Friday, August 06, 2010

Chapter Four: The Insanity of Mary Girard

A hand. Raised by ghosts. A hand that has remained still by her side for weeks . . . nay . . . months. Ever since the girl came through their doors. Ever since they found her slumped against the trash heap outside. The same heap that is scavenged by opossums and alley dwellers alike. She came to them in her dreaming. They bathed her, allowed her fresh air in the cobwebbed chair. The chair they tried not to use, if they could help it. But she had said the name . . . Mary. And she had said more . . .

Faint Going down to the floor Aides called Unlock them Prison The beginning Not sure of trust Big space Follow her close

The urge Go Down
At the end Lum
Parchment Whisper Too much
Let the Marys continue Despondent Get away The Warder
Pauses are fine Understanding
Like it Don't
Touching Embarassment Reputation
Be cautious The Warder
The kicks Wandering Glum Lum
Stand up Bring it down
Whoreline Sally

Six Moves
The father plays Notice
More love in an hour
Where is he
Who is he
The pauses Be good Six move Flow over Caged Animals Don't let him out
Be normal
Be right
People at Windows
Turn Scorn Deny
Let the caress come

(written by R. Zellar)

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Chapter Three: The Thimbleberry Gallows

Dear Sirs or Madames,

Many apologies for the long period of silence. Though I'm sure you must have been very worried for my well being, I can now write that I am in good health and spirits and have returned from my long tarry in the northern lands. Sojourning in the woods for many months now, I have seen virtuous beauties and terrors, air sweet with Spring, down pouring heavens, barreling rivers spilling into endless lakes, waves of light dancing across the naked night sky and the eyes of unknown beasts watching as we sleep.

The tale begins in the city, as usual, with Sir Mulch and Lady Crow desperate to escape their inundation of humanity. So, the three of us decided to play the adventurers and traveled far into the northern regions of the Upper Peninsula, exploring and trail blazing our ways back into the very essences of ourselves, to the place where again there is nothing but quiet. Alas, however, once Lady Crow and Sir Mulch had communed enough, they decided by committee that I must return to the coarseness of city life with them. Unable to refuse their wishes, I devised a plan to strand myself and make my own way in that wilderness. It was in the coach on the journey back that I, feigning sleep, made myself the smallest Ive ever become, the very smallest, in fact, and climbed to the window where I let the rushing air sweep me away from my caretakers.

Upon arriving in Chicago, it wasn't long before my absence was noticed and Sir Mulch and Lady Crow quickly devised a rescue mission for me. They recruited the help of M. Kulhmann and devised a strategy for my extraction over many nights of suppers and libations. I understand the three reflected for months on how this effort would be executed. It had to be original in form and contain precise amounts of chaos and lucidity. The name of the plan became The Thimbleberry Gallows. The name is taken in inspiration of the indigenous berries grown in the UP. Thimbleberries are like raspberries but with a sharper, earthy flavor, more seeds as well. The whole thing, in fact, resembles the efforts of pioneers in the 1840s. The area of my reprieve, as it were, was modeled after Copper Harbor, Michigan, and it was here that in 1844 an army base was established to explore and protect newly found copper deposits. Fort Wilkins was only in operation for two full years until it was decommissioned. While active, though, the people that lived there were subject to some of the fiercest external conditions one could imagine. Six month long winters, average snowfall of 200 inches per year, being completely isolated from any communication brought by schooners once the lake froze over, and during the summer impenetrable swarms of biting, black flies. You might recall that my previous excursions included insects as well - Gregor and Flea, but these are a whole other breed of beastie. Aside from the elements there was also immeasurable boredom, frustration and the uncertainty of just how long they would remain there.

And so it was that the team was assembled with Lady Crow at the helm, Sir Mulch filling in for a supplanted comrade, M. Kulhmann for the muscle, Thom Sigsby returning from the flea and new recruits Brenda Barrie and Tom Gordon. The effect was a spinning vortex of time where something got lost in people, and something else was discovered, all with the help of a little girl named Fanny Hooe. I'd like to think that was me, but then again, no one has yet to name a lake after yours truly.


