Greetings Gentle Readers,
We are almost half way through March and the precipitation has finally stopped for four days. I am not saying rain or drizzle or even water but precipitation because something vaguely wet and grey has been falling out of the sky for three months. Even all the little moles and voles are coming up close to the surface; my imagination creating one of the denizens of Redwall wearing a snorkel and water wings. Weather is for some reason vitally important to me, blogging and recording the events of the world in my back yard. I can only be thankful that Readers either understand or revel in the singular fascination of wind and rain with me. Today the wind has picked up and once again is riffling down the chimney and pushing forward heavy grey storm clouds. The wind is even stronger once the sun has gone down and distant thunder almost sounds like the mix of deep wind chimes and distant train engines.
I must simply share our string of the best bad luck for the new year. Our VW Beetle died a most noble death at the repair shop, for 16 years old and an odometer flip we are saddened but not surprised. At the exact same time our other VW diesel goes into the shop and thus my husband starts rounds with Enterprise Rental. I am at this point on day five of a migraine that combined itself with some kind of Virus that everyone from Michigan to Florida has been talking about. Enterprise was champion, replacing the rental F-150 gas guzzler with a sedan while my gallant Beloved drove back and forth getting cars and groceries and Dayquil. Then… while he drives the sedan back to Enterprise Rental right in front of the rental bay doors is a white VW Jeta sport wagon TDI!!! He asks “Wow! What’s with the VW diesel?!” He is informed they just got in a whole batch for sale. By Monday we were sitting in Enterprise Rental signing paperwork for a 2013 station wagon with an ultra cool panoramic roof. While we are not rolling in the money, it is quite the relief to have our credit able to swing us a used car literally in a day or two. The real miracle was having a diesel literally sitting in front of the rental agency ready to be bought.
All my life I have been nearly afraid of my own shadow and timid of any vibrant actions on my part. Around this past October or November I was convinced that I had to become a different person: Not to be held back by the distorted memories of childhood and the nightmare that was college. I had more than one person believe in me and somehow all the Specialty, the nearly tangible magic of the world, came to gather and I decided to start. Just start. While I have many days where that fear and doubt want to drag me down again I am still walking forward into a different part of my life. I may not be sprinting but I am as sure as heck not crawling. I have complained and bitterly gnashed my teeth about the lack of rock clubs in SW Illinois, and collecting in Illinois period, so one day I sat down with my trusty computer (trusty because my Mac engineer husband has administrative access to fix things) and started a new MeetUp Group: Little ol’ me did this! Being a Goth nerd of some proportions I named it GLOAM: Geology Lovers Of American Midwest. The group capped out quickly at 50 people and it looks like there may only be seven to ten active members which is just fine as far as I am concerned, MeetUps being notoriously bad at having people actually participate.
Today has had warm sun and warmer winds than the frigid Canadian blasts of late and even if cats and dogs are blowing sideways and the ground still squishes like a muddy sink sponge it feels like some form of Spring may be around the corner. My idea for Easter is adorable and should prove popular with people who think beyond chocolate and boiled eggs in the basket: Polished stones or fossils! https://www.etsy.com/shop/EarthsBones
Part of this brave new me is continuing on my writing this blog, to share with the world this amazing and silver tinged Reality we live through; to continue my sales because they are picking up and I have found that the wider world does have the Others-Like-Me; and to continue with the creative writing because I’ve been telling stories since before I was young. So with the story from my last blog, let me continue with Mariesha and the great city of Cinerarium: The story is actually called Red Angels Rise and is a joint writing story with my husband, Ian. This next installment is shorter but continues revealing another pieces of the mystery: Red Angel’s Rise part 2.
Elsbeth nodded, walking back to where the lower half of her dress still stood. “Yes it is. Actually it’s almost dawn.” TO BE CONTINUED
Philip Webley sneered, shaking his head. “Nine fourteen! This is unacceptable” Thrusting his watch into his vest pocket, Philip turned and started pacing the length of platform. “You’d think a country run by folk that never really die could manage to keep the trains running on time. This is what, the fourth time in the last ten day?!”
The few others on the platform did their best to ignore the gnome’s constant stream of complaints. The spring morning was a refreshing break from the bitter cold of winter, the sun shining down between the towers of Cinerarium for the first time in almost two months. None were much in the mood for complaining, no matter how late the train might be.
Another minute ticked by, then another, until finally a lonely column of steam and smoke appeared on the southern horizon. The Gaston Station was perched on the western edge of the capitol city, the arrival point of countless hundreds of thousands of souls from the rest of the world. To the east, Cinerarium spread out like a forest of stone towers, the maze of streets their roots below. Out here, the plantations and orchards spread as far as the eye could see; the approaching train was a black serpent, sliding between green fields.
“About damned time.” Philip grumbled, saddling up to the boarding gate.
Sitting on his stool, the attendant cast a weary eye at the diminutive businessman. Every day the gnome delivered the same litany of complaints, and more than once he’d entertained the thought of tossing the businessman onto the tracks. “Morning, sir.”
“Yes it is morning.” Came the gruff reply. “I would assume you’ve passed my written complaints to the station manager?”
“Of course, sir.”
Philip gave a hur-umph. “Yes, of course you have.” Shaking his head, Philip pointedly turned to watch the approaching train.
A line started forming behind Philip, a motley collection of farmers, families, and artisans. Some were leaving the city to return home, others were leaving something behind; all shared Philip’s anticipation. A few minutes later the massive machine made its last turn, steam clouds bellowing outward as it slowed.
Philip impatiently watched the engine roll past, followed by a half-dozen coal cars, then the passenger cars. At first, Philip’s brain couldn’t wrap around what he was seeing, at all the faces in the windows… all the fleshless faces in the windows.
The children were the worst; their over sized eyes bulging from the gaping wounds that had been sockets left a particular impression.
Philip heard screams behind him, felt the attendant brush past him, but somehow he was rooted where he was, entranced by the horror before him. The train slowed, finally stopping, and then they were moving, those faces. They were moving toward the stairs at each end of the car.
“I… I think I should be going… going about now…” Philip stammered as he turned to run. That was the moment he realized he was suddenly very alone on the platform.
Bursting through the wooden exit doors, Philip crossed the waiting room at a dead run and ducked under the turnstile. The station was already abandoned; Philip could just see the platform attendant disappearing out the furthest door. For the first time in his life he cursed not being taller: All the other horribly warped, twisted, towering races had seemed freakish until that very moment when Philip would have given anything to have a longer stride.
For a few seconds he dared to hope; he was a a mere twelve feet from the outer doors and running as fast as his legs would carry him. Then the first boney fingers sank into the soft flesh of calf. A scream escaped Philip’s lips as he lunged forward, willing to sacrifice a pound of flesh to make it out the stained glass doors and into the sun. But as powerful as the will was, the flesh was unable. Philip felt himself lifted off his feet then pulled backward. Fleshless faces amongst a wall of grasping hands.
I send to all of my Readers both gentle or courageous or industrious or fierce, my appreciation and love; hoping my musings, insights, and stories can give you a chance to slip for a moment away from any trials and tribulations.
May the sweet voices of Spring sing gently to you,