Queen: A to Z Challenge 2017 Post #17

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Welcome to my A to Z Blogging Challenge Posts.

This month I’ve challenged myself to not only do 26 blog posts in 30 days based on One Word Writing Prompts, but also to try to link them together into some kind of cohesive whole.  I’d love to hear how you think I’m doing.  If you want to start the story from the beginning, check out the Angel post from April 1.

Today’s One Word Writing Prompt:

The definitions are from the Oxford English Dictionary via their on-line access (which I have through my University employer).  Feel free to skip down to the story segment if you don’t share my fascination with words, definitions, and shades of meaning.

Queen

queen, n.
Senses referring to a woman.
†1. A woman, esp. a noblewoman; a wife, esp. of an important man. Obs. rare.
2. The wife or consort of a king. Freq. with the, as a title.
3.  a. A female ruler of an independent state, people, etc., esp. one who inherits the position by right of birth; a female sovereign. Freq. with the, as a title.
b. Queen and Country: a female sovereign and her people, considered together as objects of patriotic allegiance. Cf. King and Country at king n. 1d.
c. Law. Freq. with the. The prosecution acting on behalf of a reigning queen in criminal proceedings. Cf. Regina n.
d. Brit. With the and capital initial: the national anthem as addressed to a female sovereign; ‘God save the Queen’. Now somewhat formal.
4. Used as a title placed immediately before (and in Old English also immediately after) the personal name of a female sovereign or the consort of a king. Also with the (now arch. and rare).
5.  a. With specification of the people, country, etc., ruled over by a queen or by the king to whom she is consort, as Queen of ScotsQueen of France, etc.
b.   Queen of Spain  n. (in full Queen of Spain fritillary) a migratory fritillary butterfly, Issoria lathonia, widely distributed in mainland Europe, North Africa, and parts of Asia.
6. Applied to a female whose authority or pre-eminence is comparable to that of a queen.
a. The Virgin Mary. Freq. in Queen of gloryQueen of graceQueen of heaven, etc.
b. Any of the goddesses of ancient religions or mythologies. Freq. in queen of heavenqueen of lovequeen of marriage, etc.
c. A fine and honourable woman; a woman surpassing all others in rank or excellence. Chiefly used as a term of endearment and respect.
d. A woman pre-eminent in a given group, sphere, or activity; (also) a mock sovereign on a festive occasion.
e. slang (orig. U.S.). An attractive woman; a girlfriend, a female partner.
Extended uses.
Of things.
a. Something regarded as supreme, esp. as the finest, most outstanding, or most beautiful, of its kind.
b. That which in a particular sphere or area has pre-eminence or power comparable to that of a queen; spec.  (a) the moon (see queen of the night n.): also queen of tides, heaven, etc. (chiefly poet.);  (b) the pre-eminent or most admired city in a particular geographic region. See also Phrases 1.
8.  a. Chess. The most powerful chess piece belonging to each player, placed next to the king at the start of the game, and able to move in any direction along a rank, file, or diagonal on which it stands. Formerly also: †the position on the board attained by a pawn when it is queened (obs. rare).
b. Cards. The card in each suit bearing the representation of a queen, normally ranking next below the king and above the jack.
9. The reproductive female caste in social bees, wasps, ants, and termites, larger than the ordinary workers; an individual of this caste, one (or more) of which are normally present in each colony. In later use also: the sole fertile female in certain other eusocial animal colonies.
10.  †a. A kind of flatfish; spec. the lemon sole, Microstomus kittObs.
b. orig. Brit. regional. The queen scallop, Aequipecten opercularis. Cf. queenfish n. 1, queenie n. 2, quin n.1, squin n.2
11. Technical uses.
12. = queen cat n. at Compounds 2.
13. slang. A homosexual man, typically one regarded as ostentatiously effeminate. Cf. quean n. 3.
14. Any of several Cunard passenger liners named after a British Queen.
queen, v.
trans.
a. literary. To rule over or command in the manner of a queen. Now rare.
b. With it. Of a woman: to be a queen; to act or rule as queen; to behave in a queenly manner; (now) esp. to act haughtily or imperiously; to assume airs of grandeur.
c. To make or crown (a woman) a queen; to invest with the status of a queen. Also fig.
2. Chess.
a. trans. To promote (a pawn) into a more powerful piece of the same colour, typically a queen, when it reaches the opponent’s end of the board; = promote v. 1b. Also intr.
b. intr. Of a pawn: to reach a position at the opponent’s end of the board where it may be promoted into another more powerful piece, esp. a queen.
3. trans. Bee-keeping. To supply (a hive) with a queen bee; = requeen vb. at re- prefix 1c. Cf. unqueen v. 2. rare.

Today’s Story Segment:

Queen

Uriel looked at the large metal car and wondered how one entered such a thing.

“It can be rather daunting as an unknown,” Rosario said from in from of him.  “Let me show you how the doors work.”

Uriel paid close attention so he could work them himself in future.

“This is the handle,” Rosario said.  “You place your fingers here and pull out and that releases the latch that holds the door closed and allows you to swing it open.  If you don’t mind sitting in the back this trip, Savion can demonstrate how to use the seatbelt, which is a safety device, and how to open the door from the inside when we get there.”

