To Ray Bradbury my hero! (a lesson in writing shortstories, one per week for 52 weeks...I'll try!)jajo
Whenever you feel your bones through your skin do you feel like you are basically just a ecoskeleton with flesh attached? Often times our bones being rattled from time to time make noises untowards,with creeping noises, popping sounds, disengagement of metal hoists, of blackboard chalk and nails, grating, uncomfortable noises, hellish sounds, telling sounds from Mel's Hole, hell unearthed in Russia?
Similar to the odd apparation of rattling chains carried by ghosts of Conan Doyle's Welsh moors, these far cry noises tell ghostly stories of other the world's bordering on death's door. Like a knock upon the door these distant and displaced sounds could be heard mutedly from the community of Highgate Commons a close community of psuedo-intellectuals, retired professors and the struggling middleclass.
A comfortable zone, Highgate with its sedate old Hollywood homes, mostly Arts and Crafts architecture. Of course there the classic Victorian mansions as well, dispersed between the Shirley Temple homes. One could imagine 1930's old composition dolls heads peering from their garden graves long forgotten by the children of the depression era. With the knowledge that everything will be the same and safe Highgate Common withstood the test of time, or so everyone was led to believe. At Highgate Commons all reality flows equally through to one vanishing point, predetermined, preset and predefined by laws of natural selection.
"Should I or shouldn't I...?"I questioned my better instincts. This park route was, after all, the shortest way home to my residence in the downtown core. As I walked with much fearful trepidation, with eyes closed tightly shut. Boarded up my peepers would not reflect any images I did not want to see. The dull street lights did not shine any further into the park, all that could be seen now was the inky darkness of where I remembered things use to be. It was against this impending doom to come that I wrestled with my inner demons.
The late night forays into the heart of the ever darkening park were adventures of the lusty kind. Closed at dusk the park was off limits, yet the young campus lovers could be seen near the banks romantically involved in the forbidden love freshmen new so well. These were walks through the nightime park, closed to all but the very foolhardy. It was known not to transgress through the Antler River's tributaries so close to evenstide, for to do so would, evoke the sullen lands of ancient sprites of long lost Eire. The many ghost stories saved in the periodical section of the local library denoted a truth to the legends. For these young lovers, histories were unimportant, the moment taking over as the peak experience having such a crush of an effect. For the nubile couples in the park, the other worlds were either not considered or were so far away in time and space as to be unimportant. And yet these powerful evocation of ethereal worlds were so very close to the heart of the University gates, and the park harboured them in droves, if you opened your eyes and looked around at the park's unendingly eerie sensations. Thus the beckoning began once more on this night, the criss-crossed lovers would soon find out.
"Ahhhhhhhhhhhh" a scream could be heard from the parkbenches by the river's edge. "Pay no heed" I said to myself as I hastened my footsteps through the parks lush green forested lawn. "I got to get out of here..." I kept saying to myself. I knew that it was the one of the lover's scream, the sound of which I could not determine whether the female or male counterpart. Maybe both? It was very unnerving, and I knew I did not want to be associated in any way with anything which would make me a witness to any crime scene. Besides, I felt I was next in line for the gruesome and unwholesome attack on my person. I would check on things after I had left the park, not before. The lovers predictament would have to wait. I was trying to save my own skin at this point in time.
All of a sudden, fear griped my heart as my heart stopped beating for it seemed like at least a minute, but felt like an hour. The shock response I felt may have been a passive reaction to my aggressive attempt to rapidly flee the area. The fight or flight response my psychology professor discussed earlier that day. My feet could not change direction now, it was past point of no return, there would be no turning back now, and well past midnight.
Staying much too late at the University library tonight, burning the midnight oil way past midnight I was exhausted.. The library is usually open 24 hours 7 days a week during exam week and since this was exam week. It was not unusual for students to be seen drifting in and out of consciousness studying valiantly for the dreaded mindbender exams the next day. Earlier in the evening my steady boyfriend and me had had a lovely first class dinner at St. Simeon's restaurant, a classical guitarist serenading us with flamenco and classic guitar sounds. My creme brule was finished with an aperitif of Benedictine and I was still savouring the distinctive licorice flavour of the anise, licking my lips in remembrance of the fabulous night with Vincent.
