Monday, January 31, 2011


Sass. That was the only word that truly defined Kitty Michelson. She was a pint sized brunette with the perfect hourglass figure and a wiggle that paralyzed most men and made women sit up and take notes.

Kitty was a secretary. Not an assistant, a secretary, and a damned good one if you asked anyone, including Kitty. She worked for Robert James Wexler, sole owner, CEO and CFO of Wexler Industries, one of the most powerful companies on the planet, making Mr. Wexler one of the most sought after men in the world. That’s where Kitty came in. She was the gate keeper. Kitty had the keys to the castle. If you wanted a meeting with Mr. Wexler, you went through Kitty. A lunch, you went through Kitty. A party invitation, a charity donation, a pitch, a picture, Christmas card, cigar or so much as a “Hello” from Mr. Robert James Wexler you went through Kitty Michelson. If you were a new guy on the scene and you wanted a meeting with Mr. Wexler you could forget it. The first thing you had to do was get on Kitty’s list and that wasn’t easy, not by a long shot.

Kitty was good. So good that it wasn’t just Mr. Wexler that people were after. Everybody wanted Kitty; working in their office, on their arm, or both. Johnny Carson called. Kitty said, “no.’” Hollywood movie studios called. Kitty said, “no.’” The White House called. Kitty said, “no.’” Vogue, Chanel, Foreign Dignitaries, Saudi Sheiks, England’s Prime Minister and Forbes top ten men to watch, they all tried to woo her. Kitty said “no.”

Business men tried to recreate her, women tried to be her, but no one hit the mark. Kitty was one of a kind. Smart as she was beautiful and kind as she was sharp. Kitty made people feel special and they loved her for it. She had an all access pass. Closed door meetings, private calls, secrets circling the water cooler. If something was going on at Wexler Industries from an office crush to a million dollar merger, Kitty knew about it.

Kitty knew exactly what she was doing and at the same time she was sincere about everything she did. It was impossible not to love her, and that’s why when Robert James Wexler was faced with making the most important decision of his life, his career and his legacy, the one person it all boiled down to was Kitty Michelson.

On February the 2nd 1963 Mr. Wexler died peacefully in his sleep surrounded by his family and friends. On February the 3rd 1963 Kitty Michelson became the sole owner, CEO and CFO of Wexler Industries, and that top notch secretary took her place next to royalty, artists and movie stars as one of the most powerful women in the world, and forty eight years later, at the age of eighty two she still is.

2011© awgryphon all rights reserved, photograph by Henry Clarke©

Saturday, January 29, 2011


Honeysuckle combined with sticky, humid air oozed in through the back porch and filled the parlor of the old Landry house. Cynnie, the youngest of the Landry children, had taken a spot in the parlor and made herself quite comfortable while the rest of the family milled about outside and wandered in and out of the kitchen trying to get an early taste of the evening’s supper. Cynnie came from an old southern family with old southern secrets and a very particular way of getting things done, so when Mrs. Adelaide Breaux turned up unannounced at half past three on a Sunday afternoon Cynnie’s mother cleared the house. Without a word or a question Mr. Landry had the children, the cousins, his sister and his mother-in-law ready to walk out the door for a steamboat ride and a stroll through Jackson Square. Mrs. Landry and Adelaide Breaux would handle whatever it was that needed to be done.

As they put on their hats and started to leave Adelaide gave Mrs. Landry a nod and turned her eyes on little Cynnie. She was just five-years-old by a day, but it was Cynnie that Adelaide Breaux had come to discuss. Mr. Landry held his gaze on his wife’s and after a shared moment of fearful unknowing, the family was on their way; and Adelaide and Mrs. Landry were alone with Cynnie and the matter at hand.

The aroma of cooling pecan pie, chicory coffee and fresh lemonade in the making hit Adelaide as she wandered the house, taking in the space. The Landry’s had obviously been going about a typical Sunday before Adelaide had knocked on their door, which only confirmed exactly what she’d suspected. They didn’t know.

Adelaide wound her way though the living room, the sitting room and finally the parlor. Mrs. Landry walked beside her and little Cynnie danced along behind them, stopping to look at this and that or twirl around for no reason in particular it seemed. The first time her mother started to tell Cynnie to mind her manners Adelaide politely hushed Mrs. Landry. Cynnie was behind her, but Adelaide was watching every move the child made. She didn’t want her to mind. She wanted her uninhibited, free.

