Tuesday, October 30, 2007


They all saw her, but of course they let her run. They turned their eyes and scrubbed the kit. Vigorously flavored the stew. Yelled a little too loudly for the pail. In those last seconds while the sun lingered in the streets to set her hair traitorously ablaze, the townspeople that had pitied her and worshipped her mother gave her safe passage into shadow.

And so exhaled their concerns--as much for themselves as for her. For if a king's strength is enough to inflame his people, there was the thought that his madness might be enough to infect them.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

W-w-w-want some candy?

Second sight: Always a privilege of that littlest child with the untied shoes and the flyaway hair.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Seven, eight. Stay out late.

There's nothing up there. No life at all. Excepting the mountain, of course, and he's an unreliable sort of ally. And there's no sound--or was none that day. No animal movement, or breath of wind. Only the memory of rain for company. And that too was leaving--offering itself back to the sky in great clouds. Leaving along with any remaining light.

The elements plotted against us.

How shall we punish these two sillies caught out at dusk?
Yes, that will do!

It was a gentle suffocation, to be sure--caught between falling night and the pleasantly perspiring earth. Perfectly poetic. But all I could think of was our stone colored dresses, and our clay-stiff hands and how no one would find us here washed onto and into the rock. The lookouts from the castle had been sharp-eyed once--two generations back. The flocks of sparrows were notoriously careless and cruel--if they even remembered us in the morning, it would be with a snicker. The mountain himself might have noticed--but at the moment was cozying up with a floozy cumulonimbus, settling in for the night, curling us into oblivion with his littlest finger.

Just us and the False Folk. And that thought is enough to make a person cry out in terror. But the closing dark left no room for even a squawk, and our muteness worked against us. So the wordless spaces filled with dark eyes and pale fingers and wide mouths that knew neither song nor rhyme, and we despaired of any rescue.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

You really had me goin' there for a minute or two.

Where the edge of the Watch meets the frilled cuff of the Green, there forms a pocket of leaf and iron and the blades of each deter all light. In the deepest shadow of this pocket there is a seat, studded with flowers that nod and are the color of bone. Deeper still there is a thing--shaped loosely into the form of a man. And he does not nod with the flowers. And he does not sit in the seat. He stands, very still, rooted to the ground like a gate of ivy, like a tree of spears.

He only moves within the fringes of sight, and there his face is blurred by fear. Your own.

In the way of all of Those Who Follow, if you look back, you'll have trapped him. If you run without acknowledgement, it will be the reverse.

For the seat is not for him, you see.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Wyld Stallynz.

There was a heated debate over who'd get linking rights to the new radiohead cd. Alex got first dibs thanks to an unlikely blurb on NPR, but in honor of that gorgeous, sleepless sound, I'll offer this.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

These are the moments.

Smack in the middle of my run, it decided to turn to fall.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Down from the door where it began.

Kept a running log of every vaguely literary place we passed on our ten day loop of the eastern seaboard. Found some (forced some) regional themes.

Headed south (Western PA, WV, NC): Ripley, Starbuck, Tesla Road, Amity, a few Lykan Buslines. Brutish, practical, no nonsense. Perhaps not surprising from the land of Hi-Tech corridors and the GITRDUN license plate.

Going east (Eastern PA, NYC area, Connecticut, Massachusettes): Ichabod Road, Hamlin (as in the Pied Piper of), Cheshire, Buckland Street (LOTR), Peter Pan Buslines. Charming and relatively fresh-faced in the realm of story. All bouncing off one another like so many pins and balls rumbling through the Hudson River hills.

Northward bound (New Hampshire, VT): Glastonbury, Boreas Road, Milton, Minerva. No messing around here. Between bear sign and the steely-eyed locals, there's clearly no room for whimsy. Only contracts signed with Old World gods will save you from being frozen out.

Back home: The Hyde Collection, Moreau (The Island of Doctor), Leatherstocking Region. We're New Yorkers. If we're dealing in fictions or folktales, we want them bound, packaged, and preferably in novel form. Nothing if not neat expediency. And don't forget the tight confederacy of NY city-states (Utica, Syracuse, Ithaca, Homer, Ilion, Rome). The perfect welcome back to the pen weilding, regimented traveller.