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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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.  

The Affected: Dancing Wind Chapter Twelve

Chapter Twelve

How could I help people?  That thought had been rattling around in my head for several days.  I did want to help where I could; I was just not finding where that “where” was. 

Then came the day when Professor Hill, my botany adviser and teacher, announced a trip to Washington DC to see the Botanical Gardens.  The trip would be over five days and during spring break.

I was kind of scared since I was not sure what my presence in the gardens would do to all those plants over five days but then the mischievous side of me began to emerge. 
One of the plants that were being studied here at the college was Kudzu.  I’m not sure if you know what that is but it is a very invasive plant here in the south and many are trying to find ways to eradicate it.  Now the poor plant has a bad reputation which it may deserve but it is also a very beneficial plant.  The young shoots can be eaten and they are finding that this plant may have some serious benefits when it comes to our health.  But it does grow quite quickly on its own. 

This got me to wondering how it would grow with a little nudge from me.  Which of course got me to thinking about WHERE it could grow – and I was going to be in Washington DC for five whole days.  And the botanical gardens were just a few blocks from some certain places that I personally thought could benefit from some expanded ‘greenery’. 

Maybe I will end up being one of those “super villains” after all.  Nah, my abilities are not powerful enough.  But my plan would be a test of them.  And that is how I convinced myself to “go” with “operation: tangled up.”

The Affected: Dancing Wind Chapter Eleven

Chapter Eleven

Two weeks before spring break and I met Selman.  Oh she was nice enough, asked lots of questions in that false sweet, respectful way of hers.  See I don’t trust her especially since I was right in the middle of planning  for my “caper”.  She caught me outside walking to the cafeteria for lunch under one of those big oak trees the campus is famous for.  
I didn’t say much to her at all nor did I agree to her “oh so generous” offer for me to come to her lab and be studied.  She went on and on about how those who came were able to refine and even increase their powers, thinking that would be a selling point to me.  I do have to say HER file on me was a bit thicker than the other one.

I honestly started out listening to her but the conversation that three squirrels were having about us caught and kept my attention. 

“Dancing Wind is not stupid enough to go with that woman”

“oh no, not our Dancing Wind.  She will see through all that fake talk.”

“tag your it”

“no fair!”

At that I had to look up and watch as the three began an earnest game of tag all over that tree and even into the one next to it.  I kept catching little bits of their conversation as they ran by every so often.

“That lady still here?”

“Dancing Wind needs to go eat so she is ready for winter.”

“That color of that suit makes that lady look like a dead person.”

“You missed me! Hahahaha!”

“No I didn’t.”

I was trying really hard not to laugh and FINALLY Selman realized I had not been listening to her but rather the squirrels.

“What did they say?” she asked me.

I just looked at her like she was crazy or something.  Finally I said “excuse me” and walked off to lunch.
Darn woman followed me!  Yes I have to admit I BRIEFLY entertained the thought of asking the squirrels to run all over her but restrained myself.  She should be thanking me for that.  But I seriously doubt that the thought I’d sic any animal on her ever crossed her mind. 

I thought it funny that she had to pay for a meal in order to follow me into the cafeteria.  Oh they had potato soup that day…delicious!  I fixed my salad and grabbed a cup of that soup and went and sat down without really thinking, at my usual place -an out of the way booth in the back.  As soon as I sat down, I realized my mistake.  Drat if that woman didn’t just slide right in next to me.  I was nicely trapped.

After several minutes of her describing all the benefits to ME about working with her, she changed tactics and began the “you can help save the world” line of BS.  (sorry for the swearing Aunt Becca)

The thing is, I had ALREADY been thinking about how I could use my abilities to help others, hence my little 'caper' I had already begun to plan.  Touching seeds seemed to be the only real way I could help.  But that took so much out of me, I don’t really know how much of a help it would actually be for 7 billion plus people of the world.  I don’t even know if I could lift anyone up with me.  I never tried it.  I made a mental note to try it with Kassie that weekend. 

I was getting really good at tuning this woman out.  She finally got the point and after giving me her thick fancy card, she left.  She probably went off to arrange people to spy on me.  I think she was more upset that I would not even confirm my name to her, let alone my abilities than for my tuning her out. 

Did I mention she even tried to play that video on her phone.  I just ate my salad and soup.  After fixing myself a hot cup of sweet tea in my handy stainless steel coffee mug I keep in my backpack; I took my dishes to the window that they mysteriously disappear from and went back outside.  I did look around to make sure she was really gone and headed to my next class.  I almost threw her card away but decided at the last minute to keep it and give it to my Aunt. 

And that was a mistake.

The Affected: Dancing Wind Chapter Ten

Chapter Ten

Thankfully, I was alone in my room since my roommate had already left.  She had had her last final exam two days prior.  I called my Aunt and explained what happened.  Of course, I had to listen to a twenty minute lecture about being more careful.  But she was furious at me begin attacked and abruptly hung up on me.  Thirty minutes later she called back.  Seems she called the Dean AND the Chancellor of the college about what happened and asked what they were going to do about it. 