When they reached the parlor Adelaide took a white candle from her bag, set it in the middle of a table and continued on to the back porch. Mrs. Landry wondered why Adelaide didn’t light the candle, but she kept her question to herself and followed Adelaide outside. Cynnie stayed put in the parlor. Adelaide and Mrs. Landry sat down to rest their legs and enjoy a glass of lemonade while they watched little Cynnie through the large parlor door, which looked out on the garden.

“Why don’t you invite her to join us for a glass of lemonade Charlotte.” Adelaide said.

“Cynnie.” Mrs. Landry called. “Would you like to come out on the porch and visit with Mrs. Breaux?”
“No thank you Mama.” Cynnie answered as she twirled through the parlor looking for something.

Mrs. Landry threw her arms up in confusion and exasperation, the way most mothers did from time to time, and Adelaide sat back in her chair and zeroed in on the girl.

Cynnie pulled a box from the ashtray and struck a match. Mrs. Landry gasped. She’d never let her daughter play with matches and had no idea where she’d learned to strike one with such ease. Adelaide placed her hand over Mrs. Landry’s to calm her, not wavering for a moment and not taking her eyes off the child.

Cynnie held the match to the white candle and her face lit up; her eyes grew wide and an air of wonder and excitement took her over. “It makes it easier for her to see.” Adelaide said nodding while Cynnie danced and sang and rambled on with the same nonsense she always did, according to her mother.

“She spends a great deal of time in the parlor.” Mrs. Landry said. “All by herself.”

“She always has.” Adelaide said knowing.

“Ever since she could crawl. She’ll sit in there all day long. All by herself. I don’t know what it is that she finds so entertaining. The imagination of a child I guess.”

“No Charlotte.” Adelaide said. “Cynnie’s not entertained by her imagination.” Adelaide patted Mrs. Landry’s hand to comfort her. “She’s entertained because your baby girl isn’t alone in there.”

Mrs. Landry held her breath as she watched her little girl who was carrying on in some sort of tea party, first talking to one chair and then to another. She turned from her daughter back to Adelaide.

“They’ve found her.” Adelaide said nodding and patting Mrs. Landry’s hand. “They’ve found her.”

“She’s just a baby.” Mrs. Landry whispered barely able to get the words out. “Who is it they think they’ve found?”

“They don’t think Charlotte. They know. They’ve found the spirit that can serve as their portal.” Adelaide said looking straight into Mrs. Landry’s eyes, making sure she understood. “They’ve found the soul that can let them communicate with this life and the next. They’ve found your daughter Charlotte and she’s found them.”

Adelaide and Cynnie’s mother turned back to the parlor, eased back in their chairs and watched the little Cynnie carry on as if she was the host of a grand afternoon of guests and conversation because, in fact, she was.

A.W. Gryphon©


“You woke the dragon.” The hushed voice of a woman said rousing Liam from his sleep. Liam sat up on his arm, half awake, scanned the room and laid back down seamlessly drifting right back in to his dream.

The dragon crept into Liam’s bed while he slept. It circled around him, taking in his every breath, his every movement and watching him dream. It settled in right next to Liam as he drifted deeper into the subconscious of his slumber. The dragon watched him, studying him, wondering exactly what he had called on her for; wondering what it was he would do once he woke up and found her there waiting for him. The dragon was curious; curious as any creature that had been sought after for so many years.

Liam had been dreaming about the magical being for as long as he could remember. She had all the answers. She could deliver anything he asked. Beauty. Intelligence. Strength. She was all he ever wanted. And now she was there. In the flesh. The dream was over. The dragon had arrived.

“You woke the dragon.” Liam heard again, this time sitting straight up in bed to find the myth of his mind standing before him.

“I’m sorry.” Liam finally managed. “I didn’t mean to wake you.” He said, unsure he was awake himself.

“I wanted you to.” The dragon replied.

Liam took a moment. He didn’t quite know what to do. “You could go back to sleep for a little while if you’d like.” He said.

“I can’t.” She replied. “Once you’ve woken a dragon, the dragon is awake.”

Liam sat in the dark, his eyes wide with enchantment and wonder, taking in the reality that dreams do come true… and that once they arrive you have them to do with what you will… or what you won’t.


