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Emotion by SuburbanAngst

This portrait is classic Spock as so many Spock fans love to see him. At first glance his face is perfectly composed, but on closer ins...

Missing Child Portrait 51 by johnpaulthornton

Another ‘Missing Child Portrait’ from :iconjohnpaulthornton:, painted from the picture on a milk carton – a shocking image in itself on the most mundane of ...

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     When he cleared out her room after the dreadful event he made some startling discoveries; for Violet Hearne, for all of her saintly activities in her outward life, was a kleptomanic. She only had the one room, and that room was obsessively tidy. It was not the haunt of a hoarder. It was not the dive of an incorrigible thief. It was just the room of a single woman in her thirties, roughly the same age as the century she had been brought up in; neat, clean, drab, livened only by a couple of prints cut from magazines and carefully framed and a picture of her family that she must have brought all the way from England.

     In her public life Violet had been astonishing. In fact the local priest was already talking about the possibility of sainthood, maybe in a few hundred years, maybe if her legend stood the test of time. Violet had been a good Catholic, English but of fine Irish descent. She had come out here on a steamship in her twenties in a starry-eyed attempt to avoid the fate of being a lady’s maid or a high class shop assistant, perhaps hoping for marriage after the flower of her country’s male youth had been killed. She was a young filly of a girl, all long legs and big eyes and the desire to do good. She had always tried to help those in her neighbourhood but it was, ironically, the great crash and the loss of jobs for so many others that had provided her with her vocation. She had used her innocence and her great persuasive talent to secure a pitifully low rent on the building that was now the Broome Street Mission. She had done the rounds of local businessmen, elderly ladies of old stock, politicians and community leaders, and she had raised enough in pledges to keep the building going. Before the crash she had always been a bit of a dreamer, aimless, wanting to change the world but not knowing how. Now she could change it one man at a time. Even if she turned one man in twenty from alcohol and hopelessness to a life of honesty and faith, it was enough.

     It was the cupboards and drawers that revealed all her secrets, because there was very little personal to show in the room otherwise. In the drawers were her diaries, for a start; dozens of slim grey volumes of cheap paper packed with tiny words in blue ink. When Mr Gormley sat down on the straight-backed chair by her window and opened the first one he had to don his glasses and peer close to read the words. Some of it was mundane details of her day to day life; the price of vegetables, the fact that she needed to darn her stockings, the light bulb that needed replacing in the hall outside. Some of it encompassed that facet she was most known for in the neighbourhood; big dreaming, star-filled ideas of rocket-flight, of ending world hunger, of a lasting peace for our time. Some of it – and Mr Gormley blushed a little but read on nevertheless – detailed her brief and chaste relationship with one Joseph Darlington, an ‘astonishing young man,’ in her words, whom she had met not long before her tragic death. The relationship was no doubt chaste, but her musings and imaginings were not. In her mind, and in her diaries, Violet Hearne did things with Joe that any good Catholic girl would have been mortified to have exposed to anyone’s knowledge.

     In her diaries – and she made it quite clear that these were only the imaginings of a startlingly fertile mind – he had unbuttoned her blouse and slipped his hand into her brassiere to caress her breast, the firm untouched fruit of a woman who had never borne children. In reality she had shown him New York at night; he had confessed to her that he was an Iowa boy, farm-bred. They had walked over the Brooklyn Bridge and stood at its centre, gazing out at the glittering lights and dark spaces of the city at night. They had walked down to Coney Island and he had proved surprisingly adept at shooting ducks – his youth hunting down rabbits on the family farm, she supposed – and had won her a glittering bracelet; nothing but paste, but she loved it all the same. They had stood near the foot of that amazing new building, nearly finished, due to be named after the Empire State in which New York sat, and had loitered outside the doors of the brand new Chrysler Building, trying to gain a glimpse of the marbled interior. According to Violet, Joseph had been nervous of police attention for some reason she never found out, so they hadn’t stayed long. Instead they had strolled away wondering at this juxtaposition of enormous and conspicuous wealth with such heart-breaking poverty as she saw every day in the Mission and the streets around. They had spent hours in each other’s company, talking all night, dreaming together. They were soulmates.

     The overriding sense from Violet’s diaries was that it was not fair. Not fair that the wealthy lived in their ivory towers while the poor suffered and died. Not fair that she had seen the scythe of death sweep low over her home, losing her own brother, her uncles, two of her cousins, and uncountable fair faced boys of her childhood to the Great War that had ravaged Europe and left America largely untouched. Not fair that a glass plate existed to keep the low classes from the estate of the high, women from the estate of men, negros from the estate of the white man. Not fair that her Joseph, her beautiful Joe, was so clear that marriage was not on the cards, and they could not have what she desperately desired. Her sense of injustice ranged from the incredibly carnal to the brilliantly lofty. None of this was fair, and she dreamed of entering a realm where none of these divisions mattered.