Studying for an early morning history exam I had crammed as best as I could and had learned to relax in the process. The fine dining was always appreciated during times of trouble, and exams, were usually tramatic for me. Vincent knew this about me, and would always tame my wild beast by placating me with subtle worldly pleasures. It did the trick. My mind was a clear as a sledgehammer. Tomorrow I would ace the exams, and graduate suma cum laude the following June. All was as it should be. Life was grand.
It was a good thing that I had suffered from nightblindness as I did not want to see the beast precipitously following me. Although the nightblindness meant I could not get my driver's license, I knew that tonight it had been an mixed blessing, and protected me from the unseen. Commisurating with myself telling myself repeatedly if I don't see it, it does not exist.
My eyes widened and popped opened immediately when the hand on my shoulder was felt with startling heart-wrenching fear. I quickly looked behind my left shoulder. At that very moment I got a view of detached legs, discombubaled legs without a body. At this point, I knew all hope was lost and if I did not do something, something terrible would happen. I could not fool myself into believing everything was ok, these legs meant business!
Quickly, I ran like a fool as fast as I could towards the street lights that announced the middle of the park and a safe haven. The street lights were nearly a football field away from this point in time, and like a bad dream, I had frozen to the spot, fear beseiging my ability to move and free myself from the clutches of this enemy. To be free from the amputated legs of lon chaney. I knew that orginally I should have followed the street lights home and
had more common sense than to leave the Highgate Commons neighbourhood. Silly girl!
The old 1900's wool gaberdines, the colour of muted sepia from a photo rusting in the museum's historical photo section. I had seen those legs before, years ago. On another travail, another woodlands adventure, alone in the woods with me and the "legs".
Hoping not to see the thing I knew was following me, maybe ten feet back, I could feel it creeping closer to me, I dreaded to turn around and look. As my neck stiffening, the hairs stood straight up, sending additional chills up and down my cramping spine.
Adding to this phobic sojourn, creepy bats flew zigzags in front of my face. As a soldier on a mission, I became owl-like with a 360 positioning system for a head, a scanning Mordor sees all and blasts evil away, although wasn't Mordor evil? Too late to get out my JJR Tolkein. Through the impeding fog I could feel this invading transformation of forbidden worlds seeping beneath my skin, taking over my body, ruining my party dress. Something came over me, I was not sure exactly what, but this strange force, within the belly of my deep soul started churning, and suddenly I realized, I had ectoskeletor hands!
The darkened damp hallows of the dank pond waters permeated my red silk brocade dress destroying the thing of beauty it had once been. The silk shroud shrank around my body clinging to my clammy flesh. The waters persuasive powers were overtaking my lifeforce, soon, I too, would succumb, as the lovers had, upon the banks of the park's far shore. Never to know love, never to feel love's impassioned death grip. Shivering, my teeth began to chatter as I tried to keep warm, but it ws a loosing battle. Now the evil waters had breeched the mystical banks with escaping ghostly mists. a gift of overflowing spirit-essence from the unlucky lovers shapes were now formless yet transparent and seeping through every pore of my body.
The mist rising around my ankles, the familiar spirits of the lovers embodied by this vapourous nectar of the gods, a watery grave bestowed. The landscapes could be a gothic John Turner watercolour were captured water gods decend to reclaim their mortal prize from this earth.
Knowing so well that in the daylight hours this phantom world does not exist. This moment in time could never happen. This evenings events told a far different story, when the two worlds collide on the banks of the Antler River bend. What hidden worlds had sought their hard-won truths on the distorted battlefield warped through years folding upon one another? We had known them as reversals, "where black is white and white is black, and we decide which is right, and which is an illusion". The Moody Blues could not have written finer poetry or better music.
There was a sombre and malingering elegance and to all this deluge of passions fire. This dirge. This funeral pyre. Jim Morrison would like this. A sad remembrance of lost lovers drowning in a sea of love without a lifesaver, not even a peppermint leaf or mushroom flavoured toadstool to break the spell. Foolish lovers without a worry about tomorrow. "I have an exam tomorrow!" I screamed at the effigies' unfocused blur.