Uriel nodded.  Savino was already sliding in through the opposite door.  Uriel tried to mimic his movements as he bent slightly and pivoted onto the seat.

“Careful,” Rosario said, his hand touching the back of Uriel’s head and stopping its backward movement.  “You’ll hit your head if you don’t duck down a bit more.  You’re very tall.”

“I have never been so tall before,” Uriel said, leaning his head forward as he continued to sit back.

Rosario’s hand stayed on his head until he had cleared the low opening and was seated on the cushioned seat.  Uriel swung his feet in as Rosario’s hand slid away from his head.  He had the odd sensation of missing the warmth of Rosario’s touch.  Uriel had never missed anything but home and his kindred before.

Rosario closed Uriel’s door and walked around the car to get into the seat in front.

“You’ll need your seatbelt on,” Savino said from beside Uriel.

Uriel looked over.

“It pulls out from behind your shoulder and you take this piece and put it into this other piece to fasten it.  The red button presses in to disengage it.”

Uriel nodded, turning to reach back for his own and fastening it across his hips as Savino had.

“All set?” Rosario asked from the front as he turned something with his right hand.  There was a soft rumbling and the vehicle seemed to be shaking.  Uriel quickly looked at Savino to make sure he shouldn’t be worried.

“The engine makes noise and vibrations,” Savino said softly.

Uriel nodded.  He wasn’t sure he liked this car.  It was very confining, and felt strange.

“We’re all set,” Savino confirmed for Rosario.

The car began to move then, as Rosario turned to look behind them, it eased back and away from the cars on either side.

“Try to relax for the drive,” Rosario said as he turned around again and the car began to move forward.  “It may not be what you are used to, but it’s very safe.”

Uriel nodded.  One of his hands had wrapped around part of the door, and he found himself unable to let go as the car moved out of the structure that sheltered it and into the flat surfaces that must be modern roads.  There were other cars and lots of noise, and Uriel’s eyes never stilled as he tried to take it all in.

“I’m sorry the drive is so distressing,” Savino said as they pulled off the road into a larger, square space of the same material but with different patterns of white lines on it.  “It took me time to get used to automobiles as well, but they’re very safe these days.  Even if there was an accident, none of us was likely to be harmed.”

Uriel just nodded.  Rosario was slowing the car down, and then it came to a complete stop and Uriel felt like he could breathe again.

“You can unfasten your seatbelt now,” Savino said.  “And this handle here unlatches the door so you can push it open.”

Uriel glanced over to see what handle he meant before quickly releasing his seatbelt and opening the door.  He remembered to duck as he stood so that he wouldn’t hit his head on the low ceiling.  He felt much better being out of the vehicle.  He ruffled his wings before resettling them on his back.  He kept them hidden from sight, but it still felt better to keep them loose and relaxed when he could.

“This way,” Rosario said from near the front of the car.  “Javier is expecting us, and said the door would be unlocked even if we were early.”

“He spoils you whenever he can,” Savino said.

“He is a kind and accommodating salesman who gets paid on commission,” Rosario replied.  “Of course he does everything he can to spoil me.  I bring it a lot of business.”

Uriel followed the other two men to another tall building and in through a door made of glass surrounded by the clearest glass windows Uriel had ever seen.  Humans had greatly refined their abilities with glass it seemed.

“Good morning, señor,” a man said as soon as they entered.

“Good morning, Javier,” Rosario replied.  “Thank you for seeing us so early today.”

“Oh, it is no trouble at all, especially now that I see who you have brought me.  Where did you find such a beautiful man, señor?”

“He is an associate who has come to visit my office and the homes for the next little while, and his luggage was lost by the airlines,” Rosario replied.

Uriel wondered what an airline was.  Luggage at least he understood.  A small lie such as that could be forgiven he supposed.  It wasn’t as if Rosario could tell the man the truth.

“How unfortunate,” Javier replied.  “How many outfits do you need?”

Rosario glanced back at Uriel.

“Four or five should suffice,” he replied.  He would not have the need to wash them as often as a human would.  Their corporeal forms were based on the human form, but they did not produce sweat or odor in the same way.

“This way then,” Javier said, waving them forward.  “I have such wonderful colors we could try.”

“Don’t be too much of a queen about it,” Savion said with a laugh.  “He’s a business professional and will want to look as such.”

“I do not wish to stand out,” Uriel agreed.

“One bright color?” Javier asked, turning to look at them over his shoulder with pouting lips and sad eyes.

“Uriel will have the final say on anything we select,” Rosario replied.  “We’ll be putting it on my tab for now and settle it amongst ourselves later.”

“Very good, señor,” Javier replied.  He began to pull items of clothing off the wracks as they passed and had a rather large armful by the time they reached the back of the store.  Javier stepped into a small room and hung several pieces on five different hooks placed along the walls.

“You can try each outfit on, and come out to look at yourself in the mirror,” Rosario said, indicating the set of three mirrors set at angles to each other a little past the small room.

Uriel nodded.  They were giving him privacy to disrobe.  There was a door he could close.

