Saturday, May 26, 2018

Dusty's Scrapbook part 2

Is it wrong to have doubts about your children and the way you have raised them? I know I shouldn’t. She’s my daughter and I love her unreservedly. But it’s all just so… convenient. Just a little too convenient. And it doesn’t sit right. I shall never broach the subject with her. I don’t want to find out something I don’t really want to know.

I noticed something untoward when I dropped by the new Mayor’s house. I needed to get to know Acquisition faction but where to begin. He’s so reclusive I decided on a direct approach and took Spark with me. In hindsight it was perhaps not a good move…

Cygnus and Aquila were growing so very fast when Fate decided to expand the family yet again. Three rambunctious young ladies who keep us on our toes! Columba, Delphinus, and Carina. I loved having a full house. We broke tradition this time round and named our children after the stars. The stars are so beautiful here at night.

Spark seemed preoccupied. I wasn’t sure why but I had an inkling. And then I found out for sure.

As a mother I was worried. I hadn’t noticed anything going on. Not even any tension between Spark and Omar. All was normal. Or seemed to be. They seemed happy together.

And then, Omar ate the cake. He KNEW you don’t eat the cake. Did she whisper? Did she tempt? It feels like she did. She was free now to have who she wanted.

She mourned for a short time then picked up where she left off. It just seemed too, too easy. Now she and Mayor Chilliad are married. It was the weirdest wedding I’ve ever been to. I guess he doesn’t have many friends.

I wonder if this one will survive. She seems happy. Again.

I should be thinking of contacting the Cliff Dwellers again. It’s very odd. They are odd. Each time I visit the house I need to reintroduce myself and begin our acquaintance again. Precipice was one of my first friends but it’s like she’s completely forgotten…

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Oh! I forgot to mention!

We are now grandparents! Facehugger made his arrival on 30 April, a fine healthy specimen. He chose not to arrive at his home turf, but while we were at Gold Coast to attend Supanova.

Which I guess is fitting. His parents met at that event a couple of years ago, and here he is, trying to arrive there. The labour began while we were at the event on the Sunday. It created a small stir among the few who knew. Elder was very uncomfortable all day but did her best to carry on as normal.

That evening things were still happening although there hadn't been any dramatics like breaking waters causing floods. And then after a shower, she explained that she thought it might have gotten quite real. I phoned Teen who was still at home. An hour or more away. We waited for her to arrive then Elder, JCH, and Teen headed for the nearest hospital.

There were some complications as pre-eclampsia testing produced a positive result. That meant she wasn't going anywhere soon. It was long and protracted and he was finally born 10:28am on Monday. Everyone was exhausted but doing fine. High blood pressure meant that Elder wasn't coming home any time soon. She was devastated.

I had to make arrangements to stay an extra night so everyone could recover. Lucky for me the hotel was *ahem* accommodating. We travelled home the next day, leaving Elder behind.

So it's been almost three weeks now, and I've only just remembered to tell you. Old Timer's I guess. Welcome to the madhouse kid.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Dusty's Scrapbook

I don’t remember much of the Before. I remember I was happy that morning. By lunchtime the sky had turned black, the sun blocked out, and the beings came. I don’t remember much of what followed. I try but the memories wisp and fracture like handfuls of the campfire smoke. I just know I am no longer that carefree teenager. I woke lying in the dust. My throat was dry, my eyes burned. In fact, when I finally managed to rise, everything was dry…

I didn’t record much of my new beginning. Everything was so different. I think I felt shell shocked, lost. The rules were different. Heck, the WORLD was different. I had to learn to fend for myself in this new environment.

Trash fruit were to be my main staple food while I lived here. Ugh. Really? Luckily they tasted a little better than they smelled. I needed to grow them from scratch and raise them to "perfect". It took a long time but I learned to garden, fish, and gather and identify those little plants in a place named Granite Falls. I learned how to make deodorising cream. That, and the shower tarp I caught at the falls made it so much easier. I didn’t have to travel to the hot springs to get clean. Not being able to shower every day took some getting used to! Murcantile Mutual stock the coolers so I knew I wouldn't starve. And I could sell what I caught and scavenged to support myself too.

