- Madeline Moore
- Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- Wild Card, 2006. Winner of "best oral sex scene" - Scarlet Magazine. Amanda's Young Men, 2009. Excerpted in Scarlet Magazine; Juicy Bits. Sarah's Education, 2009. Hit the #1 spots on Amazon.co.uk adult fiction & adult romance best seller lists. Jade Magazine bestowed the best cover art, 2009 award on Sarah's Education. "Get Up, Stand Up!" which appeared in The Cougar Book (Logical-Lust) won me the title 'Story Teller of the Year 2011' at The Erotic Awards, London, UK. Sarah's Education took the #3 spot on a list of the 30 most titillating titles of all time, as reported in English Daily Mail ;Female; Nov. 12, 2012. Debutante, a petite novel for e-publisher Imprint Mischief, (Harper-Collins) pubbed in 2012. I tutor writing students and am a member of the WGC. D.M. Thomas said: Madeline Moore writes great sex without metaphor and that's not easy to do. Kris Saknussemm said: You're a good egg, Madeline Moore. I am a good egg who writes great sex without metaphor! Yippee!
Thursday, 13 March 2014
Half the trees in this town are dead. The ice-storm glazed their branches with layer after layer of glistening snow until the weight of all that beauty caused them to crack completely. The glittering ground is littered with dead debris. A natural disaster.
I came home last night. I was exhausted. They said I needed to take care of myself. I listened. I should not have come home. I shouldn’t have listened.
Passed out on the bed with the cordless receiver in my hand. The snap of dying trees punctuated my dreamless sleep until I awoke. The window lit up like a solid neon sign. A flash of orange, unlike anything I’d ever seen. Is the entire town under siege? I thought this was a private war. Who would drop a bomb on an innocent little Canadian town? Right before Christmas, too. What heartless terrorists have targeted us?
The clock stopped torturing me with time. No power.
But I must be connected to the alien ship! My fiancé was taken aboard twenty-four hours ago. The aliens, in their blue uniforms, are torturing him. What have I done? Why am I here?
The land line. I fetched it from the emergency supplies kit and plugged it in. There is a dial tone. Mr. Bee, my sister and I called it when we were kids. That was many years ago. That moment, when Mr. Bee buzzed at me, was days, no, hours ago. I listened to the trees die until I passed out again. Woke to the ringing of the telephone. And then I knew. The aliens will not release him after all.
Taxi was waiting when I burst out the front doors of the apartment building, panting from running down many flights of stairs. Don’t slip goddam it! The taxi company had prioritized me. Everyone needs a taxi this time of year. It’s the holiday season! The town was dark; no twinkling lights for anyone. As it should be. Just the sparkle of frozen snow where the headlights granted it a festive spot dance.
I was too late. Because I never should have left. They let me see the carcass. Almost all the tubes were removed, but the catheter was still in place. He hated that thing. I examined him. He was bruised; the evidence of torture was everywhere. The weight of all that pain broke him. I sat with the body, for no good reason. He wouldn’t have liked it but he wasn’t there to forbid it. I did not pray.
The deadly silence was shattered by the crack of branches, loud as claps of thunder. The giant tree at the entrance of the ship had broken. I watched with dull amazement. Was this for him? For me? Should I be grateful for this obvious metaphor: even the strongest living creature can be brought down by the force of nature. I could have laughed. No . . . I did laugh. How was it possible that this all happened at the very same time? Was I being mocked, or comforted? Did any of it have anything to do with me? Probably not. Not even the dead thing; not really.
I took his medic alert bracelet and left.
“Daddy died,” I tell the cat. I fall on the bed. If I sleep, I’ll have to wake up and remember. I don’t want to forget, not even long enough to get some rest. I cry in anguished bursts. This isn’t happening. This thing that happened isn’t happening. I sit up. All I have to do is find him.
Grope my way around the apartment. My hands press hard to the wall, for support. If I have to, I’ll search for him on my knees, but I don’t. I can stay upright, with the walls, the furniture, for help. How is it that this place has magically doubled in size? But he’s here somewhere, I just have to keep my eyes peeled. He isn’t here. He was an atheist. He isn’t anywhere. Just gone. My eyes don’t like being peeled. They fill with tears.
Oh I’m so silly. He’s in a drawer in the bowels of the Mother Ship. I need to go back there and visit him again. It’s common sense.
Or not. This must be the thing called grief. I make my way back to the bedroom. Need to remember that phrase, “make my way.” Use it properly, in the future, or maybe not at all.
Christ, how can it be that there are any branches left? Yet the noise draws me to the window. Interesting, the dead tree, where the hawks live, stands tall. You’d think it would be the first to fall but you’d be wrong.
The medic alert bracelet is on the bed. My first Christmas gift for him. It’s white gold, diamond cut. We laughed at the idea of him wearing jewelry. He loved it. He loved me. The bracelet slips easily onto my wrist. My tattoo, “M” for Michael, goes well with white gold. I rub the tattoo. I kiss it. He isn’t here.
It’s dark. The neon light that lit my window was the generating station blowing up. The great trees on King Street took it out when they collapsed. My taxi driver said so. The town has no power. We are all powerless. This much has been made very clear to me. I get it, okay? This is my only prayer.
So I stand and watch the trees snap and die. Between these sharp punctuations, everything is silent but the steady beat of my treacherous, broken heart. I want the noise to stop.
All pictures are of the Ontario December 2013 Ice Storm
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2 @JeremyGlobalTV (Twitter)
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