A work in progress

Chris tilted his head to one side and looked at the painting. It looked as if Ezra had gotten partway through the work and just decided to stop for no apparent reason. There were parts of it that were only lined out in pencil. Other sections had paint applied, but they were obviously incomplete, since they lacked the detail he normally gave his work. Only the lower right corner looked as if he’d actually decided to finish it.

“It’s called Reflection,” Ezra said, from just behind Chris. When Chris looked up, Ezra smiled. “I noticed you scrutinizing it.”

“Why didn’t you finish it?” Chris asked, shaking his head.

A faint smile played as Ezra’s lips. “It’s a bit of symbolism on my part,” he said, his own gaze going to the piece. “It’s a reflection of… me and… I feel as if I’m still growing and changing. I’m constantly learning new things and pushing myself to take that next step.”

Chris blinked as he realized what Ezra was saying by leaving the piece so obviously unfinished. “You’re a work in progress.”

Ezra nodded, his faint smile growing into a bright grin. “Precisely,” he murmured.

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Love, Joy and an AK47

Ezra couldn’t decide if he liked his new posting or not. There were definite perks to living on Terra. There was a whole new world of things to explore. Everything was not only new, it was all so very different from the way things were in Shynia.

There was snow, something he’d only seen during his time in Lyroron – even then, it wasn’t to quite the same degree or as lingering as they had at his new home. The beaches, where people gathered wearing the briefest of swimming attire, filled him with wonder from all the activity that seemed to always surround them.

All in all, it seemed like a lovely place where most of the people were happy. However, Ezra also watched the television news and read the papers as part of his current position. He was learning very quickly that his new home was, in many ways, far more violent that Shynia had ever been.

So, that made him wonder. Did the good outweigh the bad? He frowned thoughtfully and shook the thoughts away. He could ponder them more later. For now, he needed to get ready for the morning press conference.

I can’t unthink about you

Ezra lay back in his bed with his eyes closed, but he wasn’t sleeping. He couldn’t sleep, not now. His mind was whirling. He couldn’t seem to quiet it. He let out an explosive sigh and sat up, throwing off the blankets.

He paced across the room to stare out at the city. He’d come back after nearly five years, you’d think that the city would have changed. Yet, it was the same. So much of it was the same. The streets, the business, the weather – none of it had changed.

His mother… he’d seen her that day, for the first time in four years. His brows furrowed. She had changed. He couldn’t let go of that. He’d never imagined his leaving would affect her. However, it had.

When he’d seen her again, she’d hugged him. She’d told him… that she loved him – that she’d missed him. He shook his head. He’d never intended to hurt her. He’d honestly believed his departure wouldn’t bother her in the slightest. Now, he knew how wrong he was and he couldn’t stop thinking about the look on his mother’s face when he’d left.

I want to know your plans

There was a spring in Ezra’s step as he left the office of the village elder. Whenever there was construction taking place, a permit had to be purchased from the elder’s office. In the case of a new building, the plans also had to be filed there. Now that he had the paperwork out of the way and the permit in hand, he could begin.

“Ezra!”

He turned at the sound of his name and smiled as Morgan bounced up to him. She took his arm and he set his hand on hers. “What is it, my dear?” he said.

Morgan smiled and nodded at the permit he was holding. “You still haven’t let me see what you intend to do with the house,” she said. She gave him a playful pout and said, “Couldn’t I have just a peek?”

Ezra chuckled. “I’ll show you what I intend over dinner,” he said. He hoped that Morgan would approve on the home he was imagining for them. He wasn’t quite sure how he would react if she weren’t pleased with the idea.

Take it, Shake it, Break it Down

Ezra sat down outside the little building. He had loved the little house from the first time he’d laid eyes on it. It was a perfect home for a growing family. The gingerbread frame looked like something out of a child’s story.

The time he’d lived there with Morgan, Loki and Missy had been happy days. He’d wanted them to go on forever. He knew that wasn’t possible, but he wanted it anyway. He looked up at the ruined house and sighed.

“We all made it out safely,” Morgan said, her voice soft. “That’s what’s important.”