Now the world was asleep and the unearthly worlds would inhabit the far shore once more ripper-ish and stealthily encroaching upon the foolish lovers' nest. Suddenly, I looked down and saw my plague-like, pale and ghostly electoskeletor type hands. They were securing invisible powers for my dominion over the dreaded detached legs.My hands took it upon themselves to free up some time in this battle. My cold hand had an ice-grip grasp on the plagued legs that were endlessly stalking me. Immediately my hands took hold of the shape-shifting legs and broke them deliberately and swiftly in two, as if the ghost legs were dry twigs ready for the fire.
My hands now appeared to be looming larger than life. They looked so huge and were very real, to a illogical extreme, so much so that my hands appeared fake to me.like HD television, too good to be true, almost microscopic an attention on detail, this was very surreal. My hands were true, in the stricked sense of the word, they had this authority granted to them. Ordinance decreed, my hands were now the master's hands, the surgeon's trained instruments of power; of life over death. Today these hands securing the rightful places to the holy mountain. It was all too much this night. What was in the Benedictine?
The many legions of unearthed soldiers had descended from the naked ground coming from the flanks on the right. Dispersing like ocean sprayed mists upon my face, the crackled of cannonfire heard low to the ground. The rumblings of horses hooves could be clearly heard coming from the northern-most proximity of the park's range.Soon all defending angels who knew the score triumpantly raised the great flag of Victory, touching ever so near to the earth and the troubled waters would soon be silenced.
Attached at an obtuse and odd angle, my clown-like hands precariously placed at the farthest end of my arms my hands were not my own. Fingers like spiders moved like water and quickly broke typing speed records. My hands were definitely not my own but were of divine providence alone. Without thinking I allowed my self to just "be" while my hands were here, there and everywhere dangling ropes, whipping magic wands around, levitating all kinds of things. My hands at this point were making various powerful conjuring positions, lifting up objects of various sizes and shapes and weightiness as if they were merely feathers. Park benches flew across the field, trees lifted from the ground with their tree roots lifted a foot from the ground. All these various powers sources never seen by humans before made me lightheaded and dizzy.
Here,here to the heavens above!How could this be happening?Like the Tao, it is better not to question, or ask its name, but rather to watch, learn and listen at the marvels that were unfolding on the shores of the universes' bewitching shores.
When the creepng sensation took hold I had to look down upon the hands; those segmented digits of bone and sinew. Observing the hands in this way is an odd and eerie sensation. A glimpse into an annexed reality, the secret garden of otherworldlyness. and seeing your human divinity's powerhouse. The hands and the bones beneath being all the reality there is, just hands, your hands that can do anything.
The knowing of hands is an odd and very unusual strangeness; a feeling of self in the universe. This sudden awareness of being and of being alive with the unknown sense of personal power is undoubtly all-encompassing and an awakening to the cosmic card, the ticket to the vast powers of the universe. Feeling wholly the wizardress with esoteric powers emanating from the mason's house next door. Yes this world is elative and elevatingly ephemeral.
The warriors embattlement won; the hands winning the unseen war against usurper evil throngs. Today these hands would knit together the two worlds and overcome the pending forces of doom. Esoteric essential music in the key of g; William Tell 1812 Overture clearly heard on the wind over the park. This woman's hands had evil right where she wanted, and The Legs did not stand a chance! The legs were no more, religated to the backroom of the dark night.
Now to perform the body selectric the virtual reality of the nonphysical. The feat of the separating bones, the command of the ecoskeltor will certainly pertain to my demands and at this very moment I will do the splitz.
CRRRRRRRRACCCCCK!A wicked creaked-pop from the lumbar region. That nether-region order of never do that again. But I did! At what cost? All the way down to the floor, the numb crotch hitting the floor with terrific speed and then that wrenching CRUNCH! Ohhhhh!Nooooooo....I have fallen and can't get up!
From a night of tomfoolery when fool the younger forever breeched eternal and painfree. Yes, you thought you could do anything like the splitz the cheerleaders could do. My old Irish bones were not made this way, I was an odd collection of bones. Old ancient bones, rheumatic bones, not wholly romantic. Marfan-like I was an odd admix, maybe the very thing I feared, I was a genetic anomaly, a mutant turtle.
They were mean bones, ne'er do well bones. But they were my bones, and I loved them. They were extra elongated, awkward bones. Even on this night, the evening song star, ever so near the twixing time of Hallowe'en. The blue star shone down upon me.
Of course you could stand on your head because the moon was full and the gravity was as near to zero as ever it would be for the entire year. jajo