Igor, The Twelfth, Squared

Igor, the Twelfth, Squared hesitated at the library door. He could hear the faint scritching noise of an old quill pen on parchment paper. He sighed. The boss was at it again. The Others would not be pleased. Unfortunately, it was up to him to interrupt the writer behind the doors and deliver the bad news from his unhappy brethren.

“Vampires,” he muttered. “Why was I born into servitude to these beasts?”

Igor was the twelfth son squared in a long line of servants who catered to vampires. Every firstborn son was named Igor with the appropriate generation number after. The number of firstborns named Igor has grown exponentially over-large that they had to be squared to keep up. This Igor had no interest in the family business and hated vampires with a passion.

“I would stake the whole lot if I could!” He grumbled. This would never happen, of course. He was compelled to protect the bloody beasts at all costs, including his life.

Taking a deep breath, he rapped on the library door. The scritching noise stopped. There was mumbling and muttering.

“Come in! This better be important!”

The doors squeaked on their hinges as Igor the Twelfth Squared opened them wide.

“Sir, I apologize for disturbing you,” he simpered. What came out of his mouth was not what was running through his head. In his head, he was telling the damn vampire to quit this nonsense and get out of the house. He would love a night off.

Dracula said, “Well. Quit standing there. What is it, Iggy?”

Igor, the Twelfth, Squared abhorred the nickname Iggy. He kept his face as calm as a lake on a windless day.

“The others want to know when they get to go out to feed.”

Dracula’s eyes sparked with orange fire. “I suppose the supply of blood in the fridge is no longer good enough? Microwaving is out?

Igor, the Twelfth, Squared sucked on his lower lip before answering.

“They want to chase down dinner, cause some screaming, and feel the rush of fresh blood in their mouths. And, they mentioned that they are tired of your excuses. No one wants to read about the adventures of Dracula. It’s old news. Sir, their words, not mine.” “I suppose they have a point. At the very least, it would be good to taste fresh blood on the lips,” Dracula said rising from his chair.

He could hardly believe his ears. Was it possible that Dracula was going to take a break from lucubrating his memoirs? Oh, what would he, Igor do with his free time?

“We require your help,” Dracula whispered in his ear, quick as a mosquito moving from the table to his side.

“Damn these blood-thirsty oily old…,” Igor, the Twelfth, Squared was thinking before he was interrupted by Dracula.

“You know, Iggy. I can read your thoughts. You might want to be careful how loud you think when you are near me.”

Igor, the Twelfth, Squared had every reason to turn milky white as the blood drained to his feet in fear.

“Would you like me to arrange a marriage for you?” Dracula asked with a leer. “You can be replaced.” The old vampire made a rude gesture with his hands showing just how that would happen.

“No, Sir. I will inform the Others to prepare for dining out this evening,”

“Be a good servant, Iggy,” said Dracula. “I will be along shortly.”

Igor, the Twelfth, Squared closed the doors behind him. He walked with rabbit-like speed to let the Others know of dinner plans. Afterward, he ran to his living quarters to change clothes.

“Vampires,” he muttered. “I would stake the whole lot of them if I could.”

©2021 Tracy Swartz

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What’s Up & A Poem

Out the windows, I can see a spider hanging on its web from a tree branch. It is a rather precarious place to hang with wind and rain forecast to arrive later. A large moon peeked through the tree limbs until it snuggled back into the flat gray clouds. I opened the window to take a picture with the halfway working camera. No luck with that. I was, however, greeted with a chorus of peeps and crickets. Have you noticed the change in Nature’s songs as the summer winds down into autumn? The locusts have made way for the crickets to chirp and frogs to loudly peep. The birds are quieter. The fields of beans and weeds have begun to turn a paler green and moving into autumnal yellow.

Plotting and plans have been tossed into the rubbish like yesterday’s newspaper. I re-injured my shoulder and neck muscles. That forced me to slow down… and I was on a roll! Then, as I was adding things to the day, I pulled it again. This required another visit to the doctor, a stronger prescription, physical therapy, and a week off of work. Physical therapy has helped better than I could have imagined. And, I needed to stop being stingy and buy new bras. That, and my bad posture, are two contributors to the shoulder problems. I never knew a bra could feel so good! I’m happy to sleep in the bed again. I had to sleep on the love seat, flat on my back with my legs hanging over the side. It was the only comfy position.

My faith in humanity was restored by local drag queens and a restaurant called Hamburger Mary’s. There were people from all walks. They made me, at least for a short time, forget all the ills of the world. Getting to see a drag show has been on my bucket list for years. I saw firsthand what true inclusiveness looks and feels like. There are no words to describe it.

I watched the movie Soul on Disney +. I cried. It was a good reminder that living is not about having a purpose. If you know what that is or have one, that is great. Living your life to the fullest is about being in the moment. I tend to go on auto-pilot. Living is in the noticing. Part of that is feeling it all and sorting through it. Living is noticing the coolness of the floor beneath bare feet. You find it in the soothing hot shower on sore muscles. You can smell and breathe it in with the change of the air. You can hear it within the sounds that surround you or the quiet between the noise. It is expressing oneself in a unique way that only you can do.

I had the sad news that one of my favorite artists and a fellow human named Tracey passed away on August 21st. I loved her humor. She and I had a running joke that the letter e in my name fell off somewhere. I became The E-Less One and, she was the E-ish One. I’m grateful our paths crossed. Her light in this world is missed.

Sometimes, I feel multiple people are living inside of me. One of them loves routine, comfort, and planning ahead. There is another who is spontaneous and on fire for life. She says hella no to routines and let us go do something fun. This one feels and sees the invisible pulse of magic and wonder that courses through the mundane. Then there’s the judgmental one. She doesn’t understand why people are selfish and individualistic or how one way is the only way. This one loves to ride the high horse and often falls off. There’s the serious one who ponders life’s big questions and loves thought-provoking things to noodle upon. Lastly, there’s the one who feels like their heart has been broken by life so many times that it’s impossible to tape the shards back together. The only thing left is a pile of sand.

Pondering hearts and sand led to writing the following poem.

hearts of stone will crumble
hearts of glass will shatter into sharp edges
hearts of wood will splinter and poke
hearts of sand will wash away with an ocean of tears
what if
that lump of sand
damp with tears
can be shaped anew
a new heart
a heart that knows
the tide of tears
what’s no longer
is it simply erosion
a re-shaping, remolding
to stay afloat
within the
ebb and flow
of life
a necessary
better version
of one’s self

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Time Management, Two Tanka Poems

a schedule was made
grains of time sorted in piles
guaranteeing space
for messy unruly art
with quirky muses

A Recipe for Time Management
one cup sifted time
stir in twelve cups of chunked blocks
add paper to taste
bake in computer for one hour
we’ll see how well this works out

©2021 Tracy Swartz

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Allergies – a Haiku

eyes are a’ itchin’
the noses are a’ twitchin’
allergy season

©2021 Tracy Swartz

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