Friday, January 28, 2011


Josephine walked past the flower shop wearing the sky blue dress she always wore on Sundays when the sun was shining and air was still. Thomas was already at the café. His shift had begun at the crack of dawn. As Josephine sailed through the front door and took her place behind the counter everyone in the shop looked at her. Some out of the corner of their eye, some with just a glance up from their newspapers, others were much more obvious. Josephine had an easy going and approachable way about her. She was also an unparalleled natural beauty. Just being in her presence was enough to put a smile on anyone’s face, but Josephine also had a secret.

She examined the morning produce delivery and Josephine decided she would make a fresh apple pie and strawberry sugar cookies for the after dinner regulars. The shine of the apples and the sweet smell of the berries inspired her. It would be a wonderful day she decided. A magical one.

Thomas placed a New Orleans style café au lait beside Josephine and turned to go back to his work. Josephine touched his hand and with her fingers. The ever so slight connection stopped Thomas. His eyes were on their hands. Josephine didn’t move. Thomas didn’t either. An older man in the café noticed and thought fondly of his youth. A happily married mother smiled from the inside out. For Josephine and Thomas time seemed to have stopped. Josephine bit her lip with hope and anticipation. A rush of butterflies surged through Thomas’s body. He wanted to turn away, but he knew if did he may not get another chance. This was the moment.

Thomas finally looked up to Josephine and she smiled at him with a smile that made him feel like he was the only one in the room… because for her, he was. “There you are.” Thomas said.
“Here I am.” Josephine replied.


Thursday, January 27, 2011


Jenny put on a yellow sundress and her plaid green galoshes then walked out into the snow. She wasn’t dreaming and she wasn’t crazy. She realized it might seem that way, but Jenny had a plan.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Alexandra shot through the icy water at an incredible velocity. She had to. The rush of sea water against her skin was the only thing that could awaken the life within her that had been dormant for so many years. Each element of her being pulsed with energy; the ice tore at her nerves and the raw glacial thrust infused her senses. Alexandra’s blood flushed to her heart and into her finger tips, opening her eyes from a deep sleep and forcing her into the raw reality of being fully alive once again.

As the cold tore through her, it also released her. Alexandra was again whole. The temperature of the water around her calmed. It was no longer assaulting her. It was a part of her. Dolphins circled and orcas commenced while the life of the sea consumed the change they had always known was coming.

In a bolt of freedom and will Alexandra broke the surface sending water thousands of feet above. Her blue eyes hit the light of day framed by her hair, black as night, and snow white skin. For the first time in over a thousand years Alexandra was again at the surface.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Sara stood at the top of Main Street where it crossed Trinity Boulevard. The cherry blossoms were in full bloom and the wind whipped just enough to carry them through the town like a light snow. It was overcast in a way that made the thickness of the air feel like a blanket and the chill like the world was giving Sara its full attention.

Sara pulled her sweater around her body and tucked in her scarf so it covered her neck up to her ears. It had been a quite an eventful morning. Sara had woken up with thoughts of Paris, the Italian countryside, the islands of Greece, all of the places she’d been and all of the places she hadn’t. It was just after eleven and Sara was due to meet Jonathan at eleven thirty. He would be there on time, or early. Jonathan was never late. Neither was Sara, but on that morning the time didn’t much matter to her.

Sara stood at the top of Main Street as the cherry blossoms drifted by and her hair blew from one direction to the next. She thought of the Eiffel Tower and what the cafés looking over the Louvre must feel like. She imagined a bike ride through the country and of letting the views Van Gough captured so brilliantly inspire her. Sara let her mind wander and she set her heart free with the same spirit that drove her to live a life of chance and will. Then Sara thought of Jonathan and looked down at her watch. It was half past eleven. He was certainly at the café waiting for her. Jonathan was never late. He would be sitting in the same spot that he always did, on the corner, sipping his cappuccino and waiting for Sara to arrive so they could share a pastry of her choosing.

Sara pondered the idea of the rest of her day then she took off her watch and set it on the ground. Her cell phone rang. She knew it was Jonathan. She knew he was calling because she was late, but late for what she wondered. She pulled the phone from her pocket and set it on the ground next to her watch.

Sara looked down at the ground, watching the phone ring and the clock tick while cherry blossoms swirled over her feet and up into the sky. Again the images and feelings of people and places from around the world filled her; places she’d been to and places she would visit some day.

Sara was a woman meant to take on all of life. It was a reality of which she was keenly aware, but also distracted from by the happenings that filled her day-to-day. With a soul and approach that whisked like the cherry blossoms some would say that Sara was searching for a unicorn, others that she was a free spirit, but if you asked Sara herself, all she ever wanted was to feel whole, and full and alive with every fiber of her being.

