"Jacqueline, is that the best
you can do?" He sent a sent a smashing blow towards her nose.
She only just dodged the black,
fisted boxing glove by retreating backwards, lightly on her feet as the rush of
air from the power of it shot over her nose. Refocusing, she aimed an uppercut
at his stomach."Don’t call me
He bowed his body backwards,
deflecting the punch. "Jackie, then."
Jack Katz smiled. She knew this man
of old. The games he played she enjoyed. "Do you want me to beat the shit
out of you?"
Magnus Wellsby snorted at that.
"Like you could. You’re just a girl, Jaq-ue-line."
Whack. Her fist connected with his jaw.
Jack had the satisfaction of seeing his eyes momentarily blink in pain. She
followed up with a hook to his stomach. The involuntary sound of oomph from him made her smile. He never
gave away any feelings or emotions unless caught off guard. Like now.
"You’re getting old, Squiggly." She danced around him punching the
air waiting for him to re-group. "How old are you anyway?" He was her
colleague, boss and mentor. He annoyed the hell out of her with his attitude
and fascinated her with the mystery that surrounded him. One minute he was
obvious, the next obtuse and confusing. Jack called him 'Squiggly' due to his
dark, bushy eyebrows that looked like they had been haphazardly drawn on.
Those, and his curly hair, made her think of squiggles. Of course he was the
least ‘Squiggly’ man she had ever met. There was a deep, magnetic intensity
about him that was both powerful and frightening.Calling him Squiggly, in her mind, slightly
leveled the playing field they were on.
"Why? You interested in
She bounced back and forward in
front of him. Could he knock her on her ass? Absolutely. Would he? Absolutely.
That was their relationship. Equal, yet not so.Jack wasn’t silly enough to think she knew everything about the dark
haired man.In some ways it was probably
best not to. There was a scary, intense edge to him hidden behind a charming
smile. "Well, when the paramedics come it would be helpful to be able to
give them your approximate age."It
was then she caught her sneakered toe on the edge of a rubber exercise mat and
hit the floor, landing hard on her side. The fall jarred her. She rolled over
and looked up at her opponent.Jack knew
being vulnerable at any stage with him was dangerous.
He laughed. "On your back,
where you should be, Katz." Magnus charged her, giving no quarter.
onto her knees and crawled fast along the ground. It wasn't dignified but it
wasn't meant to be. She was only looking to get enough distance between them in
order to get to her feet. Once up, Jack repositioned her stance. Left foot
forward while her right was behind giving her strength. Her red gloved fists
guarded her face. She liked boxing. It was good cardio that kept her reflexes
strong and Squiggly was a good opponent. Unlike other men she boxed with, he
treated her like an equal and pulled no punches. Neither did Jack. "Bring
it on, Squiggly-man."Magnus
charged her, fists flying, making her continuously back away. She knew she
needed to get in a position where she could force him back but it was hard.He just kept coming.
for you, Katz? Do you need more? Something harder or deeper? More out of
control? I know you like it like that."
She did. But not
boxing. They both knew that. "I’d wear you out of we had sex." Jack
was starting to sweat, trying to avoid contact with him.
He laughed at
that. "I may not want to have sex with you." Magnus threw a long
Jack managed to
avoid it. Just. "That’s true. I’ve often wondered whether you like men
So, I'm picking up Rosie, a kelpie with a dash cattle dog in
her, next Tuesday from the homeless shelter after I come back from a trip to
the middle of nowhere. Yesterday I bought food and stuff so I had everything
when she wanders in. Last night I put together what initially appeared to be a simple
dog bed. Simple-my-arse. First of all the instructions were completely wrong
for me. I think they were written for someone else...like a man. I did almost
consider calling a very good male friend and requesting him to 'fix it please'.
But I didn't. I girded my loins and with Allen key in hand I put the dog bed
together upside down. $#^%!!!! I looked at it, upside down and thought, "That's
fine. I can live with that." Then I looked again and thought "%^&*!!!
Damn it, I have to pull it apart." Once apart I assessed all the pieces
very, very carefully and even retrieved the instructions from the bin and after
careful consideration I put it together upside down - again. %^&*!!!! What!!! I
stopped and had a coffee and assessed the problem deciding it was a either a left
or right brain puzzle and I hate puzzles and I absolutely knew that the
instructions were wrong - stupid instructions - and none of this could possibly be my fault .
And yes, I did consider super gluing that sucker together or tying it up. After
another cup of coffee and a lot slapping around the face, I struggled for
another 40 minutes to get the thing together. After a lot of swearing and maybe
the generous application of hammer to metal, the dog bed was done. See? Easy. No problem.
I was reading this book, part of a series, by a well known
paperback writer and I was about four pages into it when I found out a character
died. Just like that. He's dead. I
flicked back a couple of pages to make sure I hadn't missed anything and that
pages weren't stuck together. I checked the series number of the book to make
sure I hadn't skipped a book in between - but no, the character was dead. I
avidly read on trying to work out what had happened, how the heroine was coping
and wondering what she would do next now that this person had left her life. I
liked that the heroine was pretty stoic, albeit heartbroken, about it and that
she was getting on with her life wondering what she was supposed to do as I was
wondering what she was going to do.
To me, this is a good writer and a good book. Make me think.
Make me wonder. Too few people write those books and when you find them, that's
golden for a reader. It beats the hell out of shag the heroine for 99 pages with
a plot on one page to suggest credibility.
