Let’s be in a house of our own.
Let’s be done with school and working hard.
Let’s have a field of daffodills in the back of our yard.
Let’s be alone sometimes, once in a while, or maybe even more often.
Let’s have a sun room where you can knit and I can write.
Let’s not be working nights and weekends anymore.
Let’s be open to adventure and have the time to take it when it hits.
Let’s have memories of all the places we’ve travelled to.
Let’s be lovers in the spring so by winter we’ll have new mouths to feed.
Let’s be married and have pictures from our wedding on the walls.
Let’s have cats in the house, birds on the porch, and rabbits in the hutch.
Let’s be somewhere between young and beautiful and distinguished and experienced.
Let’s talk about all of our goals that we’ve already accomplished.
Let’s have dinner parties on friday nights, cuddle up on saturdays,
Let’s spend all day sunday in bed, unless there is brunch.
Definitely let us enjoy our family while it’s young,
But let’s also have pipe dreams of opening a cafe when we retire.
Let’s have a real life and not be just waiting anymore.
Camille LS • 2012
I wrote The Demise of Dearest Ned when Cj and I were in the airport coming back from North Carolina for thanksgiving. He was trying to read Game of Thrones, and I was musing on how the author made “fantasy names” by simply changing one letter in an average name (for example: Eddard instead of Edward, Rickard instead of Richard… you get the idea). Anyway this one character Eddard Stark’s nickname is Ned, and I was commenting on how the nickname didn’t make any sense to me. I couldn’t figure out where it could have come from, and I said something to the extent of: “The only way that would make sense is if his name was like Eddard Nedderson… or something.”
After we joked around a little about dear old Ned, Cj challenged me to write a short story about my version of Eddard “Ned” Nedderson. So I asked him a few basic questions to form a background and then filled in the rest! It was just meant to be a silly little story, I hope you like it. :)
A short story:
Once upon the dark ages, in a country you may or may not have ever heard of, there was a traveling salesman known affectionately as Ned. He was an average man. Ned was of average height and average weight, he wore average clothes, he had brown hair and brown eyes and generic looking features. The only thing above average about him was a spectacular and meticulously styled moustache. When Ned was traveling he didn’t always have lodging, a place to sleep or a place to shower, but he still always made sure he had a place to shave and trim his moustache. The style of his ‘stache even changed with the month. This chilly November he sported a heavily waxed handlebar with perfect curls at both ends.
November was a particularly busy sales month for Ned with the holidays arriving quickly, as you see, Ned was a spiral ham salesman. He travelled door-to-door selling holiday hams. Times were hard these last few years, the dark ages as they’d been called, modern families couldn’t afford much food. But Ned offered them the best deals he could and personal service, so he was more prosperous than the butchers in town who kept their prices high in order to afford there storefront keep. “Hello Ma’am, Eddard Nedderson here! I’d like you to just try one little piece of this delicious holiday ham-hock!” he would smile and shout gleefully at every door, “Now you make sure to tell me if that isn’t the best thing you’ve tasted all year!” He would smile as housewives and children chewed, looks of delight on their face as they returned with their coin purses. Ned would also offer them jars of cranberries and sacks of carrots or potatoes if they were receptive to hearing his pitch.
Ned loved his job, he took it on after his father Rickard Nedderson (also affectionately called Ned) passed away. He raised the same kinds pigs, he butchered, seasoned and smoked them the same way, he pushed the same cart, and wore the same proud smile as his father. He peddled hams all up and down the King’s Interstate Highway. Now you are probably wondering, “This Ned seems like a pretty stand-up guy, So why exactly is this story about his demise?” Although Ned was perfectly happy being a salesmen, he lived in desperate times, where desperate things often happened. Stories where the heroes are good and true are rarely just.
One week Ned visited a particularly desperate part of town called Leah Hill, what used to be a charming cottage town was now overrun with poverty and sickness. His sales were down, the first dozen homes he greeted with smiles couldn’t spare a penny. He left a few extra free samples with the mothers of coughing children in hopes that she could boil them into a nice soup. This continued most of the day as well, a few sales here and there but mostly it was an all-around rough day for old Ned. He was frustrated and tired, not to mention cold, even his perfectly curled moustache had started to unfurl at one end. He came to one of the nicer cottages and thought maybe his luck would change, so he knocked on the door with as much gusto as he could muster. He put on a smile and prepared to deliver his pitch when his last knock nudged the door a little too hard and it just swung open. “Hello Ma’am, Eddard Nedderson here…?” he chanted warily, he heard a faint noise and some of the coughing that was symptomatic of this poor town. He didn’t want to leave without making sure they were okay so he went in to check and see.