“Thank you,” Uriel said to them all before stepping into the room to change.

Paranoia: A to Z Challenge 2017 Post #16

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Welcome to my A to Z Blogging Challenge Posts.

This month I’ve challenged myself to not only do 26 blog posts in 30 days based on One Word Writing Prompts, but also to try to link them together into some kind of cohesive whole.  I’d love to hear how you think I’m doing.  If you want to start the story from the beginning, check out the Angel post from April 1.

Today’s One Word Writing Prompt:

The definitions are from the Oxford English Dictionary via their on-line access (which I have through my University employer).  Feel free to skip down to the story segment if you don’t share my fascination with words, definitions, and shades of meaning.

Paranoia

paranoia, n.
1. Med. Originally: a delirium, dementia, or other disorder affecting the function of the mind. Later: mental illness characterized by a persistent delusional system, usually on the theme of persecution, exaggerated personal importance, or sexual fantasy or jealousy, often as a manifestation of schizophrenia.
2. More generally: any unjustified or excessive sense of fear; esp. an unreasonable fear of the actions or motives of others.

Today’s Story Segment:

Paranoia

The next morning, Rosario found Uriel awake and roaming the living room examining everything when he got up at five.  His wings weren’t in evidence, which Rosario assumed was because they would be out in public most of the day.

“I take it you don’t sleep much,” Rosario said.  He ran a hand through his hair, hoping he didn’t present too poor an image.  He had this strange desire to appear presentable in front of an angel.

“No,” Uriel replied, turning away from his examination of a table lamp to look at Rosario.  “We do quite well on only an hour or two of sleep per day.”

“I’ll definitely find you some books by tonight,” Rosario promised.  “I hope you weren’t too bored this time.”

“No, I have been exploring,” Uriel replied.  “There is so much in your home that I am unfamiliar with.”

“Just don’t stick your fingers in the slots in the plates on the wall.  They carry electricity and I wouldn’t want you to damage yourself accidentally,” Rosario said.  “Are there any specific kinds of books you would like.  General history seemed obvious enough, but would you also like information on technologies or local politics or any of that?”

“History will definitely be useful,” Uriel agreed, “however, I am unsure about any other topics specifically.  My goal is to become as familiar with this present era as possible.  As well as this location.  I do not even know the name of your city.”

“Most people refer to it as New York, but we’re technically in Jersey City.”

Uriel nodded.

“I’m going to get ready,” Rosario said.  “Breakfast should be up in about an hour and after that we’ll go to get you proper clothing and shoes.”

“I do not know if I was given currency from this era,” Uriel said.  “I was expecting coins, but all I have is a fold of leather with some papers in it.”

“We use paper money these days, so it’s possible you have what we need.  I can look with you at breakfast,” Rosario replied.  “And even if you have no funds, I’m happy to provide for you while you are here.  As far as we’ve been told, you are here to help me, and it would be poor repayment if I didn’t at least provide what you needed during your stay.”

Rosario went back into his bedroom before Uriel had a chance to respond.  He didn’t want to find out if the angel would try to object to him paying for things.

An hour later, over breakfast, Uriel handed him a slim leather wallet.  Rosario carefully examined the contents.

“You have a state issued ID in here, so you can move through places that require such things, but it doesn’t allow you to drive a vehicle, which I’ll explain to you when we go down, since we’ll take one to the store and my places of work.  You also have a hundred dollars.  If all you needed to do was feed yourself once a day that would last you a week or so depending on where you spent it.”

“I’m not sure I would know where or how to spend it,” Uriel replied as he took back the wallet.

“Savino and I will make sure you learn the basics so that you can fend for yourself if need be, but I’m also happy to keep you with me.  I can confess that the stated reason for you being here is giving me a slight case of paranoia about my own safety.”

“I will not allow harm to come to you if I can prevent it,” Uriel replied seriously.

“Of that I have no doubt,” Rosario replied with a smile.  “I simply need to remember that just because you will be needed, doesn’t mean I need to jump at every shadow in the meantime.”

“Remaining vigilant is wise, especially when one has been warned about danger,” Uriel said.  “However, becoming over fearful is not usually productive.”

“It is a balancing act,” Rosario replied.

Once they finished their breakfast, Rosario retrieved his suit jacket from the bedroom and lead Uriel out into the hallway.  Savino was waiting for them by the elevator.

“Good morning, brother,” Rosario greeted him.

“Good morning, brother,” Savino replied.  “And good morning, Uriel,” he added.  “I hope you have a restful night.”

“I rested well,” Uriel replied.

Rosario pushed the button for the elevator.  It came more quickly than it normally would since they were leaving half an hour early.  Rosario would have left even earlier if only there had been a store open before eight.  As it was, the shop was opening half an hour early for him.

They were silent as they moved into the elevator and rode it down to the ground floor.  Rosario lead the way to the left and down the long hall that led to the parking garage next door.

“These are vehicles or automobiles,” Rosario said as they moved into the echoing concrete space.  “The smaller ones are generally called cars,” he continued, pointing to one.  “The larger ones are either trucks or SUVs,” he said pointing those out as well.

