A House in The Woods
I step out onto my porch with a tray that I set on the table facing where the sun rises every morning. I sit down and take my breakfast plate off the tray, a nice omelet made from ground red meat and home made cheese with veggies pulled from the garden yesterday. I set it down on the table then remove the filled tea pot from the tray and open the lid smelling the scent of the tea. Bergamont, vanilla and lavender greet my nose as I enjoy the first smell of my favorite tea. Placing it on the table I remove my mug from the tray and set it next to the tea pot along with a cold glass of water.
I cut into the perfectly cooked omelet and watch the cheese ooze out of it taking the first bite as the sun breaks the horizon. This morning the show is all dark reds and violets, bad weather? A raspy voice inside me asks, I shake my head knowing there isn’t any weather coming my way. Yet I do hope it isn’t something foreboding.
I hear a yowl as a large orange Tom cat jumps onto the railing and I grin at him, “hungry there Dang?” I call the cat Dang because he just showed up one day and scared my rabbits and the first thing out of my mouth was. “Dang you’re a big Cat,” the name stuck. I cut him a corner off of my breakfast and toss it to him, he catches it expertly of course. Then walks off to eat his food, I finish up my food before he can come back and ask for more.
I then take the small plate still on the tray, a small slice of cake. To finish my pot of tea with, as I watch the sun as it slowly makes it’s way into the sky. I spot the full moon off to the North and Is end a silent prayer of thanks to the Moon Goddess for the glorious start to the day her partner gave me.
I slowly eat the piece of cake, a dark chocolate one that I had baked yesterday. I carefully slice it into small piece to have with my morning tea every morning. It takes me about a week to go through half of one, a blue jay lands on a nearby pin oak and yells at me for being close to it’s nest.
I never understand jay’s, I keep out a bird feeder for my favorite song birds and the jays come by and make their homes then complain I’m near their homes. I inwardly shake my head as the raspy voice comments, have Dang eat them. That would be an interesting idea, if I could get him to just hunt the jays. We can try that later, and see what happens.
I finish the remains of my breakfast and I sprinkle the crumbs to the waiting sparrows, as I take the tray back inside my tiny house. I live on a few acres of land in the Ozarks, my mom left me the property when she died a few years ago. We had been living out of a crumbling shack that she had loved. Once she died I removed it and had a tiny house cabin brought in. I spent a lot more time that I liked in town when I was setting it up, yet now it was prefect. I had a nice full farmhouse sink in my ‘kitchen’, with a small wood burning stove for my cooking and winter heating. Dang always finds a way into the house in the winter, and sleeps under the stove almost the whole winter.
I have a nice double bed with a very think feather bed topper on it, I love sinking into it with a book in the evening. I have a window at each of the cardinal directions, with my kitchen table at the eastern one. So I can always have my morning routine even in foul weather.
I do have a ‘living room’ of sorts, there’s a TV in it. I do get satellite, both for internet and television. There is one recliner in the center of the ‘living room’ space facing the TV. On days with bad weather when I am done with my chores I sit and play games on it.
I set the tray on the counter placing the dirty dishes into the sink, removing the insert to my teapot first. I dump the used tea leaves into a small bucket with the leftover veggie bits from my breakfast then I take it and head back outside. I walk around my house, which is nestled in a forest with my driveway being the only road in. Any ‘deliveries’ are left in a box by the road that has a lock inside it. If something is left when the lid closes a buzzer rings inside my house, if I don’t turn off the buzzer in five minutes it gets louder. That’s in case I am outside working.
I make my way down a path made from broken dishes lovingly placed over time, every piece a memory of my childhood. I pause at a small clearing where a polished stone stands under a young Alder tree, and I send a small prayer to my mother’s spirit as she watches over me.
I continue on hearing a rooster crowing, “I’m coming keep your spurs on.” I say to the rooster, I know he’s just doing his job; but this way his ladies know I am coming with their treat and to check their food supply. I enter the chicken coop that me and my mother built together remembering the look on her face when I suggested it.
“You want to build a what? Sweety why do we need to have a chicken coop?” My mom asks me at the age of eight, and I smile at her and respond. “So you don’t have to go to town as often mommy. I know you don’t like to go there if you don’t have to. This way we have eggs and maybe even our own chicken to eat!”
Well we got the chicken coop, mom had thought ti over for a week and then agreed it was a good idea. We spent a month looking up plans for the coop then building it, in a year my mother had been happy with the suggestion. As she was already growing vegetables and the manure from them certainly helped the veggies grow.
I check the nests like every morning avoiding the one in the corner, I had a hen in there who had only yesterday hatched out a group of twelve chicks. It took us over ten years of careful breeding, but we get a couple of good momma hens in every clutch we let hatch. I make cooing noises at her as I walk near her nest box and I take a quick look. A tiny chick head pops out from under her and I grin at the baby. The hen gives me a wicked look then and I back away slowly.
