then PULL myself into my seat and buckle up.  Since I had tossed my bag onto my seat, I sat by the window.  Thankfully I did not have anyone sitting with me. 

The rest of the flight was a nightmare as several strangers tried to sit in the seat next to me and ask me questions and wanting a picture with me.   I finally got them to leave me alone when I shouted “The next person who bugs me will have me puking on them.  Ya’all are making me SICK!”  

Now that got me an icy cold ginger ale from the airline steward, he was very nice.  He even gave me an extra cookie.

The only ones who did NOT try to bug me were my professor and the other four students in our group.   I think they were in shock.

When we landed, I waited until everyone was off the plane before I unbuckled.  Thankfully I was back to normal, well normal for the ‘new’ me anyways.  No floating.  I was so relieved.  

The Affected: Dancing Wind Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fourteen

Two days before we were leaving for DC, I went for the seeds.  It was a beautiful night, one that just begs for a midnight walk about campus, which is much safer now thanks to Aunt Becca.   But most people were indoors by 1am and that is when I went for my own walk.   I didn’t encounter anyone as I made my way to the greenhouses but that could be because I was flying. 

I flew to the window of the lab that had the seeds I wanted.  It was just as unlocked as when I checked it three days before.  Ok, I was NOT very graceful going into the window, but YOU try to fly to a window and open it and crawl in; I doubt you could do better.

I pretty much fell into the room and knew I’d be sore later.  At least I landed semi on my feet; ok, my feet and my butt.  It could have been worse, like I could have landed on my head.

I turned on my headlamp on the red light setting and went into the storage room where the freezer was.  It only took a moment to open the ten pound (at least) bag holding the seeds and transfer enough to fill my little coin envelope.   I must have gotten hundreds of seeds. 

I had gloves on, so no prints and no seeds touched by my ability.  Everything back in place and I was back at the window, slowly flying through it again.  I grabbed the window so I could close it and then I was back in the air headed back to my dorm.  Easy peasy – and thankfully no new video’s online in the morning.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Affected: Dancing Wind Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Thirteen

One of the first things I had to figure out was how to get some kudzu seeds.  I did not want anyone to connect me with what I was going to do, so I really could not just go in and ask for some seeds.  I couldn't volunteer to work on that project because it already was someone’s project and again, I did not want to connect myself to the kudzu. 
So that left stealing the seeds.  I couldn't go out and collect any on my own because it was the end of winter, hence no plants had made any seeds yet.

I wished I had the popping power of that guy I saw on TV because then I could just pop into lab and grab some.  However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized I may have access.  The lab is just one of several that are connected to the greenhouses on campus.  In fact, the lab where I was working is connected to Greenhouse A, or GH Apple as I call it.  This is the biggest one and has several dwarf apple trees.  One of the things I’m working on is apples.  I’m working on ‘creating’ an apple that is crisp but sweet and is resistant to disease and pests.  Yes I know, not probable but also not impossible.  I have to be careful to wear gloves all the time I’m “officially” around any of the plants here at school.  My “other projects” don’t call for the gloves.  Maybe I’ll tell you more about those later. 
Back to the stealing of the kudzu seeds.  I could go through the greenhouses to GH-C and see if they left the door to their lab unlocked. 

Now everyone is use to me being in ALL the greenhouses because I’m constantly taking pictures and uploading them to my blog.  Yes I have a plant blog with a whole ten subscribers. 

So I began to go take pictures at different times, even during the night and found ways to talk to the two students who worked in the kudzu lab.  I had four weeks to figure out how to and grab the seeds.  I really didn’t want to get them too early since I did not want to accidentally make them grow too soon.  Getting on and off the plane with seeds would be much easier than with plants.

Mark Graffon and Sandi Piper were the two students in the lab.  They were graduate students working on their Phd’s.  So me asking them questions was a normal occurrence since I was an undergrad and it was what we were supposed to do.  I actually found myself fascinated with all I was learning about kudzu and that just increased my motive for what I was going to do.  Or at least TRY to do.  It was a fascinating three weeks and all my questions paid off.  See sometimes a grad student will want to ‘show off’ for an undergrad and show off she did.  The whole lab!  Which included the freezer where they kept the seed.  They had POUNDS of the seed.  I knew then that the few dozen I’d be taking would never be missed at all.    I also learned that at 7:00pm every evening, the lab was left unattended for supper time.  And that while the door was locked, the windows were not. 

I guess I should explain a bit about how the labs are laid out.  Each lab has three rooms; the first one being the ‘entry’ and this has windows about six feet up the wall.  And one of those windows is ‘in’ the greenhouse.  They open but I doubt anyone ever opens them.  I think I’m the only one that ever does in my lab, though that is only on especially gorgeous days.  And my windows have screens, the kudzu lab’s windows don’t.  The second room is usually storage for all the equipment and supplies.  The third is usually for secure procedures or isolation of specific organisms.  One usually has to follow specific protocol to enter into this room.  Hence the nickname: “proto-room”.  I’m currently using mine for some not so “official” experiments.

I have to tell you that NOT many undergrads have this opportunity to work in a lab.  Most who are invited find they don’t have the time.  And usually ONLY those in their senior year (aka: close to graduation) ARE invited to work with a professor. 

I’m not trying to say I’m “special” but … I am.  Hahaha!
At least that is what Professor Hill has said.  The lab is his lab and he is just working on the apple trees and when I asked if I could do some side experiments in the proto-lab, he said sure since he wasn't using it. 

Ok, ok, I see I’m rambling a bit and getting side tracked.  Let me explain how easy it was to get the seeds.