“The metal conveyances,” Uriel said with a nod.  “I say these when I arrived, but did not have a word for them.”

“Humans use them for transportation,” Rosario went on.  “They’ve replaced horses, carts, and all other manner of animal drawn conveyances.”

Uriel nodded, looking carefully at each automobile they passed.

Rosario slowed his pace, letting the angel look his fill as they made their way down the row to where Rosario’s sedan was parked.

“This is mine, and the one we will ride in today,” Rosario said when they reached it.

Overlook: A to Z Challenge 2017 Post #15

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Welcome to my A to Z Blogging Challenge Posts.

This month I’ve challenged myself to not only do 26 blog posts in 30 days based on One Word Writing Prompts, but also to try to link them together into some kind of cohesive whole.  I’d love to hear how you think I’m doing.  If you want to start the story from the beginning, check out the Angel post from April 1.

Today’s One Word Writing Prompt:

The definitions are from the Oxford English Dictionary via their on-line access (which I have through my University employer).  Feel free to skip down to the story segment if you don’t share my fascination with words, definitions, and shades of meaning.

Overlook

overlook, n.
1. A considering glance or look; a general survey, an overview; (also) inspection. rare.
2. orig. and chiefly Jamaican. More fully overlook bean, †overlook pea. Any of several plants of the genusCanavalia (family Fabaceae ( Leguminosae)), esp. the jack bean, C. ensiformis, traditionally planted at the edge of crops in parts of the Caribbean and thought to protect them against theft and the evil eye.
3. A failure to see or notice something; an oversight. Now rare.
4. U.S. A (high) place affording a view of the scene below; a view from such a place.
overlook, v.
trans.
a. To look upon from above; to survey; to view openly. Freq. in pass. Also fig.
b. Of a place, etc.: to afford or command a view of.
†2. trans. fig. To look down on; to despise; to treat with contempt, to slight. Obs.
3. trans. To look (a thing) over or through; to examine, scrutinize, inspect; to peruse, read through.
4. trans.
a. To fail to see or observe; to pass over without noticing; to leave out of consideration, disregard, ignore.
†b. refl. To fail to perceive one’s duty; to forget oneself. Cf. oversee v. 7. Obs.
5. trans. To watch over officially, look after, oversee. Now rare.
†6. trans.
a. To look over the top of (something) so as to see what is beyond. Also fig. Obs.
b. fig. To rise above; to be higher than. Obs.
7. trans. To cast the evil eye on; to bewitch. Now chiefly regional.
†8.> trans. To look or appear more than. Obs. nonce-use.

Today’s Story Segment:

Overlook

Rosario was waiting on the couch when Uriel emerged from the bedroom.  The clothes provided were a reasonable fit to Uriel’s large frame, but it had taken him a few tries to get the very small buttons fastened on the shirt.  He was now dressed very similarly to Rosario, in what the man had called pants and a shirt that buttons up the front and had a bit of fabric that folded down around the neck.  Uriel hadn’t been able to fasten the last two buttons without feeling slightly strangled, so he’d left them undone.

“I hope you found the facilities sufficient for your needs and the clothing acceptable,” Rosario said.

“Yes, thank you,” Uriel said.  “I could become quite accustomed to the plumbing in the bathing area.”

“Yes, we’ve all become very spoiled by it,” Rosario said with a soft chuckle.  “I ordered some dinner for us, but was unsure what you might eat,” he said, motioning to two trays with silver domes on them that sat on the low table between the couch and chairs.

“Thank you for thinking of it,” Uriel said, moving to the chair opposite Rosario’s place on the couch.  “I must confess that I often overlook the need for things like food and rest when I am here.”

“So you require both?” Rosario asked.

“We only require rest when we have overexerted ourselves, which I did today to some extent, but we must eat at least occasionally to sustain our corporeal form.  Once every few days is sufficient, but if we may need reserves of strength it is best if we eat every day.”

“You are always welcome to share meals with me,” Rosario said.  “We are still required to eat much as a human would, though we can survive longer without if need be.  I usually have a meal two or three times a day depending on how busy I have become with my work by midday.”

“I will not need much, but I appreciate your concern for me,” Uriel replied.  He was not used to anyone being so focused on his needs.  Usually when he was sent to earth he was to be as inconspicuous as possible.

“Are there any restrictions on what you are able to eat?” Rosario asked.

“We are able to eat anything a human can,” Uriel replied.

“Do you have any preferences then?” Rosario asked, reaching out to lift the silver domes and reveal the plates beneath them.  “I had them send up a chicken dish and a vegetarian dish in case you didn’t eat meat.  I would be happy with either, so you may have whichever you prefer.”

Uriel glanced at the plates.  Chicken he knew.  The vegetarian dish appeared for be some type of legume in a red sauce with something white and fluffy beside it.

“I am unfamiliar with these foods, or the term vegetarian,” Uriel replied.

“My apologies,” Rosario said.  “Vegetarian dishes contain no meat or meat products.  This is a slightly spicy dish made with chickpeas and a side of rise, and the chicken dish is cooked in a red wine sauce.”

“I have never been fond of meats,” Uriel said.  “I shall try the vegetarian dish.”