“I know that,” Ezra said, his voice cracking. “I do! It’s just…” he trailed off and looked up at the house. Suddenly, in his mind, he saw a new house standing where the ruins of their old one had. He didn’t need a larger house, but the idea of designing a home of his own. “We’ll rebuild it,” he murmured.

Morgan took his hand and kissed his cheek. “That’s the spirit, love,” she said.

Willful Creatures

Ezra was learning quickly that Mischief was entirely different from Josiah. Where Josiah lived to please Ezra, Mischief seemed to think Ezra lived to serve her. He returned to his chair to find her firmly ensconced there. When he scolded her, her ears pinned. When he picked her up and set her on the window seat, she chirped and jumped down.

She was headed for his chair when he sat. Then, she lay down at his feet and attacked his shoes. “Excuse me,” he said, lifting her into his arms. This, he found, was just what she wanted.

The brightest heaven of invention

Ezra listened attentively to the lecture from the forensics expert as he demonstrated the technique. His eyes were wide with shock. He’d never seen anything like it. It was… amazing.

“Do you have something to add, Mr. Pemberton?” the instructor asked.

Nodding, Ezra stood. “Is there a spell that can be used, like the stress test, to find traces of dark magic?” he asked. “Figure out what kind of spell was used?”

The man looked at Ezra for a moment. “That might be useful,” he said, “Why don’t you try to come up with something.”

Careless Whispers

Ezra stepped up to the canvas and frowned at it. He could see what he wanted, in his mind’s eye. It was as clear now as any of the other images he’d ever painted. He lifted the palette and brush and set to work.

Slowly, the image started to form. The details were as clear as they had always been. The only difference was in scale. When he finished, a faint smile touched his lips. It was perfect.

“Are you sure that’s wise?” Morgan said, from behind him. “Folks might talk.”

Ezra shook his head. “So, let them.”

What Words Can’t Say

Prompt: a warm reluctance

Morgan watched as Ezra painted. The image seemed to come alive as he added the tiny, fine details that were quickly making him famous as an artist, at least in the city of North Lake. She’d been there for over an hour and Ezra had hardly said more than a few words to her.

She knew he cared about her. She could tell from the lingering glances he shot her direction when he thought she wouldn’t notice. She could tell from the way he treated her – as if she were as precious as one of his artworks. However, he had yet to express his feelings openly.

Devin said he was an innocent. It made sense, anyone named Ezra would have that as their dominant personality trait. She’d never dated one and she wondered if they were all as shy and demure when it came to emotions as Ezra was or if something had happened to make him this way.

“Ezra?”

He looked over at her and blinked. “I’m sorry,” he murmured, dropping his gaze. “I’m not being a very good host, am I?”

She smiled faintly as he set the brush and palette aside. As he stepped over to her, she caught his hand and drew him near. Then, before he could realize her intensions, she kissed him gently on the lips. Ezra tensed, but didn’t pull away.

When Morgan broke the kiss, she looked into his eyes. They were wide with confusion and his cheeks held a faint flush of color. “I got tired of waiting,” she said, smiling faintly.

“I… am not sure what to say,” Ezra breathed. A faint, cautious smile touched his lips. “It was nice. I wouldn’t mind do it again?”

Miles To Go

Prompt: on little cat feet

Mischief made her way through the town. Most people barely paid her any mind. It was interesting and she wasn’t about to complain. It made things easier. She seemed to blend into the background. She could slip in and out of places from which she’d normally be barred.

She slinked through an open door and entered the Agency building. Of course, it didn’t look like an Agency building. What it looked like was the local radio station. However, Daddy had told her that the Agency ran the local radio station. This was where he’d sent her on her mission.

“Hey kitty,” a soft, low voice said.

Mischief looked up at the speaker. He was tall and slender, with long dark hair. Daddy would have called him a lovely man. He was dressed in a cute school uniform, like a little girl would wear.

She padded over to him and nuzzled against his fingers. Purring loudly, she flopped onto her side and rolled onto her back, revealing the canister that Daddy had attached to her collar.

“What in…” the lovely man said. He took the container off her neck and looked at it for a moment. “I guess now I’ve seen it all.” He patted Mischief on the head and then stood. “Tell Fox we got his message, kitty.”

Mischief lingered a moment longer. Then, she chirped and scurried away. She had many miles to go before she slept and little fur feet to travel on.

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