As the possibilities of life and plans for the future consumed her, Sara unwrapped the scarf from her neck and dropped it over her ringing phone and ticking watch. She unbuttoned her coat, pulled her sweater up over her head, unzipped her dress and let it fall down around her. She stood in a pair of shearing lined boots at the top of Main Street, unclasped her bra and stepped out of her panties leaving only the floating cherry blossoms to cover the being that was the lovely Sara Nichols.

One step at a time Sara walked down the street, along the center line of course, at moments dancing and at others simply moving with grace.

Sara danced right by the café where Jonathan was at his favorite table on the corner, sipping his mid-morning cappuccino and waiting patiently for her to arrive and select the pastry they would share. He watched as Sara passed by and wondered where she was going, but made no motion to go after her. Jonathan simply sipped his coffee and watched her go until Sara disappeared into the distance and became part of the light that was the mid-morning sun.

Searching for a Unicorn awgryphon©

Monday, January 24, 2011



The desert air weighed heavy on Sierra. There was no turning back. Too much had happened. She’d lived a good life. Short, but good. Sierra’s life had been full. She understood the kind of wrong a girl could right, and the kind you couldn’t walk away from. Running was Sierra’s only choice. Starting a new life was her only hope.

The odds were against her and she knew that, but no matter what happened, Sierra had lived. She knew what it meant to embody all of who she was. The right and the wrong, the love and the hate, the thrill of the rain, the depth of unbridled passion.

Sierra put on her sunglasses and wiped the sweat from her neck as she pulled out of the gas station in her beat-up old, sky blue Thunderbird with the top down, and her shoulders glistening under the hot sun. Then Sierra drove off into nowhere, only moving forward, never looking back.

photograph by Mike Reyfman

Friday, January 21, 2011


The clouds conversed on the sky and covered the city in an instant. People stopped what they were doing and looked up. They could feel every aspect of their being; their blood pumping, their hearts racing, the hairs on their arms slowing standing up on end. The entire population could feel what was coming from the core of their souls. They were filled with the adrenaline of what might be and the tense excitement of not knowing. The sky grew darker as the air weighed down and the earth began to vibrate ever so slightly. Anyone who had been inside was now out in the streets, their yards, the parks… Waiting. No one said a word. No one made a move. There was nothing to be done. With lighting as her guide and thunder as her throne, she was coming…


It was a bright, starry night that the traveling circus rolled into town. Cleo watched from the distance. She wasn’t able make out the details of their faces, but she could tell by their silhouettes against the setting sun and the tingling feeling in the air that this was no ordinary circus. It was one of witches, magic, faeries and vampires; of fortunes and dreams, and wonder and fate. It was the coming that Cleo had been dreaming about, that she’d been waiting for, but never imagined could be true.

It was early September and Cleo Harrison had just turned thirteen. The onset of Fall was calming to her. Stepping into the season had always been like slipping into a second skin for Cleo. Her true skin. She felt comfortable and whole amongst the orange leaves and whispering winds when the air was crisp and just cold enough to make her feel alive with wonder.

Cleo had been dreaming about the magic since she was seven, or maybe even sooner. She’d begun waking up with vivid memories and a knowing from the night. Her parents dismissed Cleo’s gift, but deep down inside her mother knew was true. Cleo was special. From a very young age she’d exhibited an unconscious command of not only her five senses, but of her sixth and seventh as well. From the very beginning of her life Cleo understood where she was in space and the universe as a whole. She knew she wasn’t merely a little girl in a small town that was just a spec on the map of a big world. She understood that she was a force of nature and that she would come to understand what that meant over many years. What Cleo hadn’t quite realized was that she was a witch.

Cleo’s mother knew. She’d heard stories about her grandmother’s mother and the special abilities she’d been born with and mastered over the years. Every time she saw Cleo take notice of the detail in a flower, react to the wind as if it was a part of her soul and look off into the distance as if she could see so much more than anyone around her, she remembered those stories and knew that her daughter had been touched by the magic of tall tales and hushed realities buried in her family’s history.

Cleo climbed out of her bedroom window and walked across the field of sunflowers and pumpkins that led from her house to the road. With each step she took, she could feel more of their energy and they more of hers. The circus had not rolled into town or down the old dirt road and past Cleo’s house on that particular starry night by mistake; not at all. This was the faeries. This was fate. This was the awaking of Cleo’s coming.