“I hope you enjoy it,” Rosario said, picking up the plate with the chicken and the silverware and the white cloth beneath them.  “We’ll probably be more comfortable at the table,” he said, moving toward a small one on the other side of the room.

Uriel collected the silverware and cloth as well as his own plate and followed Rosario.  There were two clear cups with clear liquid in them on the table, which was barely big enough for both plates.  Uriel set his items down, following Rosario’s example as much as possible.  Table manners appeared to be relatively close to what Uriel was used to.  He lifted the spoon and scooped up a small amount of the chickpeas, sauce, and rice.

It was quite enjoyable, he thought as he chewed thoughtfully.  He knew some of his fellows took great joy in the opportunity to eat when they were in corporeal form, but Uriel had always thought of it as a simple issue of maintaining his form.

Between bites, Uriel set down his spoon.

“I was wondering if there were books available that might help me learn what I have missed of human history,” he said.  “That would seem more expedient than you trying to explain it to me.”

“That’s a very good idea,” Rosario said with a smile.  “I’ll see what I can find here at home, and if there isn’t anything suitable, I can get something delivered by tomorrow evening.”

“Thank you,” Uriel said before picking up his spoon once more.  He had enjoyed reading on the few occasions he’d been able to.  Books had always been rare, and a commodity of the rich, but he’d occasionally been sent somewhere that he had access to them for a short time at least.

“In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to ask me any questions you may have.  Tomorrow I will need to return to my work.  Savion will accompany me, and you may if you like, though we may have to stop somewhere to procure properly fitting clothes and a pair of shoes for you.”

“Shoes are a common thing now?” Uriel asked.  It had always been bare feet or sandals before.

“Yes, and in many places they are required.  We can sort that out first thing tomorrow, and then I can show you my workplaces so you can become familiar with where I spend my days.  It will be up to you whether you wish to accompany me every day, or if you have other means of being near without having to shadow me at all times.”

Uriel nodded.  He could always step out of time if needed.  It would allow him to read more quickly, while also keeping close to Rosario without intruding on the man’s life.  He would see how dangerous Rosario’s workplace was before making any decisions.

Nimble: A to Z Challenge 2017 Post #14

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Welcome to my A to Z Blogging Challenge Posts.

This month I’ve challenged myself to not only do 26 blog posts in 30 days based on One Word Writing Prompts, but also to try to link them together into some kind of cohesive whole.  I’d love to hear how you think I’m doing.  If you want to start the story from the beginning, check out the Angel post from April 1.

Today’s One Word Writing Prompt:

The definitions are from the Oxford English Dictionary via their on-line access (which I have through my University employer).  Feel free to skip down to the story segment if you don’t share my fascination with words, definitions, and shades of meaning.

Nimble

nimble, adj., adv., and n.
adj.
†1. Quick at grasping, comprehending, or learning; (hence) clever, wise. Cf. sense A. 5. Obs.
†2. Quick to seize or take hold of one. Obs. rare.
3. Quick and light in movement or action; agile; active.
a. Of persons, animals, or things. Also in extended use.
b. Of a vehicle (in early use: spec. a ship or boat): fast and easy to manoeuvre.
c. Of actions, motion, qualities, etc.
†4.  a. Quick or ready to do something; (with inat) keen or ready for something. Obs.
b. Of a medicine or chemical agent: acting rapidly. Cf. sense A. 2. Obs.
c. Of actions: taking place quickly. Obs. rare.
5.   a. Of the mind, intellect, etc.: quick to devise or plan; clever, versatile, alert.
b. Cleverly contrived, cunningly executed.
c. Of a person: quick-witted, clever, acute.
6.  a. Chiefly U.S. Of a coin or sum of money: giving a quick return, circulating briskly. Chiefly in nimble ninepence,nimble shilling. Now rare.
b. Of a company, investor, investment, etc.: readily adaptable to variable market requirements or economic conditions.
adv.
In a nimble manner; nimbly. Obs.
†C. n.
In pl. cant. The fingers. Obs. rare—1.
nimble, v.
1. intr. To move nimbly. Freq. with adv.
†2. trans. To make nimble or supple. Obs.

Today’s Story Segment:

Nimble

Uriel found the sprayer in the large tub to be very enjoyable.  He was able to thoroughly wet his body and his wings.  He used the soap on his body, trying to memorize the planes and muscles of his new form.  He wasn’t used to being so large.  He estimated he was probably something near eighteen hands tall.  Rosario was a good three hands shorter than Uriel, putting him closer to the average height of humans when Uriel was last sent to walk the earthly plane.

Before, Uriel had almost always appeared as a youth.  He was young and small, nimble in most cases.  It made it easier to disguise when he used his wings to assist him in running or jumping if he were in a form that would be expected to be able to run and dash about.

His current form felt heavy.  All parts of it were large, but in proportion to each other, from his shoulders, to his powerful arms and legs, and even his feet.  He also had the dark ebony skin-tone.  The Romans and Greeks were more of a dusky brown with an occasional olive tinge.  The only men with dark brown, nearly black skin-tones had been slaves in the Roman world.  He should ask Rosario if there were books he could read to fill in the gaps in his knowledge.