     Well, in a way that had come true, when that automobile had barrelled into her and no one had been able to save her.

     When Gormley slipped open the top drawer of her dresser he had found those diaries, all caught about and looped with articles which made him blush vividly; stockings, panties, brassieres. She had not had much money but she had paid attention to the details; details which no man before Gormley and the morgue attendants had ever been privy to, he was sure. Entangled in those things was the paste diamond bracelet that her young man had won for her; movie theatre ticket stubs; a withered wild flower wrapped in tissue. In the drawer below it was a whole different world.

     Gormley let his fingers mill in the mass of items as if he were feeling for trout in a stream. While the rest of her room had been immaculate, this drawer was a mess, almost as if a reflection of the guilt she must have felt. He had read in her diaries that her gentleman-friend Joseph had stolen the very clothes he stood in, and she had shown a degree of understanding that fit immaculately with her saintly nature. He thought she showed no such forgiveness to herself. She had mentioned none of this minor pilfering in her diaries. It was too shameful to commit to even that private paper.

     He drew out an item at a time. A doll’s shoe, too modern to have been from a loved childhood toy. A hairslide with paste gems, one he was sure he had seen in Mrs Henley’s hair as she had entered and left the apartment building. A stapler which belonged to the New York Municipal Library; he knew that because it was labelled as such. A couple of pennies and nickels that she could easily have spent, but perhaps could not allow herself to, because they were part of her magpie’s haul. A handkerchief which smelt of a man’s cologne. A medal from some war campaign of before her time. And there in the soup, placed with no more importance than the fountain pen and the necktie that were on top of it, was Mrs Gormley’s diamond ring, the engagement ring that Mr Gormley’s mother had passed on to him, which had been missing for the last six months, had disappeared right off the windowsill above the sink that time they had invited Violet round for coffee. Mrs Gormley had thought it had fallen down the drain. Mr Gormley had never been so sure.

     He slipped the ring into his pocket, glad that it belonged to his wife; that he would not have to spill Violet Hearne’s secret to anyone else. Let her be a saint. She had earned her status. She had even been martyred, if not to her cause, at least in parallel with her cause. Once this drawer was emptied and her diaries carried away, there would be nothing left of Violet Hearne’s secret life. Only the saintly would remain.

    

Violet
Adapted from a Star Trek piece based on City on the Edge of Forever, but de-Star Trekked for general literary pleasure.
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     Awake again. Alive again. It happened every morning. Terry had no reason to be surprised. Really, no reason at all. But still he spent a little time staring at the artex swirls on the ceiling and feeling his heartbeat and checking that the sky was still there in the split through the curtains. His fear of dying in his sleep had been a lifelong thing. Sometimes he felt as if the air were thick, as if it would choke and drown him in his lungs. Sometimes he feared the air would all be breathed away, or that his heart would just stop beating. It never did. It was all illogical, very illogical. But still, he feared.

     He sat up and pushed back his duvet. He put his feet on the floor and felt how very alive he was. There was still the corn on his left big toe, but that wasn’t fatal.

     Being vertical helped to shift the fear. He couldn’t say it eradicated it, but it put it on a different plane. He saw other things then. Other things that made him forget how thick or thin the air was or how hard his heart was beating. He could see the telegraph wires that hummed. He could see the run down brick wall at the end of the garden and the failing wooden fence at the side. He could see next door’s lawn and those hateful terriers running themselves in circles, and the hateful man who owned them.

     He didn’t want to possess his neighbour. It was the last thing he wanted to do. But hating someone makes them a part of yourself. They become part of your mind. Your thoughts are tangled in with thoughts of them. Their flesh is as intimate to you as your own. You know the clothes they wear and where they love to walk. It was the same with things. The things that he feared became part of his being. He was the cracks in the pavement. He was the drop of a kerb. But those things didn’t breathe. They didn’t live. They didn’t watch him with grey eyes as he walked down the road or call out to his tightened shoulder blades as he sought to get away quickly, more quickly. Not like the neighbour. There was nothing as hateful as that man next door.

     The terriers were yapping already. He saw through slightly blurred eyes that it was ten past seven, and those damn dogs were yapping already. Twenty minutes before the alarm was supposed to go off, and it was the high pitched barks that had woken him, as always. He stumbled over to his window and saw them out there in the garden next door running circles on the scratty lawn, and Him, he, the neighbour, standing with his bare feet perched on the edge of the grubby white plastic of the double-glazed door frame, an arc of liquid spraying out from the blurred pink member he held in his blurred pink hands.