I was driving past one of the local schools. I was thinking
how the school day seems to end a hell of a lot earlier than it used to when I was a
kid. Or maybe in reality it doesn't. I always wanted the school day to finish
approximately 30 minutes after I arrived and not at 3:30pm when it was
scheduled to end. I didn't care much for high school. I still maintain that I
would have been better going straight from primary school to working and
travelling overseas. But there were these pesky rules and regulations that necessitated
me turning up each day and attempting to pretend I cared.
Anyway - my point is and I do have one - as I drove past the
school I was thinking about one of the high schools I went to for around 18
months - I'm an ex army brat. The school always gave one kid the responsibility
of ringing the end of day school bell. At SeymourHigh School,
it was a kid call Geoff. He was in a lot of classes with me - most importantly
the detestable math class that was at the end of the day. Geoff took his job
very, very seriously. I took his job very, very seriously because the minute he
stood up at 3:28pm every afternoon, in that dreaded math class, I knew that
soon there would be a reprieve and I'd be able to get the hell out of working
out the whole algebra, trigonometry and whatever whos-a-ma-jiggery problem I was
pretending to be working on.
Now, the thing with Geoff was he
never ever rang the bell early. He was always on time...damn him. This is
probably why he got the job. The school wasn't silly. He wasn't an army brat who
would, undoubtedly, in a free spirited way who gives a crap way break the rules and ring the bell
early and then try and look all innocent-like. No matter how many pleading
looks we sent him, Geoff, stoic soul that he was, did his duty to the exact
second and never wavered.
So, what's the point of all this?
Geoffs keep us on track. Wanna get off the track? Ask an Amarinda.
I was reminded by author Anny Cook about this weird dude
that can be seen on multiple ebook covers. Which weird dude you ask out of the
headless men picture above? And why headless men? I'm assuming to buy the pic with a head
would cost the cover artist/publisher more money. I don't know about you but I would like a hero
with a head. I'd pay the extra for the head. I don't feel, as a reader, that's
asking too much. I can see all three men have abs and a crotch but bring me his
head - cranium that is, not dick.
Anyway the weird dude we were discussing is the one at the
back with his torn 1980's style jeans and his button undone, seemingly ready to
either pee or drop is pants to dazzle some breathless heroine with his love
muscle. And Anny was right. I've seen him on a lot of covers so this begs the age
old question - do women buy ebooks because of the covers? Do they want a man in
ripped jeans and his hands on his hips as he balances on the balls of his feet
to make him look, I dunno, taller? More well endowed? Is this really what women? If so, then what is the story behind the cover going to be about? Deep,
spiritual messages? Man's inhumanity to man? Metaphysical forces in our daily
lives and how they shape our destiny? Or just a random sex with a weird dude
and his two buddies, legs astride and seemingly ready for action?
So, I went to drop off some eggs at a friend's place in
between trying to mow the lawn and the showers that kept stopping me. I knew
they wouldn't be home so I went around the back and dropped off the eggs and
said hello to their dog Teddy. He loves everyone. The minute Teddy sees you, he
loves you no matter who you are or what you look like, he will present you with
a ball or a toy duck for you to play with him.
So, I see him. He sees me and is excited. I'm not sure how he did it but in
his rush to grab this mangy duck toy he turns himself in such a way that he smacks
his face on some brickwork. Bloody hell! You had to go do that I my watch! Chooks
never do that. Undeterred Teddy presents me with the duck. He has knocked a
chunk of skin out near his eye. I said to Teddy, who, understands me completely,
"Boy oh boy, you're going to get us in trouble when your parents get home."
I had inadvertently broken their loveable yet clumsy dog.Teddy, despite a bloody looking non bleeding
gash in his skin just keeps nudging the duck at me with a look of "Forget
about them. I'm totally in love you with, now play ball with me."
What is the point to this story you ask? Maybe it's that
dogs are simple creatures who accept things and move on. Maybe it's about the
fact that a dog takes every chance at happiness that he can get. Maybe if he'd
been a human, he'd be whining at the chunk of missing skin, annoying the crap out of everyone. Maybe we should be
more like dogs though possibly less clumsy when excited. I dunno. Maybe dogs
are better than humans in their acceptance of others.
Yes, I did go back and check on him after the first visit. Yes, this meant I had
to play another round of throw the duck, then the ball with Teddy. Yes, I rang
and left a message with his homeward bound parents about what happened and that
I did not deliberately break their clumsy dog.
maybe a dogs life is pretty good. No worries, a thick skull and a couple of toy
ducks and life is as good as you make it.
So, I've been working this temp gig to earn some money
because for some reason the Lotto doesn't seem to paying me out millions of
dollars. Kinda weird really because that's why I play it but there you go.
I was working with this woman yesterday - actually, working
is probably the incorrect term as we spent most of the day talking. After talking
to her I've decided I want to grow up to be her. Why? Because when she retired
she and her partner hit the road and travelled Australia working odd jobs and
seeing the country and basically just enjoying the adventure. Currently she
lives on a boat in the Whitsundays and they travel up and down the east coast
just going where they want and living as they please. No, they're not rich.
They worked hard all their lives and saved to get to the point where they
are now. Talking to her was like talking to myself in 15 years time.
I believe every so often life gives you glimpses of the future
to remind you that yes, you may be going through crapacious times but there is
a reason to it all so hold on and do what you have to in order for better days
to come. I believe...
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