Uriel rinsed the soap from his body and looked at the little bottles Rosario had said were for hair.  He picked one up, finding directions on the back.  One was for lathering and cleaning, the other for conditioning the hair.  Uriel assumed that would be more like an oil, so put it back, but read the one called shampoo again.  He thought it might be better for washing his winds than the cake of soap.

It took him several minutes to figure out how to open the bottle.  The was no cork, so he pulled and pressed until he found a place that made the top tilt, revealing an opening.  He tipped the bottle, and liquid slowly poured out into his hand.  Uriel set the bottle down again, leaving it open for now, and stepped away from the sprayer.  He carefully massaged the liquid across his right wing, watching as the bubbles spread.  It felt very nice against his feathers, and the gentle massage he was able to give his wing made them feel much better after the long day of flying.

Uriel repeated the process with the other wing, a soft moan escaping his body at how good it felt as the muscles in his wing relaxed as he messaged the shampoo across the feathers.  When he was done, he reached up to detach the sprayer as Rosario had shown him and carefully rinsed all the shampoo from his feathers.  He wouldn’t be able to fly again until they were fully dry, but he expected they would be remaining indoors for the night, so he didn’t feel that it would be dangerous.  He did want to make sure there was no residue from the shampoo though.  He’d washed them with harsh soaps in the past and found it took a thunderstorm to remove the film from his feathers.

When Uriel was satisfied that he’d gotten his wings as clean and residue free as possible, he put the sprayer back, rinsed his body one last time, and then turned the little metal knobs until the water stopped flowing.

Rosario was right.  Plumbing as he had termed it was a terribly convenient thing and made bathing much easier that it had been before.

Uriel stepped out and glanced around the bathroom, spotting a set of shelves that held a dozen pale blue towels.  He reached for one and began the laborious process of drying himself and his wings.

Mistake: A to Z Challenge 2017 Post #13

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Welcome to my A to Z Blogging Challenge Posts.

This month I’ve challenged myself to not only do 26 blog posts in 30 days based on One Word Writing Prompts, but also to try to link them together into some kind of cohesive whole.  I’d love to hear how you think I’m doing.  If you want to start the story from the beginning, check out the Angel post from April 1.

Today’s One Word Writing Prompt:

The definitions are from the Oxford English Dictionary via their on-line access (which I have through my University employer).  Feel free to skip down to the story segment if you don’t share my fascination with words, definitions, and shades of meaning.

Mistake

mistake, n.
a. A misconception about the meaning of something; a thing incorrectly done or thought; an error of judgement.
†b. a mistake of: a misconception as to. Obs.
c. In generalized use: misapprehension, misunderstanding; error, misjudgement.
d. concr. In predicative use: something chosen through an error of judgement; a badly selected thing, a regrettable choice.
e. colloq. or euphem. An instance of a woman’s becoming pregnant unintentionally; an unplanned baby. Cf. accidentn. 8e.
mistake, v.
†1. trans.
a. To take improperly, wrongfully, or in error. Obs.
b. To object to, take amiss. Obs. rare.
†2.  a. intr. To transgress, offend, do wrong. Obs. (Sc. in later use).
b. trans. (refl.) in the same sense. Also (occas.) in pass.Obs.
3. trans. To make an error in the choice of (one’s way, route, etc.). †to mistake one’s mark: to miss one’s target (obs.). Now rare.
4. trans.
a. To misunderstand the meaning of (a person); to attach a wrong meaning to the words or actions of (a person).
b. To have a misconception with regard to (an opinion, statement, action, purpose, etc.); to misapprehend the meaning or intention of; to take in a wrong sense.
5.  †a. trans. To have a wrong view of the character of (a person). Also with complement. Obs.
b. to mistake one’s man (also woman): to judge incorrectly or underestimate the character or capabilities of the person with whom one is dealing.
6.  a. intr. To make a mistake; to be in error; to err in opinion or judgement; to be under a misapprehension; to take a wrong view. Now somewhat arch.
b. trans. (in pass.) in the same sense. Also (now Sc.refl. Freq. with aboutin (rarely †of).
7. to mistake (a person or thing) for (some other person or thing): to suppose erroneously the former to be the latter; to identify wrongly as. Freq. in pass.
8. trans.
a. To be under a misconception as to the identity or nature of; to take to be somebody or something else. Now only inthere is no mistaking: it is impossible not to recognize.
†b. To estimate wrongly. Obs.
†9. trans. With direct object and complement: to suppose erroneously to be or to do something. Also in pass. Obs.
†10. trans. To bring by mistake intoObs.
†11. trans. To make an error in regard to (a date, number, etc.); to perform (an action) at a wrong time. Obs.

Today’s Story Segment:

Mistake

Rosario shut the bedroom door behind him as well.  He would still be able to hear Uriel if he called out, and this would give Uriel privacy.  Unlike Evander and Savino, Rosario still had some principals, and seeing someone naked when he didn’t have any relationship with them was not something he was comfortable with.

The knock on the door was a welcome distraction when it came.  Rosario hurried over and opened the door for Savino.