Cleo moved through the circus with ease. The faeries lined her path while the towns people passed by her unaware of the secrets the child held. Cleo walked by the tarot card gypsy, the old Shanakee telling tales, and through rows of flowers, lanterns and magical stones. She made her way beyond the swirl of energy to the edge of road where a small back tent sat beside a single lotus flower in the center of a sparkling silver path that led inside.

Cleo stood at the entrance. She looked down at the vibrant ground beneath her, then up to the flower waiting to welcome her, and then Cleo stepped inside. There she found a woman, tall and slender, with had a youthful beauty and the wisdom of an ancient soul. She was both still and inviting. Her name was Silva and Cleo was the reason she was there. Without a word Cleo sat down, understanding that she was an invited guest. Sliva smiled and took Cleo’s hands in hers. Cleo looked in Silva’s eyes and she saw her own, and then she felt it. Cleo felt her connection to the earth, the moon, the stars and her fate. In that moment she knew her abilities were extraordinary and that her greatest challenge and her ultimate liberation from that moment forward would be deciding what to do with them. Anything was possible.

Cleo reached over to a small table and lit the silver candle that had been waiting for her. She closed her eyes and let the possibilities surround her, and then young Cleo woke up.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Bridget stood at the sink looking at the blackened pot. It had been six days of soaking, rinsing and soaking again to try and restore its shine, or at least make it usable again. It was old, but strong, well made and in wonderful condition. Bridget and that pot had been through many years, dinners, parties and quiet mornings together. As far as pots went, it had been her favorite. It still was. The bottom was burned solid black with the exception of the rice-size bits of sliver shining
through where her intended dinner had latched onto the metal and protected it, but still Bridget wanted to save her pot.

The evening had started off fairly simply. This wasn’t her first pot of rice after all. Bridget had measured the water and slowly brought it to a boil, then poured the rice in, sprinkled it with salt, reduced the flame on the stove, set the timer on twenty and stepped away to allow the rice time to cook. That’s when she saw the note. She opened it and read while the rice continued to simmer. Bridget read the note and then she read it again. She wanted to make sure she understood everything that it said, and everything that it didn’t.

Bridget wasn’t sure how much time had passed when the smell hit her, but it was much more than twenty minutes. The house was quiet, but she hadn’t heard the timer go off. She went to the kitchen to find the blackened pot smoking and the crusted, burnt rice still smoldering. She turned off the flame and set the pot to cool, and with the intensity of the heat coming from the metal she burned the cooling rack in the process. Bridget removed the lid and let the heat and overpowering smell surround her. She opened a window to redirect the smoke, concerned that the fire alarm would go off. And then Bridget just stood there in the kitchen, her senses surrounded by the aftermath of hot metal and burnt rice.

Bridget let the pot cool then filled it with water and soap. She wanted to save it somehow…
After six days of soaking Bridget again stood in her kitchen looking at the pot. There was nothing more she could do. It had been destroyed. She would have to throw it away and get another one. She was angry, or annoyed, or frustrated with herself; she couldn’t quite find the right word to describe how she felt. She’d taken care of that pot and she wanted it be in the same condition as it was before that evening had begun. Eventually she would replace it. She knew that. But rather than throw it into the trash Bridget filled the pot with water and soap, and set it back on the counter to soak.

Monday, January 17, 2011


...and as the quicksand swallowed him whole, he realized she was only a mirage.

Friday, January 14, 2011


The pain struck Vivian from behind. Shot straight through her back and into her heart she could feel every bit of it as her body raced and her whole being throbbed. So fast and so deep the wound filled her; laced with a burning of lies, liberation, freedom and pain. The trauma pulled her apart and made her anew. It was the moment Vivian had been waiting for… She stood on the busy, city sidewalk with people rushing by while she was dripping with blood, with pain and with love. Vivian had never felt more raw or more alive. She smiled from a deep understanding of fullness and gazed out into the distance. It was then she saw him gazing right back at her, arrows in hand and peace in his heart. He was real and she was forever changed.


Once upon a time there lived a beautiful, intelligent and quiet young woman. She was quiet not because she was afraid. She was quiet because she had a secret. A secret that she loved and a secret that she knew all would desire but no one would understand if it was ever revealed. You see, the girl, she knew things. Some might say it was magic. Others would say she had the sixth sense. The old timers would say she'd been here before. But each time the girl posed the question to herself the answer was always the same. She knew. She simply knew so very many things...