     He pushed his own window open with the palm of his hand and shouted, ‘You’re fucking disgusting.’

     He left the window open while he went to the bathroom and ignored the vitriol that was shouted back. It filtered in through the bathroom window too. Terry put the battery powered radio on and cranked the volume up, and the voice of Chris Evans was amplified against the brittle artexed walls. The jackdaws that were nesting in the air vent up above started up their morning chatter, and Terry closed his eyes briefly as he peed and hummed along to Uptown Girl. The sun through the frosted glass window was golden and beautiful, and for a moment he forgot about Him Next Door in the swell of the music and the chatter of the birds and the music of his own arcing liquid hitting the water in the bowl.

     He opened his eyes to shake off the drips and moved to wash his hands, and through the gap around the opened frosted window he saw the white movement of those damn terriers, and the lawn next door spotted with darker green patches where urine had urged the grass on stronger, and brown ones where the dog turds had lain for weeks.

     He’d found his glasses by the time the kettle had boiled, on the side table by the sofa where he’d left them last night. He’d been watching Question Time, and Him Next Door had been listening to some kind of soppy music that had moaned and slurred inarticulately through the wall. He’d been drinking whiskey and water, and he imagined Him Next Door drinking tea steeped so long the spoon could stand up in it. That was the trouble with Him Next Door. Terry had never been into his house, but he still saw it; the sloughed off articles of clothing on the floor, the empty packets dropped by the armchair, the ash tray that badly needed emptying, the little drifts and swirls of white dog hair on everything.

     He hated him. As he stirred his spoon in his All Bran he hated his neighbour. As he dropped a spoonful of sugar into his tea and felt guilty about it he hated his neighbour. As he wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and put on his tie he hated his neighbour. He was still hating him as he got into his car and the terriers yapped and jumped against the front fence and fell back onto the gravel behind. If there was a way to do away with the terriers without being caught, he’d do it. That was the next best thing to bumping off Him Next Door. He thought about rat poison, but the trouble was that Him Next Door knew that Terry hated him, and he was the first person he’d tell about to the RSPCA, or worse, the police.

     The thought of the police made him shudder a little. He’d never been involved with them, but that didn’t mean he wanted to. The thoughts in his head alone would get him arrested a million times. All they needed to do was get a look at his external hard drive and he’d probably be slung in pokey for fifty years. Was it illegal to download stuff from YouTube? It probably was. All Terry was focussed on was acquiring the stuff that made himself happy, because being happy was a sure way of keeping himself alive. But at the back of him was always that cardboard cut-out of fear, hovering. If he turned too fast he’d see someone from the copyright board shaking their fist.

     When he got home from work the terriers were still out there in the garden, on chains this time. Him Next Door was out. His car was gone, an oily patch on the road where he usually parked. The sun was August hot, and when Terry poked his nose over the fence he could see there wasn’t any water in reach. Sod poisoning the dogs. Him Next Door was going a fair way towards killing them himself. Their ratty tangled hair was always filthy, and the bitch was all stained around her back end.

     Terry went inside and looked up the number for the local RSPCA shelter on his laptop. He called them and they promised to stop by. Terry remained anonymous, but he peeked out from behind his curtain when the van arrived and a couple of them mooched over the fence and muttered to each other. They put a bowl of water down and a slip of paper through the door, and they left without taking the dogs. Terry’s heart sunk, and he went into the kitchen to make a cup of tea.

     Later that evening Him Next Door came home. Terry could tell that without twitching the curtain because of the noise his old Vauxhall made. The door opened, and then it slammed, and then it opened again and slammed harder. Then music started, very loud, with a hard beat. He heard a chair scrape on the floor, probably where the kitchen was. He heard those god damn terriers start up yapping and yapping, and then he heard a sob. When the music came to an end he could still hear the sobbing, and Terry started to feel vaguely uncomfortable.

     He went to bed with earplugs in. He gave a brief glance to the religious sampler his mother had made at school, the one that hung on the wall opposite the bed. That was his protection against thick air and choking and death in the night. He didn’t read tonight. He took in a deep breath and turned out the light and closed his eyes, and slept until the alarm went off at seven thirty. It was the first time the dogs hadn’t woken him up in years.

Neighbours
Terry hates his neighbour. His neighbour hates him.

Inspired by the quotes 'That's the big question, the one the world throws at you every morning. Here you are, alive. Would you like to make a comment?' - Mary Oliver,
and
'Sometimes being uncomfortable is the only way to save yourself from settling.' Andrea Ager
via impolitepanda (now infjravenclaw.tumblr.com/), on tumblr.

