image from “unavoidable pain,” mindlovemisery, prompt 37, Jan. 5, 2015
Almost 3 weeks ago, Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie (Sunday) prompt was the untranslatable word “won” from Korean meaning the reluctance on a person’s part to let go of an illusion.
My pseudo-novelette began as the response to Mindlovemisery’s prompt “unavoidable pain.” Ice & Blood introduced the main character and her shifting world. Petrichor, again in response to Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie prompts, presents a summation of the story to that point. Tightrope is the penultimate “chapter,” with “illusionary, transitory” the ultimate one
I need to get this character out of my head. There are other narrators of the story that knock on the door of my creative brain. With 3 or 4 narrators (im)patiently sitting in the creative waiting-to-be-transcribed room, I feel a bit overwhelmed! If anyone has ideas about weaving 4 or 5 stories/points of view/narration into one novelette, suggest away!
The following story was finished ages ago. I write a version of the introduction. Hit delete. Write another version of the introduction. Hit delete again. And so it goes.
So, this is good bye to the young woman who’s journey starts with a storm, and ends with . . .
She felt a gentle pat on her shoulder. She tried to focus with her groggy eyes.
“Tea’s almost ready.”
It was the little girl in the blue print dress. Today, her sweater was buttoned correctly, her patent leather shoes polished, and her hair patiently remaining in the braid that fell neatly down her back.
The girl took her hand, helped her up, and lead her to the tea table. Raven was already holding court:“Well, at least it’s not a mad hatter’s tea party. You don’t look angry and that bandage does not resemble a hat.”
She smiled at Raven’s comment and the tea table’s “presentation.” Mismatched china and silverware, face clothes as napkins, kitchen drying towels as place mats. Raven had clipped flowers from the back garden. The blooms nervously residing in a glass bottle turned vase, the bottom filled with shiny stones. Raven was eyeing a plate of something redolent with exotic spices.
The little girl returned from the kitchen. Using a cake pan as a tray, she carefully balanced the tea pot trying not to slosh it. An unusual blend of chamomile, “Sleepy Time,” and gunpowder teas had one taste on the tongue and another as the aftertaste.
Raven repeatedly looked at the open window. A growing wind was ruffling the curtains further in and out of the room. “Time to go,” he observed, “Storm brewing.”
“Can’t you stay? At least until the storm passes?” she suggested, afraid of Raven’s answer.
He click-clacked his beak, “No.”
“Will you be back?” she asked nervously, twisting the face cloth napkin between her hands.
With a ravenish laugh, “As my cousin said, ‘Quoth the raven, Nevermore.’”
She turned to the little girl with a pleading look.
“I must go with Raven. He knows the way, and I don’t,” the blue-print dress answered before the question had been asked out loud.
“Maybe not . . . “
Raven impatiently flapped his wings and hopped from foot to foot. “Cassy,” she finally remembered the little girl’s name, had already joined him on the window sill.
“Just one more piece of advice,” he rasped, “Better close the window, looks like is going to rain.”
They stepped out the window, floating outside for a moment. Raven didn’t look back. Cassy did, for a second, before they disappeared. Cassy waved and mouthed “Someday.”
She closed the window, putting her hot forehead against the cool pane of glass. Even with her eyes closed, she saw the lightening streak – one one thousand, two one thousand, three one . . . then a boom that rumbled and echoed through the street valleys.
Zap: room of electrical light
one one thous . . .
Crack: wall-vibrating sonic boom
“Mother always said it was God and the angels bowling, just God and the angels bowling.”
Tangled Up In Blue, Bob Dylan, 1974
. . . All the people we used to know
They’re an illusion to me now
Some are mathematicians
Some are carpenters’ wives
Don’t know how it all got started
I don’t know what they’re doin’ with their lives
But me, I’m still on the road . . .
Won (Korean): the reluctance on a person’s part to let go of an illusion.
The story of “she” and her travels through illusion and reality is driven by Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie prompts. That’s where her story begins and ends. There have been shifts in the story (some subtle, others not so) since the first installment, Ice &Blood and (perhaps) the last, “illusionary, transitory.” As I said, the other points of view, the other narrators voices have yet to be, and I’m running out of chairs in the creative waiting-to-be- transcribed room.