Marianne started life as a rewrite of Mitre. I wrote the original Mitre sometime in the mid-1970s and have never been happy with it. The current version (I’ll share it next week so you can see how Mitre and Marianne differ and how Mitre‘s change from the first sharing back in Oct 2018.

Anyway, Marianne is a different take on the same idea.

As always, let me know what you think.


Marianne looked up as Rose threw some paperwork down on her table. “What are plane tickets doing on your MasterCard bill, Mother?”

Marianne turned her wheelchair and glanced at the bill. “How many guesses do I get?”


“What exactly is the problem? I paid with my own money, used my own phone, tapped the order with my own fingers, arranged for Uber to pick me up and drop me off on both ends of the trip, – ”

“Are you going to Oregon to commit suicide?”

“I can’t go to see my sister?”

“Is she going to help you commit suicide?”

“She’s always been such a dear, hasn’t she?”

“You think I’m going to allow you to do this?”

Marianne laughed. “You won’t allow me to do what? How about I won’t allow you and that Captain Holes-in-his-Pockets husband of yours four thousand a month rent for this – ” She looked around her. ” – room.”

Rose’s face blanched.

“Is that your big worry? You won’t be able to keep your house once I’m gone? How about you stop spending money you don’t have. And I don’t remember giving you Power-of-Attorney. What gives you the right to open my mail?”

“I just thought I’d be helping -”

“You just thought you’d be snooping.”

Rose clutched her arms to her chest.

“Close the door on your way out, Daughter.”

Marianne checked her wall calendar. June. Doctor Mulvaney said she’d be bed-ridden by this time next year and little more than a locked-in idiot in two. “I’d like to go while I’m still able to know I’m doing the going.”

She grabbed a Mackintosh apple and a small paring knife and wheeled herself to her window. A crow and a catbird stood on either side of a feeder she attached to the window when she moved in. “Hi, Amos. Hi, Andy. How you boys doing? Your chicks worried about how many seeds you’ll leave them when you pass?” She gazed at the knife. “I suppose if I was brave enough I’d just do myself in. Nobody’ll notice until a bill needed to be paid.”

Amos hopped closer to the window. Andy watched, a sunflower seed rolling in his beak as he cracked the shell.

Amos tapped on the window.

“How many times do I have to tell you, I don’t know Morse code.”

Andy hopped over to Amos.

“Teaming up on me, boys?”

They both tapped.

“Want some apple?” She raised the window. The birds hopped onto the sill. Marianne cut slivers of Mackintosh and put them next to the birds.

Amos looked at the slivers. “Thank you.”

Marianne looked at the bird and blinked.

Andy pulled an apple sliver from his beak with a claw. “Don’t worry, M. You’re more sane than not.”

Marianne stared at Andy, then at Amos. Amos nodded. As much as a bird can nod, Amos nodded.

Greetings! I’m your friendly, neighborhood Threshold Guardian. This is a protected post. Protected posts in the My Work, Marketing, and StoryCrafting categories require a subscription (starting at 1$US/month) to access. Protected posts outside those categories require a General (free) membership.
Members and Subscribers can LogIn. Non members can join. Non-protected posts (there are several) are available to everyone.
Want to learn more about why I use a subscription model? Read More ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes Enjoy!