    

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It really has. I don't spend a lot of time on dA any more, and I regret that. I miss the community. I miss the contact. But still I don't spend much time on here. I don't take a lot of photos. I don't publish my writing on here because I want to save it for publication, but I don't seek publication either.

On the other hand, things are good. We've finally moved to our (like rescued cats) forever home. Four acres. Chickens, geese, cats, dog. We bought five little ducks the other day. I hope we'll get more animals as time goes on. I want to have goats again, maybe pigs. We've moved in with my parents, and it seems like just in time, because my dad's health has taken a downturn and we need to help run the smallholding. I'm spending my days gardening, weeding, making order out of chaos. My arms tingle with nettle stings. I can't pretend everything runs smoothly. We're merging two households, and it's complicated. But compared to living in a town, this is utter bliss. Sunshine, grass, trees, freedom. It's beautiful, and we're home.
  • Listening to: Goldfrapp
  • Reading: Sweet Thursday - Steinbeck
  • Watching: Nimoy's Boston
  • Playing: Lego Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Eating: Pancakes
  • Drinking: Tea
It really has. I don't spend a lot of time on dA any more, and I regret that. I miss the community. I miss the contact. But still I don't spend much time on here. I don't take a lot of photos. I don't publish my writing on here because I want to save it for publication, but I don't seek publication either.

On the other hand, things are good. We've finally moved to our (like rescued cats) forever home. Four acres. Chickens, geese, cats, dog. We bought five little ducks the other day. I hope we'll get more animals as time goes on. I want to have goats again, maybe pigs. We've moved in with my parents, and it seems like just in time, because my dad's health has taken a downturn and we need to help run the smallholding. I'm spending my days gardening, weeding, making order out of chaos. My arms tingle with nettle stings. I can't pretend everything runs smoothly. We're merging two households, and it's complicated. But compared to living in a town, this is utter bliss. Sunshine, grass, trees, freedom. It's beautiful, and we're home.
  • Listening to: Goldfrapp
  • Reading: Sweet Thursday - Steinbeck
  • Watching: Nimoy's Boston
  • Playing: Lego Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Eating: Pancakes
  • Drinking: Tea

deviantID

Aconitum-Napellus

Artist | Professional | Literature
Antarctica
This is me. I am socially inept. I write. I used to read (before children). I can translate Anglo-Saxon. Sometimes I paint. And I take a lot of photos.

Print preference: Times New Roman
Favourite genre of music: Folk, acoustic, baroque, indie etc etc etc
Favourite photographer: anything in National Geographic
Favourite style of art: Again, there are so many...
Operating System: Heart, lungs, brain
MP3 player of choice: ipod
Shell of choice: Multicoloured snail
Wallpaper of choice: William Morris
Skin of choice: Vellum
Favourite cartoon character: Mutley
Personal Quote: "Never go hedging with a sledgehog" - Little Grey Rabbit's Christmas
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:iconliyaperfidious:
liyaperfidious Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2015
Happy birthday! I gave you a cute llama to cuddle with!
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:iconaconitum-napellus:
Aconitum-Napellus Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2015  Professional Writer
Thank you so  much!!!
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:iconliyaperfidious:
liyaperfidious Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2015
You're welcome!
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:iconjasperinity:
Jasperinity Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2015
Happy birthday! :D
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:iconaconitum-napellus:
Aconitum-Napellus Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2015  Professional Writer
Thank you!!!
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:iconjasperinity:
Jasperinity Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2015
You're welcome! :3
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:iconbirthdays:
birthdays Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2015
:woohoo: :party: :iconcakelickplz: !!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!! :iconcakelickplz: :party: :woohoo:

It's August 19th which means it's that time of the year again and your special day is here! We hope you have an awesome day with lots of birthday fun, gifts, happiness and most definitely, lots of cake! Here's to another year!

:cake: Happy Birthday Godliek :D by elicoronel16 Lily Wishing a Happy Birthday by spring-sky Happy Birthday, whitemajic by AitamiIkimo Birthday Dummy by bdaydummyplz

:iconchampagneplz: Many well wishes and love from your friendly birthdays team :love: :iconchampagneplz:

Happy Birthday Banner 2 by Momma--G

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Birthdays Team
This birthday greeting was brought to you by: LDFranklin
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:iconaconitum-napellus:
Aconitum-Napellus Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2015  Professional Writer
Thank you :D
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HearseGurl Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2015
Happy Birthday! :iconspinningcakeplz:
Love your Star Trek collection. :D
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:iconaconitum-napellus:
Aconitum-Napellus Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2015  Professional Writer
Thank you!!!
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