Tag Archives: Legend

The Complete Doc Stovepipe’s Medicine Show (#REN3)

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The Complete Doc Stovepipe’s Medicine Show

Renaissance was smack in the middle of nowhere, as far as Lil felt. She was tired of being run out-of-town after town, them taking unkindly to Doc Stovepipe’s Medicine show rolling in and fleecing the rubes out of their money.  Renaissance looked like more of the same. They had passed through a sparse forest (Doc called it The Culdees), but she just wanted to keep on passing through. Home was north, past the mountain range, and for the first time in years all she wanted to do was go home.

“…and now, the paragon of deliciousness, the temptress of all men’s dreams-ladies, watch your husbands!-the cream of feminine beauty, our very own…MISSISSIPPI LIL!” Doc waved his trademark stovepipe hat with a flourish and Lil came out from behind the draped sheet to a cacophony of applause and whistles (the men) and gasps of outrage (the women). She couldn’t blame the women: she wasn’t comfortable, really, with what little she wore. Calf high laced boots, stockings, a too short flounce black skirt and a red trimmed bustier that had seen better days. Her shawl of a feathered boa protected her chest only so much. Tall feathers also adorned her hat. They gave her some shade and a prop to use, especially if there was a problem with her costume during the dance. There always was one.

Lil danced to the percussive tapping of Doc’s feet and his banjo picking fingers. He was gifted, the bastard, she’d give him that. It had just been a long time since she had loved him enough to run away with him. Lil sang, she acted in his little skits, she was flirty. All things  “good” Medicine Show acts needed to be.  She looked for diversion while she forced the smile that would help sell his piss water elixir. She had to if they wanted to eat tonight. Lil had other plans besides eating dinner as well.

Not that one. Nope. OK…kinda cute… nope…she’s clinging too tight and oh, the language. Nope. Nope. Hummm...” Lil thought all along, as she scanned the men. One stood out. “Not too tall, not short at all, a worker, by the looks of him. Not one to be in a store. Good.”

While hawking, Lil sidled up to the young man-younger than she was by a good ten years, she figured-and found out his name was Gid. Gid Jacobs, farmer’s son, farmer’s hands and back and arms. But clean, no dirt under his nails, and fairly well-groomed. His mama did a good job with him. Lil approved. She felt the strength of his arm, grasping it when she “accidentally” stumbled into him. “Meet me behind the wagon after the show,” she whispered to Gid. He nodded, transfixed, as she had brushed her breast against him before passing the hat around the crowd.

Doc’s routine to seek out a saloon after a show served her well. Lil seduced the farm boy, letting him take her against the buckboard. She promised him more of the same, much more, if Gid would just do one little thing for her. Gid said he would, that he had never in his life seen anyone as pretty or as wonderful as she was. He told her he loved her.

Mississippi Lil smiled as she folded her arms around Gid, pulling him against her as he shuddered. His head drooped onto her shoulder and both of them closed their eyes, panting.

Doc saw the whole thing, out of plain sight, hiding  behind a shed.  The magics sparked off of his clenched  fist.

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Doc watched Lil and the farm boy go at it. The magics sparked off of Doc Stovepipe’s clenched fists. “Damn her!” he scowled deep inside. “Damn this Renaissance!” he said out loud, but, not too loud. He fought the urge to lash out. Now was not the time. “Soon. Very soon.

Life on the road was getting harder. Breathable air was getting worse; domes were going up; the major roadways were closing down. Traveling in a steam powered Medicine Show was not going to last much longer. There was a chance for him to retire well off. He had a plan, but Lil was supposed to “entice” the patsy, not screw him. “Did she know? She aint stupid. Hell, I should have killed her already.”

Doc made his way into Renaissance proper. He passed by The Barking Cat and Heriot’s Pass saloons. They were both too busy, too noisy. His show drew a large crown, and he had bilked enough suckers out of the entertainment and “Magical Elixir”, and now most of that crowd was in the bars, trying out his wares.

He closed his eyes and concentrated. “HERE!” came that soft tickling throughout his head. “Here.” Doc followed the mental invite and wound up at of The Last Stinkin’ Battalion. A rat hole of rat holes. A quiet hole, and just what the doctor ordered.

He laughed at his own stupid joke as he entered, drawing the attention of the bartender. She drew Doc’s attention, and took away his breath at the same time. Long, curly red hair, green eyes, and pale smooth skin.

“You going to gawk or you going to order?” she said, folding her arms across her chest.

“Beer, whatever you have that you’ll drink yourself.”

She poured him a dark brew with a heavy head. “Renascence Brown,” she answered to his raised eyebrow question.

Stop drooling and turn around; I’m sitting by the staircase,” came the mental tickling, much clearer this time. Doc did as told, grabbed his beer, turned, walked over, and sat down. He locked eyes with another redhead, but this one was not jaw dropping sexy. A scraggy bearded, scared and craggy mien faced him. “Doc,” Digger said out loud, tipping his head.