“Thank you for finding clothes for Uriel,” Rosario said as he closed the door after Savino.

“No problem, but you get to explain to everyone who your guest is.  I just said I was borrowing them for a guest of yours.”

“I can do that,” Rosario said.

“Where do you want them?” Savion asked.  “I think if I let go of the pile it’s going to fall all over the place.”

“We can leave them on the bed,” Rosario said, leading the way to the second bedroom and opening the door.

Savion moved quickly to the bed and set down the clothes, which did slide out of their neat pile to cascade across the end of the bed.

Rosario watched as Savino turned toward the bathroom door.  The water of the shower was audible, so it was obvious enough what Uriel was doing in there.

Savino took a step away from the bed and toward the bathroom door.

Rosario watched him, noting the slight tension in his shoulders and the tilt of his head, as if he were straining to listen for something.

Savino took another step.

“That would be a mistake,” Rosario said softly.

Savino whirled to face Rosario.  “I’m sorry, brother,” he said, bowing.

“I’m not angry, I just want everyone to respect Uriel’s privacy the way they would anyone else’s.  He’s not some curiosity for us to amuse ourselves with.  He’s an angel, sent here with a specific mission, and his arrival portends dire circumstances in my future.”

“I will comport myself properly,” Savino promised, hurrying to join Rosario at the door.

Rosario turned and stepped back into the sitting room, waiting for Savino to follow before closing the bedroom door once more.  The room was included in his suite so that if he ever took a lover they could be safe and have space of their own.  Rosario was grateful that it was empty at the moment.

“Are you worried about the dire need his presence predicts?” Savino asked, resting his hand gently on Rosario’s arm.

“I’m not sure yet,” Rosario replied.  “It depends on what kind of need it ends up being.  We have no way of knowing if it’s some kind of outside threat, or an internal one, or simply some dire need with my work.  Can you think of anyone who would be more useful to support me in my work than an angel?”

“An angel would seem appropriate to ministering to homeless teenagers,” Savino replied.  “But I find it hard to believe that the Lord would send one for something as small as that.  We always have a dire need for something at the office or one of the homes.  That will always be the case, but we also have the means to procure what we need in those instances.”

“I suppose I just want it to be something that doesn’t involve a threat,” Rosario said with a sigh.  “I want to not be looking over my shoulder all the time now.”

“I know,” Savino said softly, squeezing Rosario’s arm gently.  “I’ll be with you as I always am, and Uriel can accompany us to the office and the homes as long as we find appropriate clothes for him.  We won’t be without aid when the time comes, and that should mean we’ll be fine.”

“I hope you’re right,” Rosario said.  He fervently hoped that Savino was right, but just because they had aid at the time of dire need, didn’t mean that they would triumph over whatever it was that caused the dire need.

“Do you want me to stay?” Savino asked.

“No,” Rosario replied.  “I don’t want to accidentally give the impression that I’m afraid of Uriel.”

Savino laughed.  “I doubt you’ll give that impression, brother, but I’ll leave you to it.  Just let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.”

“Thank you, Savino,” Rosario said as his brother moved toward the door.  Savino was almost as old as Rosario.  They’d been close since before Savino’s creation and Rosario tried very hard never to take his presence for granted.  Savino was the truest friend he’d ever had, and a true brother of his heart.

Alone again, Rosario moved to one of the couches.  It was only after he sat quietly for a moment that he realized he was hungry.  He’d been leaving this evening to join a few of his other brothers at a restaurant one of them financed.  He’d never made it of course, and that meant he’d had no dinner.

Moving across the room, Rosario picked up the phone and dialed down to the kitchen.  Evander ran the place more like a hotel than an apartment building, so that if needed, they would have everything they required without having to venture out into an increasingly hostile world.

“What can I do for you?” one of the kitchen staff asked.

“Can you please send up two meals to my suite, one vegetarian.”  He didn’t know what angels ate, or even if they ate, but if they did, he assumed Uriel would be hungry.

Lesson: A to Z Challenge 2017 Post #12

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Welcome to my A to Z Blogging Challenge Posts.

This month I’ve challenged myself to not only do 26 blog posts in 30 days based on One Word Writing Prompts, but also to try to link them together into some kind of cohesive whole.  I’d love to hear how you think I’m doing.  If you want to start the story from the beginning, check out the Angel post from April 1.

Today’s One Word Writing Prompt:

The definitions are from the Oxford English Dictionary via their on-line access (which I have through my University employer).  Feel free to skip down to the story segment if you don’t share my fascination with words, definitions, and shades of meaning.

Lesson

lesson, n.
†1.  a. The action of reading. Obs.
b. A public reading; a lecture; also, a course of lectures. Obs.
2. Christian Church. A portion of Scripture or other sacred writing read at divine service.
3.  a. A portion of a book or dictated matter, to be studied by the pupil for repetition to the teacher. Hence, something that is or is to be learnt.
†b. transf. Subject of discourse. Obs.
4.  a. A continuous portion of teaching given to a pupil or class at one time; one of the portions into which a course of instruction in any subject is divided. to give, take lessons: to give, receive systematic instruction in a specified subject. Hence occas. in text-books, a section of such length as to be suitable to be studied continuously.
b. transf. An occurrence from which instruction may be gained; an instructive example; a rebuke or punishment calculated to prevent a repetition of the offence. to read (one) a lesson: see read v. Phrases 2.
†5. Music.
a. An exercise; a composition serving an educational purpose.
b. A piece to be performed, a performance. Obs.
lesson, v.
1. trans. To give a lesson or lessons to, to instruct, teach; to admonish, rebuke. Const. inon, and with inf. or subord. clause. Also, To bring into or to (a certain state) by lessoning.
2. To teach (a thing) as a lesson, to inculcate.