Both my Aunt and Kassie came and got me.  I had everything packed up and managed to sneak it all down to the lobby at 3:30am.  No one was around.  Kassie was all excited and said she has watched that video a hundred times at least.   She wanted to know why I meowed when I usually just spoke English.  I didn’t really have an answer for her since at the time I was scared and desperate for help. 

Over the winter break, my Aunt did not give up about what happened to me and by the time the spring semester began a new program was in place for anyone who felt they needed an escort to their dorm could call security and have two people walk them to their dorm.  You could even request specific people.  It was run by volunteers who had to go through training and pass a physical that made the football guys cry.  There is a local martial arts club (three actually) who volunteered to be escorts.  Not only did this program work great, the clubs got many new clients.  One of which was me. 

Another thing my Aunt got was a settlement from the boy’s families.  And that bought my first vehicle.   I did speak at their hearing, both the college hearing and the criminal hearing.  I truly believe they would not have gone to such extremes if they had not been drunk.  Though they did choose to get drunk.  I also felt that the cats did a thorough job of “punishing” them.  They both have some nasty scars.  Now I could be wrong and they could be good actors, but it turns out that both those boys transferred to a different college anyways and I never saw them again.   Both hearings ended up being more about my abilities than what happened.  I declined to answer those questions. 

During the winter break, Kassie and I experimented with all the ranch animals and a few wild ones.  Seems I was able to speak THEIR languages too.  More like Dr. Doolittle.  UGH!  I don’t know who laughed more during that time: Kassie or the animals.  And yes I could carry Kassie but could not go too high up.

Thankfully the “Flying Girl” story disappeared and got buried under new stories and when I went back, things were calm and very few bothered to say anything.   It helped that I got a different haircut and contacts.  No one was quite sure if it was me or not. 

The weeks were flying by until it all changed.

The Affected: Dancing Wind Chapter Nine

Chapter Nine

The first semester of college went really well.  I choose my major: botany and minor: chemistry.  I was debating doing a dual major with environmental sciences but decided to wait until next semester to decide.  I tested out of most of the “general courses” so that I could devote my time to my actual degrees.

I have a set of personal rules for myself and tend to get aggravated when people want me to “bend” them.  And there came a night at the end of the semester, with only ONE day of final exams to go, when I had to take action and use my powers to defend myself. 

I had just come out of a LONG study session at the college library and I had to walk past fraternity row to get back to my dorm.  Well parties were going on and it looked like the whole campus was at the house I called the “Jerky Jock House” which housed many of the football jerks.  I can’t count the number of times they hit on me.  It really bugged the crap out of me.  Well tonight was no exception and a couple of the fellas took it too far.

They caught me just as I was getting ready to cross the road and drug me back towards their frat house.  They were not taking NO for an answer and they were SO drunk that I swear I got a bit of a high off their breath. 

One thing you may not know about college campuses is that there are a LOT of feral cats that live on them and only come out at night.  I have to say that they were starting to hurt me and so out of fright I called out to all those cats for help. 

I must have meowed instead of using English cause the boys paused for a moment and looked at me.  I tried again to break their hold and get away but they jerked me as they began to walk again.  Oh they started to say some HORRIBLE things about what they were going to do to me and “goodie two shoes” was the nicest thing they called me.  “Frigid B” was another.  I called again and could hear cats calling back. 

Suddenly about twenty yards from the frat house, dozens of cats descended on us.  Well on the two boys.  Oh they let me go right quick then because they were trying to get all the cats off of them.  I ended up between them and the house and I wanted to get out of there so I thought “why not” and ran a few steps and up I went.  When I was up about 15 feet, I called the cats again and they disappeared as fast as they showed up and I flew away towards my dorm.

The next morning I was all over YouTube and Twitter and fifty other social media sites.  Darned if someone hadn’t taped the whole thing with their phone.    I didn’t even know until I went in to take my last final.  When I walked in, everyone applauded.  Oh did I mention that those two boys were in that class?  They were a mess, scratches and bite marks all over them.   I was surprised to see the amount of damage but thought they deserved it.  

But what really surprised me was their heartfelt apology.  They didn’t even try to use their drunken state as an excuse.  And of course I was bombarded with questions that I did not want to answer.  The professor finally got the room back under control and gave us our exam.  Which I’m pleased to say I did pass with an A. 

Afterwards I went back to my dorm and watched the video.  It was not hard to find.  The heading “Flying Girl Calls Cats to Defend Her.” Is that stupid or what? 

Oh and then other students found out where my dorm was and a never ending knocking and yelling began.   I kept quiet and didn’t answer the door.  After three hours, they went away.  I was beginning to wonder how I was going to get away so I could go home.  

