A Rebel Yell

“I need more.”  In the midnight hour she cried, “More, more, more”.  Janis was not a humble, milquetoast mouse like person, as when there was something on her mind, she would let you know about it.  At times, she could be offensive and she would never let anyone dictate orders to her.  She was not born yesterday being naïve or inexperienced, as she had a college degree from Columbia University, a Master of Arts in Global Thought, the place where silence had a voice.  If she saw anything that she did not agree with, she would speak out against this insanity, and she would never be locked up in a cage, be it pewter, silver, or gold.

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Dictate, for Roger Shipp’s Daily Addictions prompt – Mouse, for the Daily Spur prompt – Offensive, for FOWC with Fandango – Milquetoast, for October Writing Prompts – The place where silence had a voice, for OctPoWriMo 2019 – Cage – Pewter, Silver, or Gold, for Ragtag Community – Insanity, for Di’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Thought College Humble, for Rachel Poli I Read I Write I Create – Time To Write Sentence Starter – “I need more.” and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Yesterday.

Deep Space Nine

Constable Odo was a member of a shapeshifting species called the Changelings and he once said, “Laws change depending on who’s making them. Cardassians one day, Federation the next – but justice is justice.”  He was found as an infant in the Denorios belt, near the Bajoran wormhole in his gelatinous state as one member of a group of one hundred newly-formed Changelings that the Founders sent out from the Gama Quadrant to gather information while they explored the Milky Way galaxy.  The Changelings were very different from the Solids because they had the ability to change shape, and many worlds hunted and persecuted them because of this.  They were driven out from many planets, which gave the Changelings a legitimate grievance for holding a grudge against all of the Solids.  They could take any form, ranging from humanoid or other aliens to an insect or an object or fire or fog or even a soap bubble.

Changelings thought that they were superior to Solids, because they were not restricted to one shape and they wanted to be in control, because they felt that whatever they could control wouldn’t be able to hurt them.  The Changelings created the Jem’Hadar, a race of genetically engineered humanoid-reptilians who served as the military arm of the Dominion.  The Jem’Hadar were all addicted to Ketracel-white and they needed frequent doses of the drug to survive.  If they did not get this drug, they would go crazy and start killing everyone.  The Vorta were in charge of distributing the Ketracel-white to the Jem’Hadar as they pledged their allegiance to the Founders.  If a Vorta was killed, they could be replaced with a clone that retained all the memories of their predecessor.

Deep Space Nine functioned as one of the service centers that spaceships engaged in exploration of the farthest reaches of the universe could utilize.  DS9 had a gallery of characters including Captain Benjamin Sisko, Quark, a Trill Jadzia Dax, the Klingon Worf, chief engineer O’Brian, the doctor Julian Bashir, Kira Nerys, the villain Dukat, and a tailor a spy Garak who always had a secret.  Deep Space Nine would often jump into a parallel reality or alternate universe that included the same characters who acted differently.  Quark was a Ferengi who operated a bar on the station and he was motivated only by profit.  He could be described as being unctuous, because he was often a kiss-ass full of praise, but it was obvious that he was insincere.

Odo did not know his past and he had trouble with social integration which resulted in him having a grumpy personality, not being able to make friends and hating parties.  He built up a reputation as being an honorable man and a neutral arbiter by settling many squabbles on Deep Space Nine.  Odo found the face, the hardest shape to conquer, but he chose to retain solid form most of the time, however he was required to return to his gelatinous state every 16 hours to regenerate. Along the weathered, winding trail, he eventually became more human and he eventually developed a personal relationship with Kira Nerys.

Written for Roger Shipp’s Daily Addictions prompt – Jump, for the Daily Spur prompt – Ability, for FOWC with Fandango – Grumpy, for October Writing Prompts – Along the weathered, winding trail, for OctPoWriMo 2019 – Changeling, for Ragtag Community – Unctuous, for Di’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Secret Face Soap, for GC and Susan’s Weekly Word Prompt – Service centers and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Gallery.

Devil Music

Nehemiah Curtis “Skip” James (June 21, 1902 – October 3, 1969) was an American blues singer, guitarist, pianist, and songwriter that lived the life of a bluesman and he is the embodiment of the fizzled enchantment and other stories of ruin. James was a natural musician, teaching himself piano after watching a rural pianist in a barrelhouse, and he learned his distinct finger-picking guitar style from Henry Stuckey after he returned from the war in 1917.  A barrelhouse is a disreputable old-time saloon or house of prostitution that served cheap drinks and usually featured dancing. Skip James had a high-pitched voice that featured eerie vocalizations.

James recorded for Paramount Records in 1931, but, like several other bluesmen of his era, he dropped out of the music business because poor sales popped his bubble and this led to Skip giving up the Blues for 30 years until his rediscovery in the early 1960s. He burst onto the blues-revival scene at the Newport Folk Festival in 1964 and became a popular performer at folk venues until his death in 1969.  The British rock group Cream covered his song ‘I’m So Glad’ on their second album Disraeli Gears in 1966, and this provided him with his one hit record and it brought in more money in royalties than Skip had earned in his entire career.  Skip had little time to spend it, as his life was taken by cancer in 1969.

James was brought up in a religious family with his father being a Baptist minister.  By 1932, Skip was ordained as a Baptist minister and he had moved to Dallas where he formed the Dallas Texas Jubilee Singers to back his father’s preaching.  He travelled around the South on religious business, and then moved back to Mississippi in the mid-40’s and in 1946 he was ordained as a Methodist minister.  Saint John of the Cross a 17th century Spanish mystic said, “In the Dark Night of the Soul, bright flows the river of God” and this describes a point in a pious Christian’s life when they are unable to reconcile their relationship to God, maybe because the devil had entered their life.

The first song that Skip James recorded in 1931 for Paramount Records, and also the first song he sang at his historic Newport Folk Festival also became the last record he made before his death ‘Devil Got My Woman’ which was released in 1968.  The Skip James song ‘Hard Time Killin’ Floor Blues’ was revived in the escaped convict movie, Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?, with George Clooney, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson and John Goodman, but ‘Devil Got My Woman’ remains the quintessential Skip James song, as he wrote this after his first wife left him for another man.

Robert Johnson was a contemporary of Skip James, and he was considered to be a novice guitar player in early 1930s Mississippi, until he suddenly disappeared without a trace. A year later, he reappeared without explanation as an absolute blues prodigy, outplaying legends like Son House in juke joints around the Delta.  The suspicious speed of Johnson’s improvement, mixed with the superstition that blues was the “Devil’s music”, led to the famous legend that Johnson had gone down to a crossroads at midnight and sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for miraculous talent.

Written for October Writing Prompts – The fizzled enchantment and other stories of ruin and for OctPoWriMo 2019 – Dark Night of the Soul.