Today’s Story Segment:

Lesson

“So this is the bathroom, and it has a lot of plumbing that makes it more convenient than what you are probably used to,” Rosario explained.

Uriel moved closer as Rosario began to explain.

“The sink can be used for small tasks and getting water,” Rosario said.  “This tap gives you hot water, and this one gives you cold water.  You can turn them on together to get warm water.”

Rosario glanced up at Uriel as he turned off the water, and the angel nodded.

“You have the same taps in the tub,” Rosario said, moving across to demonstrate the same water options in the bath.  “If you prefer to have the tub filled with water, pull this and it stops the water from draining.  If you want water out of the sprayer at the top, you pull this lever,” Rosario went on, leaning back so he wouldn’t be caught in the spray.  “This is detachable, so you can take it down and use it to rinse yourself.”  Rosario took it off the holder to demonstrate before putting it back and cutting off the water.  “The sprayer is more efficient than the buckets we used to use.”

“It does all look very convenient,” Uriel said.  Humans had always been inventive creatures.

“The last thing is the toilet,” Rosario said, moving into the little alcove where it stood.  “You lift the lid and either sit, or lift the seat if you’re going to stand while you go,” Rosario said.  This all felt very odd, explaining a toilet to what looked like a grown man.  “When you’re done, you close the lid and push down on this lever, and the water will clear everything way.”

“Much cleaner than it used to be,” Uriel observed.

“Yes,” Rosario said, stepping back from the toilet.  “Sanitation technology has greatly improved in recent decades.”

“You said you were still human more than two millennia ago,” Uriel said softly.

“Yes,” Rosario replied.  “I was twenty-six when I met Evander in Rome.  I don’t recall what year it was anymore.”  It had been a long time ago.  He had it all written down somewhere he was sure, but he tried not to dwell on the passage of time.  He preferred to immerse himself in the word that he was living in.

“How long before he changed you?” Uriel asked as he set his shirt on the counter and looked down at his cargo shorts.

“Four years,” Rosario replied.  “He’s a good and honorable man, and the work he was doing then was something I was passionate about.  The work he supports me in doing now is also very important, and I am glad I am here to do it.”

“How does one remove this?” Uriel asked, looking up at Rosario.  “I am unfamiliar with this garment.”

“They’re cargo shorts,” Rosario said.  “There’s a button and a zipper,” he added, stepping close.  “I can show you, if that’s alright?”

“Please,” Uriel said.

Rosario reached out and unfastened the button.  He glanced up and Uriel and found the angel focused on his hands.  Rosario looked down again and slid the zipper open.

“And this is how you refasten them,” he added, pulling the zipper up again and redoing the button.  “Most pants will have fasteners like these.”

“Pants?” Uriel asked.

Rosario could feel his eyebrows climbing upward.  Uriel didn’t know what pants were?  Well, now that he actually thought about it, no one in Rome would have worn pants until very late in the empire.

“These are shorts, which are pants that only go part way down your legs,” Rosario explained.  “I’m wearing pants, which go down to your ankles.  They are the preferred lower garment in the modern world, especially for men.  Women wear them as well, but also still wear skirts or dresses which more closely resemble the robes you are probably used to.”

“Thank you,” Uriel said.

“I am always happy to explain things to you,” Rosario replied.  “There’s a cake of soap in the dish in the shower,” he added, pointing to it.  “You shouldn’t need the bottles.  They’re for cleaning hair, which you don’t seem to have.”  Uriel was bald, but Rosario wondered if the hair would grow over time like a normal human, or if he would always be hairless.

“Thank you for your assistance,” Uriel said again as he looked down and slowly undid the button and zipper on his shorts.

Rosario turned away before Uriel could remove them.  He didn’t need to see an angel naked.

“I’ll leave the clothes in your room when they arrive,” Rosario said as he left.  “Yell if you need anything and I’ll come back,” he added before closing the door.

Image Prompt 027 – Cornwall & Blue Ridge Parkway

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It’s the Second Friday of the Month, so today is an Image Prompt day.

I’ve included two images to work from.  Pick one (or both if you’re feeling ambitious) and write something inspired by the image.  You can use something in the image, the feeling it invokes, or whatever the image makes you think of.

If you write a piece and end up posting it somewhere online, please link back to it here on a comment so we can all enjoy it too.

I’ll be posting my own piece next week.

2017-04-14 Image Prompt-027-1 - Cornwall Crusader Day Two05-05-10 020

2017-04-14 Image Prompt-027-2 - Blue Ridge Parkway08-10-12 028