Blog Battle Tuesday! And the Story of Mog and Grace continues. If you did not catch part 1 please take a read by clicking HERE. I continue with my beloved SCIENCE FICTION as the genre, though this tale is definitely dramatic. This week's keyword is ORCHID. To read more tales by other blog battlers, please visit the hosting blog of Rachael Ritchey.
the roots of orchids
“Dig.” She ordered him. She had to tilt her head back in order to look down her nose at him. Even in the thick darkness he could see her. Her mouth was tight but her chin trembled as it battled between anger and tears.
Mog had hurt her, wounded her in a way he never thought possible, but he was so certain about what she had done, so certain of Walter’s convincing words. Now crouching at her feet, thick fingers brushing the grass of their back lawn, just beneath the Orchids of her garden, he wasn’t so sure. Shoulder’s slouching he said, “Can’t we go inside? We can-”
“I said, dig, Mog! You have accused me. Now I shall be vindicated. You listened to him now you will hear me. Now dig.” Her eyes shone like obsidian in the dim moonlight, shined and polished with her tears. Letting out a breath he pushed his massive fingers into the earth and pulled out a plug of the lawn.
Grace moaned with the first scoop of soil that came forth, uprooting the beloved Orchids she had all but worshiped ever since he could remember. She moaned as if he had ripped them out of her, and hadn’t he? And it was all because he’d heeded Walter.
But what Walter’d said made such undeniable sense, even now it did, but the way Mog’s mother shuttered as he plowed his giant hands deeper into the earth he couldn’t help but regret his own words, he wanted to leave the elephant sit in the room and feed it rather than make her cry so.
He’d been uncertain about what he’d do once he was sure she had used him, now with each thrust of his scooping hand and each tear that dropped from her chin, each shiver that shook her tiny shoulders, he knew he’d rather have left things lie.
Despite the motives that had been told him, he could not deny how she had loved him. Sure she had been rough at times, but she had to be. His blood, his natural inclinations for violence and rage was something that could not be tempered with soft words. Often it took a strong hand, the attitude of an alpha to force peace, and Grace had been a veritable alpha driven by nothing but the strength and determination of a mother.
Why hadn’t that truth shown itself before resentment had grown like a wall of weeds? Despite what Grace’s initial motives had been for keeping him, she’d done nothing short of love him as if she had bore him herself.
Mog’s breath caught in his chest, his fingers stabbing bluntly against the stiff fabric of a canvas sack. Hesitating to draw it up from its earthen grave, Grace shoved him.
“Pull it free. Carefully!” She stepped forward biting her lip. Mog considered her and the scent of fear that seeped from her pours. He had never smelled it on her before, not like this.
“Are you certain you want me to pull it up?” He didn’t meet her gaze this time. Her trembling made him want to run from her. He also didn’t need to unearth the sad package. He could smell the bones of man the moment he uprooted the Orchids.
Grace was silent, still apart from the folds of her dress that tugged at her with the night wind. Mog looked at her legs through his periphery but he didn’t speak. The erratic beat of Grace’s heart sounded loudly in his ears. It frightened him. He wanted to not hear the pained drumming just as fiercely as he wanted to un-hear what Walter had said.
Finally she spoke, “Yes, Mog. I am certain. Pull them up.”
“Them?” His finger’s stilled again, his nostrils flared. He could only smell the man’s bones but no one else’s. His brow knotted and his gaze skirted across the lawn, the thought of his mother’s backyard being a graveyard jumped in his mind. He didn’t want to know if it were true.
Grace gave a quick nod before wrapping her arms around herself and turning abruptly away from him. Obediently Mog pulled the canvas bag upward and gently laid it aside before he began to dig again.
“Why are you still digging?”
“You said pull them up.”
Grace frowned and hesitantly approached the dirty sack. “They are both inside here.” Her words were strangled. She quickly attacked the laces that held the bag closed but her fingers could catch no purchase on the knots.
Sensing more than ever the pain she was rushing through, Mog stilled her hands and tore the bag open as if through paper. The exposed rib cage of a headless man peaked beyond the torn fabric of the bag as tiny bones fell within it with the sound of a hollow wind chime.
“An infant,” Mog whispered.
Grace choked down another whimper before painting on a stern face of feigned strength. How often had Mog seen that face? So often as a child that now as a man he could look back on their past with a different understanding. Grace had pushed through fear most of his life, standing as a fearless lioness in his childhood mind. She wore that face whenever anyone sought to harm him. It was with that face she fiercely defended and protected him.
“MacRae. We were naming him MacRae; Son of Grace.”
Grace still hadn’t looked back at the bag. “My husband and I. Your kind pulled his head from his shoulders. I screamed until I gave birth prematurely. I lost them both. I wasn’t supposed to ever be able to bare a child. MacRae was my son conceived of God’s grace.”
She turned and met his gaze. “And when I had lost all, my mind included, then came you.”
“You stole me out of revenge?” His question was timid, not so accusing as he looked at his mother’s loss.
Grace frowned, touching Mog’s face. “About that…”
TO BE CONTINUED
Looks like Mog and Grace will be getting another week! I still haven’t explained nor have I revealed Grace’s motives or Walter’s. I hope you stick around for next week. I finished with 998 words, right in the 1000 word limit. Nevertheless, I hope you were entertained!