When he got inside he found an elderly woman sick in her bed. “Hello Ma’am, Eddard Nedderson here…” he continued. She grumbled that she was too ill to try his samples but that her husband would be home soon and she would love to buy him a ham, although unfortunately she overexerted herself trying to find her coin purse and collapsed with it in her hand. Poor Ned was not a doctor and did not know any fancy lifesaving techniques, he tried his best to help the woman up but by then she was already gone. He knew this because he was used to taking the pulse on his sick pigs. Ned stood there in bewilderment not knowing what he was to do in a situation like this. He stared at his wrapped ham on the bedside table, and the coin purse in her sickly, wrinkled dead hand. It had been a hard day for Ned. He decided to take the money and leave the ham, after all she had intended to pay him before she passed on. He wasn’t sure what to do with the body at this point so he just left quickly and pressed on to the next home.
The situation with the sickly elder woman repeated itself similarly three more times! Eddard Nedderson could not believe his luck. But these were hard times and Ned was having a rough day, so he continued to sell hams to all of the dead women. A customer is a customer he thought. He couldn’t wait to get out of that godforsaken town, but a kindly innkeeper offered to trade him lodging and a free meal in the morning for enough hams to feed her sick guests. Poor Ned couldn’t refuse the opportunity to have a warm bath and a cozy blanket for the night, so he took the offer.
For the first time in November Ned had a good nights sleep. He awoke to the town crier ringing a bell and passing out the Sunday newsletters, “Extra! Extra! The nefarious Ham Killer strikes Leah Hill!” the young voice screeched, “Read all about it! Four elderly women murdered!” Ned sat straight up in bed and wondered if he had heard right, the Ham Killer?? Maybe he was just coming out of a nightmare… “Reward for his capture! Extra! Extra!” shouted the voice again from outside the window. Poor Ned started to panic, surely this was a misunderstanding. He dressed in his only set of clothes and returned to the lobby of the inn, the innkeeper was out, Ned did not know it at the time but she had recognized the name of the hams from his cart and had ran wildly to the center of town to find an officer and turn him in.
Ned found a plate of breakfast at the table. Two eggs over easy, a slice of sourdough bread, and a thick slice of his own ham. The inn seemed to be completely vacant, so he sat down and began to eat. A town newsletter was folded and tossed to the other side of his table. Ned reached for the yellowish piece of paper and unfolded it, he nearly choked on his eggs. NEDDERSON HAMS MARK THE SCENES OF FOUR ELDERLY WOMEN, FOUND ROBBED AND DEAD, SUSPECT REFERRED TO AS “THE HAM KILLER” TO BE PUBLICLY EXECUTED WITHOUT TRIAL. Ned jumped up and ran for the door. The first door was locked from the outside, as was the next and all of the subsequent doors and lower level windows. He ran back up to his room, it was too high for poor Ned to jump. He had no choice but to wait for the inevitable.
Like I mentioned earlier, these were desperate times where desperate things often happened. The town of Leah Hill was low on morale and fighting a losing battle with whatever plague had swept them. The officials needed a scapegoat, they needed something to bring the town together, to rally themselves. A proverbial witch hunt so to speak. And thus poor Ned was found by the angry mob. He was brought to the town square and by decree he was stoned to death. Poor Ned dearest, met his demise that day. But the little town of Leah Hill, with their morales high for solving what they believed to be the case of a mass murdering lunatic, used the rest of the hams and goods in Ned’s cart to feed and nourish their sickly town.
Eventually they recovered and were able to rebuild all thanks to Ned’s free food, eventually they forgot about the events of that fateful day. The details were was swept up in the delirium of sickness, and Ned’s cart was turned into a statue in the town square. A symbol of hope. 20 years later a young man by the name of Kharles Nedderson, also affectionately called Ned, came to the town of Leah Hill selling hams door-to-door and he was revered as a hero. For you see, Ned’s wife Rachel was pregnant with a son when poor Ned died, and upon hearing of his death she knew what he would have wanted her to do. They raised the same kinds pigs, they butchered, seasoned and smoked them the same way, and Ned’s son pushed the same kind of cart, and wore the same proud smile as his father. Like his father and his grandfather he peddled Nedderson hams all up and down the King’s Interstate Highway.
-Camille LS • 2011 • Preface
Fantasy and supernatural just doesn’t seem to be my niche.
I was scrolling down through my NaNo writing to find where I left off and I started noticing all of the red underlines (spelling errors) and most of them were two word nouns that I had attempted to make into one word… Like bunk beds, bar stools, litter box, water bottle.
Maybe separating them will help my word count? lol.