After I refill their feed noting I needed to buy more I head to my rabbit ‘hutch’, I open the door to it with a sigh. I hated going to town, probably more so than my mother did. Because we solitary, says the raspy voice and I nod in agreement. I never understood how others like being so close to all those people. I shudder at the thought of being in a large group.
My rabbit ‘hutch’ was more of a shed that was temperature controlled, how Dang had gotten in the first time I will never know. Cats do have a way of getting places they shouldn’t be. I learned the first year I had my rabbits that to have them breeding on a regular schedule I needed to keep the building a stable temperature. The only time I ever need to go to town these days are to get more feed for my animals. While I do look about when there, as what woman doesn’t like to shop? Sometimes I even find a new book or a fun piece of clothing.
I check on my two pregnant does noting they will probably kindle in the next day or so, so yes I definitely needed to head to town. As the feed I give to nursing mothers is very different from the rest of the rabbits. I sigh again, it was so annoying that I couldn’t get the feed store to deliver a few hundred pounds of feed every few months for me. The online pet sellers charge too much for food when you have livestock verses a pet.
I felt uneasy about going to town, my inner self pacing within me unhappy as well. Sadly if I didn’t go today I would have to go to town on a day the store I needed would be closed. Maybe I’ll stop at the butcher shop and get some beef and pork, my freezer had space and it had been a while since I had either meat. Good idea, said the raspy voice to me. I finished checking on the remainder of the rabbits double checking the amount of food so I buy the right quantities.
I then head back to my house, and I first thoroughly rinse out the ‘treat’ bucket; then wash my breakfast dishes. I plan on stopping for lunch at a Chinese place that has slow traffic this day of the week. Spicy? The raspy voice asks, and I agree; spicy food it is for lunch. I look over at my computer, a very interesting setup I have there. It’s connected to my large TV but it also has a small screen that I use for my job. The small screen is on a wheeled shelf that fits over my recliner, making it very comfortable for writing for long hours.
I am grateful that I wrote six extra chapters the day before thanks to a nasty thunderstorm that blew threw the previous morning. Teen romance stories added to my bank account, my mother had a sizable amount of money tucked away in a very private account. When I had turned sixteen she took me to a big city to see a man in a suit who took one sniff of me and nodded his head. Then making me sign some papers adding me to the account, there’s enough money in there that I don’t ever have to work. Yet I feel bad about using it, as I didn’t earn the money. So I write stories, the man in the suit was surprised when I told him what I wanted to do. He looked at me differently ever since that day, calling me when he thinks he has a new investment for me to try. The last time my mom saw him she was shocked to see him not look stone faced at me, and for a gargoyle pretending to be human that is a hard task.
He still didn’t know why I kept the property after my mom passed away, but then he doesn’t understand shifters to begin with; much less my type. I do agree with him that the wolf shifters are too noisy, I hear my phone ring just as I grab my bag to leave.
“Nancy, are you going to town today?” I mentally swear, he smart one; I agree with the voice. “Yes Simon, I need feed for my animals.” I say back to the gargoyle, and there’s a pause before he responds. “Please be careful today, I have a bad feeling.” He hangs up, and I stare at my phone. That was very odd, he’s never called me before I went to town before. Sun omen? I inwardly shrug, maybe it was. I have no idea though, but I need to head into town today.
I send the Moon Goddess a prayer hoping for a safe trip, and I hop into my beat up pick up. It is an old Dodge from the late 1980’s, while it looked like it could fall apart any day. I knew it could drive to hell and back, one of my few shifter friends a raccoon who loves machines gave it to me after seeing the roads I lived down.
He knew me since childhood, my mom introducing me to his family at a farmer’s market one summer. She used their family to teach me about other shifters, yeah not sure if it worked the way she planned. Doug knows I’ll only see him if he’s not around his five siblings, he had visited me once when my mom died to help me bury her. After he drove to my house then back to his home he called to ask me how anyone drove on those roads normally.
A week later he gave me the truck, I offered to pay for it and he held up a hand. “No Nancy, you need a good car. I didn’t want to give you one that looks nice with all the dirt and mud you drive through, however you are getting one that drives like nothing can stop it. He’s right too, he proved it by setting the engine on fire and turning the engine on while ti was on fire and drove it down my driveway and back. So I have an indestructible truck all thanks to my one friend.
He’s currently out of town, or I’d have him with me today as after Simon called me I felt really torn about going. Sometimes though you just have to do things that seem unpleasant. Which is what Doug is doing, his mom took him and his siblings around the country to visit other raccoon families so they can find their mates. I find it odd that their aren’t more of them than the wolf shifters, but ti seems they have a harder time finding mates than the wolves do.
Out of all of the shifters I’ve met only Doug doesn’t run from me when meeting my other side, I do not know if that is a good thing or a bad one. My other side is pretty scary to most people, my mother wouldn’t even let me go on runs with her due to it. Guess that means I am suppose to be alone.