The Affected: Dancing Wind Chapter Eight

Chapter Eight

How could I say “no” to that angelic face?  That eager smile?  I couldn’t so I handed her a few seeds and showed her how to plant them.  I made sure I handled all the seeds before giving them to her.  She was a good helper and planted a full flat before her mom found her.  She begged to be allowed to come back and help but her mom just said “we’ll see” which we all know means “no way.”  

Then Kassie said something I did not expect her to say, she looked at her mom and asked if she could be my 
apprentice.  I guess that was something she had learned by being homeschooled.  Clever little girl and very smart, she 
definitely knows how to work her mom. 

So that is how Kassie came to be my apprentice for the rest of the summer up until I was to begin college in the fall.   And her being so smart and all, it did not take her long to discover my ‘talents’.  Thankfully she swore to secrecy because she loved helping me refine them so much.  She became a good friend of mine.  

The Affected: Dancing Wind Chapter Seven

Chapter Seven

I was busted about a month later.  By a six year old first grader.  Haha!  I should have been more careful around her, the silly little brat!  But I love her!  “She” is Kassie who I met when her class came out to the Ranch for a school field trip.  Seems my Aunt Becca decided to make arrangements for the local home-schoolers to come visit.  I knew about it all, of course, and even helped her plan it all.    

I had thought this last group was gone and I was in one of the greenhouses planting some seeds for fall planting.  Kassie had managed to ditch her little group and found herself in the same greenhouse.  She noticed that the seeds I planted sprouted about twenty minutes later.  I didn’t notice her until she spoke up. 

“Why are these growing so fast?” she asked me.

Startled, I really just stood there like a fish out of water.  I didn’t know what to say. 

She cocked her head to side and just looked at me like I was an idiot or something. 

I managed to croak out “these are special seeds, something I’m testing and really don’t want anyone to know about, emm ok?”

She blinked a few times and then finally said “ok I won’t tell anyone…if I can help you.”  See? A smart little brat! Haha!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Affected: Dancing Wind Chapter Six

Chapter Six

I don’t know why I have three powers.  Maybe it is because they are all low key and not any MegaPower like some of those that I’ve been reading about and seeing on TV have.  Maybe it has something to do with me never being some over achiever or something.  My Aunt Becca and I have talked about it and she thinks that it is because I’m a gentle soul so I have gentle powers.  And the cosmos gave me three to make up for them being so tame and gentle.  

Maybe, I don’t know.  All I know is that I’m going to keep them private and work on fine tuning them.  Especially since I made all the weeds grow.  Yes I can help plants grow.  That is my third power.  I was out weeding in my Aunt’s flower and herb beds and I touched a couple of plants but did not pull them.  I was trying to decide if they were a weed or not because they were still pretty small.  

And the next morning they were full grown and yes they were weeds. 

My Aunt had me out in the hay field touching all the hay. I guess there had been a drought going on and it wasn’t growing well.  It took me three days to go through that entire field and the hay I touched the first day was up to my shoulder and starting to seed out by the third day.

Now that did seem to tire me out something fierce and I was not able to do much of anything for two whole days except for sleep, eat, and drink. 

During that time I watched a lot of TV, mostly news stories on the Affected.  It seems the same “mega-affected” were in the news but there were a few stories about someone who has not yet been identified ‘popping’ into a situation and then popping out.  Literally!  This one story was on how a guy was going to jump off some bridge and this Hero just popped in and grabbed the guy, they both fell off the bridge but then they “popped out” and disappeared before they hit the water.  Later the fella that was going to kill himself just appeared to some cops.  I’d love to meet that hero someday.  He seems to want to remain unknown like I do.  He wears a weird ski mask hat thing.  

The Affected: Dancing Wind Chapter Five

Chapter Five

It took the government a bit over three weeks to find the farm.  I’m kind of disappointed in them for taking so long.  I mean, really, they ARE the government and are supposed to have all kinds of information on us all.  My file seems to have a whopping two pages.  TWO PAGES!  That should tell you how boring I am… or was.  I almost was so insulted that I blew my story but the thought of being sent to some windowless building and studied for who knows how long kept my lips sealed.

They were only there for less than an hour.  I guess my rather plain looks and (pretend) over eager to please attitude ran them off once I went through my story. 

Yes I was on flight blah blah blah on that Saturday and yes I did feel some kind of jolt.  No I did not have a headache (I guess many of those affected did have one) Yes I came straight here. No I’ve not had anything strange or weird happen to me or around me.  No I have not been contacted by anyone else.  Yes I have been sleeping well. Blah blah blah blah!

Of course me being me, I decided to question them.  What is going on? Did something happen to me on that plane? Am I ok? Do I need to go a hospital?  Am I going to die? I’m sure you get the idea of what all I asked. 
Hahaha! I never even gave them time to answer one of the questions, let alone all of them.  As my Aunt said, I was quite shameful in my begging and pleading with them.  

They could not get out of there fast enough. 

We figured they may have the ranch watched for a few days so I kept my ‘powers’ under control and did not use them at all.  And that is how I found out I had a third power.