(written by C. Riter)

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Chapter Two: Metamorphosis

Released into the harsh realities of the world once again, GreyZelda was uncertain which way she was to go. Protected for many years by Sir Mulch and Lady Crow, her senses were now aflutter with the electric ring of the firmament. As incertitude swept through her, she began to run down a one-way thoroughfare, which appeared bright enough to present the illusion of safety. Yet with each progressive step the lane darkened, and, sensing an impending shadow pressing upon her, she ran faster. Down the corridor hideous bystanders, grimacing with fearful glee, flailed arms that begged of her to fall in line and join their cloudy ranks of indestinction. Her instinct drove her on. She ran, laboriously, from the grasp of the silhouettes now engulfing any light into dimness. Darkness overcame her avenue. Vacuous silence shrouded her. Out pealed a scream.

With each step she neared the span of an impenetrable webbed fence no less than ten feet high. How to scale this obstacle? she mused. Suddenly, within a yard of her sure demise, she felt a stirring within her pocket and remembered her dear companion - the little flea with which she had been sent forth as a talisman-guide from Mulch and Crow. He was reminding her of his residence. She reached inside and brought out the minute creature. The wee flea was named VernonVirgil - Vernon, for the quiet vitality in which he lived his days, and Virgil, after the exiled Roman poet who lead Dante through the Circles. Recalling some forgotten advice her parents had given her of the flea, she cupped her friend in hand, bent her ear down, and whispered words unheard by men, and shan't be repeated today. Nodding in determination, she plunged, headlong, upon the cords of web with shadows encircling. In an instant, VernonVirgil exploded forth into a parliament of rooks, whose sure claws weaved around the fingers of GreyZelda, lifting her beyond the perimeters of the wall, beyond all buildings, street cars, pavement, and the everreaching beams of the city's lights . . .

GreyZelda awoke from her dreams of soaring, unable to discern reality from unconsciousness. It seemed the ground beneath her was bubbling with molten liquid. Her slow exiting sleeping visions revealed a transformatory upheaval of the world as she had known it. She gracefully gave way to her destiny and remembered her dear flea friend and wondered if he was happier flying with the rooks.

Her mind relinquished its battle, and gave her up to a hypnotic wave below. Behind her irises, in the darkness of familiar sleep, GreyZelda saw a strange, but calming face with weary eyes. The face told her what paths lay before her. There was no mistaking that a reckoning was coming. She continued to sleep in the presence of her dream guest, and it watched her sleeping for many days, when she finally and fully awoke. She now felt no fear for what she had been through, nor fear of what was to come. This new place with the kind face was different. She found herself in a kingdom - a place that endured history by embracing its impoverished terrain. Her host and the humble, sad face were in her sights. She was surprised to see that his body was that of a brown, segmented insect. Spindly legs trembled slightly. His look was compassionate, yet repulsive. He spoke to her in broken gargle and said, "My name is Gregor Samsa . . ,"

(written by C. Riter)

Monday, August 02, 2010

Chapter One: One Flea Spare

GreyZelda was born in the hoary winds of Chicago, Illinois.

Orphaned in the most foul year of our lord, 2003, her abandoned countenance was discovered roaming the city's back alleys seeking harbour from the scurvy knaves of a most disinterested world by two travelling rogues, Sir Mulch and Lady Crow.

For years prior, the surly couple attempted in vain to create a child-being of their own; an anomollous creature whose nature displayed a fecund synthesis of their own peculiarities. Alas, the tragic efforts of the two yielded only sadness and heartache, until they found Zelda, hunkered inside only a cloak and hood, grey in pallour from the harsh exile of Love's mother, Winter. She was weak and with little breath.

Perceiving deliverance to years of searching in the form of this nearly dead, young girl, the couple swept her up in their arms and hastened in carriage to a meager flat on the city's northwest end, known as the Manor of Ravenswood. There she was warmed, fed, and, over the course of the following years, schooled in unknown arts, past and future. The couple knew that soon she would be ready to step into the world as a practitioner of her own devices.

However, Sir Mulch and Lady Crow knew, also, that GreyZelda would need companionship on her long journey ahead. So, they gave her the gift of a single, tiny flea . . .

(written by C. Riter)