Travelling and foraging is a great way to meet new people and I needed to make friends with a lot of people. I have happily made many friends. Lavender and Jeep were the first.

And across the way are a wonderful bunch of free spirits, the Freegans. While they are all great, Brennachan is the warmest soul I have ever met. She taught me a lot about Murkland and gardening. And dancing. We quickly became best friends.

And somewhere in there I met the Engine family. Rev, her partner Fuel, and their two children, Rocket and Diesel. One of the most poignant moments of my life; one I both treasure and regret. Rev was open, friendly, and welcoming. Fuel… the attraction was instant, magnetic, and undeniable. We couldn’t stay away from each other. I knew I couldn’t, shouldn’t but I was powerless.

Murkland. Beautiful in her own way. I think I’ve settled in quite well. An Emissary of the Mayor dropped by to “discuss my Murkland obligations”. Excuse me? It caught me completely unprepared. There are things I need to do to help the population. It’s scary but it means…

Suddenly I could ask. Terrified and excited at the same time, I took my heart and offered it to Fuel…

He said YES! And in short order he was divorced. I am truly sorry Rev for what we did to you. But my life with Fuel has been amazing.


The Puffer Dome is popular. I've not be able to work out why. You take your life into your hands when you dine there! Maybe that IS the drawcard. Fuel always went directly to the fridge in the kitchen. Taking a cue from him ensured our survival.

I hadn’t actually met the Mayor. Or any of the Salamanders. They dine regularly at the Puffer Dome. The point of taking your life into your hands was bought home in a rather drastic way while Fuel and I were dining there… The Mayor’s eldest son has taken up the mantle now but no one sees him.

I was a good citizen - I paid my bills. That meant we could move on up in the world; to an actual dwelling. This even had a basement! And we were able to build it further for even more room. I really like it here. We even had room for all the things I needed to collect for the Mayor. There's even room for a rocket so I can explore space. I've found some interesting things there; space rocks, live coral, and even a wormhole! That lead to collecting some unusual plant life. I don't know what to do with those yet.

Ahhh, and the cow plants. They needed to be on deck before we could have children. Part of our contribution apparently. One I found in outer space. The other I grafted using my newly acquired gardening skills. They are wonderful but don’t turn your back on them! Or forget to feed them.

Children. They have been a blessing and yet the source of an infinite sadness. Tank and his sister Jet. Our eldest and first twins. All grown now with children of their own.

A daughter Spark. She’s the photographer. All grown and partnered with a young man we met at Granite Falls. They live with us now, but I can’t wait for them to move out.

This is a beautiful place. I learned herbalism here. I don’t get to travel here as often as I might like. I need to forage for rainbow fireflies for my rage relieving salve. I have a quota to fill and sell.

Another set of twins. Our beautiful boys Steam and Petrol. Oh my poor Petrol. He always seemed so desperately unhappy. We tried our best. My world darkened a little after he gave himself to the cow plant.

And Boxer, our last child. Well, I thought she would be our last. We loved our full house…

We were always close. I love looking back through these pictures. We pretended to worship the shower gods. It made waiting for shower days a little more fun. I didn’t realise at the time we’d managed to catch Boxer mid toot! Petrol hides through the day but sometimes we see him, still trying to contribute in his own way. Those crazy teens liked their selfies! We went on a family holiday to catch some foreign culture and help expand Boxer’s interest in archeology. It seems the only thing we caught was a bad case of fireflies. Oh, and Petrol caught a scorpion sting.

Travelling around has made me realise that though the dust blows through the canyons, Murkland isn’t all bad.

Home is where the heart is they say, and Murkland is my home. She’s dry and cracked but I love her anyway. Neighbouring Nukecrest is dressed in green; the complete opposite of home. The greenest spot is the Meeting Place, a local bar. It’s busy, but then again, it’s the only meeting place there outside of the flea market. I haven’t been there yet.

After all this time my heart STILL skips a beat when I look at him. He’s amazing and works hard to support us.

The kids have grown and the Vardo seems a little too large now. There is still so much I have to do! And yet, and yet …

Cygnus and Aquila. Welcome to our world!


… … TBC … …