Doc asked, “How did you contact me ‘that’ way? The magics were forbidden out here. I thought ‘long sending’ was a lost practice.”

“Obviously, it’s not lost. Just few can hear it now. You can. That’s why I called out.”

Doc was meeting fewer and fewer of those with the knacks. “You sent me the info. We set up camp near the Gauche. I dowsed the deposits the idiots here missed in the mines.  Lil is getting the male sacrifice right now.”

Digger just stared at Doc. “As one of those idiots, I might take exception to that remark. I’ll let it pass, as I know reaching out to you was the right thing to do.” Digger closed his eyes, then opened them abruptly. “Drink up. They’re almost here.”

They weren’t  long in waiting. The door opened. Mississippi Lil held onto Gid, arms entwined. Gid was stealing glances at her, smiling. Lil saw Doc and dragged Gid over.

“Here’s the love of my life,” Doc said out loud, leaning over to kiss Lil on the cheek.

Liar,” thought back Digger, smiling.

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Gid looked at both men, and did not like the way they felt.  Something was very wrong here. Lil held onto his arm in a bear hug way. He liked the way her body pressed into his, bringing back instant tactile memory of their recent coupling, but he did not like that she brought him to Doc Stovepipe. He especially did not like Digger, who all in Renaissance knew as trouble, and Gid had stayed out of his way.

Gid invoked a silent protection chant. He saw Lil look at him just then. “Huh?,” he thought. “She felt that. Lil’s more than she lets on.” Gid tried to put some space between him and Mississippi Lil, but she was not letting him. Physically she held onto his arm. Magically, she had bound him. Gid felt it, deep.

She whispered in his ear: “When you came, you came to me completely. Don’t doubt that for a second.” Out loud, she said to Doc and Digger: “He’s mine, so let’s get this over with.”

Digger laughed a dry dirty guffaw and got up. Doc glared at Gid, then rose and put on his Stovepipe hat. He picked up his mug of Renaissance Brown Ale and downed it in one swig, wiping his mouth with the sleeve of his coat. Gid noticed this, disgusted, hating the man even more, which  he thought would have been impossible.

Lil had told him of the sexual degradations Doc had imposed on her. Gid took great affront to all she told him. He knew she wasn’t chaste, and Gid wasn’t a choir boy himself, but he never once forced himself on anyone, never beat a woman, never treated one like a slave.

When he looked at her, first on that stage, and then later, he thought he felt what love at first sight must be like. Lil was nothing like the girls he knew in Renaissance. There weren’t that many his age, and he hadn’t felt much of anything about any one of them. Lil was different, and he had hoped…

Gid was compelled to follow along, side by side with Lil, behind Digger and Doc. He tried to yell out to Amy, the bartender, or any of the other few patrons he knew in The Last Stinkin’ Battalion, but his mouth would not work. “Shhh, lover…don’t get all worked up. Remember, Lil has a plan all of her own,” she said into his ear, as the group made their way through the darkened town streets.

The foursome make their way out of the town limits and wound up at the base of the Main Gauche mining hills. The opening to Heriot’s Pass had been boarded up; Doc and Digger were undoing that now, removing a few planks. Enough for all of them to squeeze into. Gid noticed Digger had a lantern which he had not noticed before; they must have had this here already, and planned out, he thought alongside the inner chants he hoped would give him some chance of escape. Gid was kicking himself for skipping out on too much of his trainings.

They came to an opening, where four tunnels branched off, and Gid noticed the chalk markings on the rocky ground. “Damnation, Doc’s a Schiavonaist,” he wailed inside, finally finding a fear he held off. Digger came and extracted Gid from Lil’s deathlike embrace, putting him dead center of the markings…but not before she had passed him something cold and hard into his hand.

Lil caught Gid’s eye and nodded, mouthing to him “Use it well!”

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Heriot’s Pass smelled like rotten eggs, and Gid was nauseous. Fear roiled in his guts. “Schiavonaist bastards” he thought, trying to move, to no avail. Whatever was magicked was done well. Gid saw that Doc had taken off his hat and coat and handed them to Digger (who tossed them on the ground). He was advancing on Gid, rolling up his shirt sleeves.  Doc was mumbling, and it was hurting Gid. For salvation sake, he looked at his hand, which was clutching whatever Lil had given him. “A compass?

Doc smiled; a very disturbing one. His intelligible  murmuring became a series of yelps, yowls and ancient foul sounding language. The air started to whip around the cavern, all feeling the growing thrusts, but none more so than Gid. Doc closed his eyes, feeling the pleasure of letting himself go, his magics free. He was forcing the farm boy to his knees, and Doc was taking extra pleasure after what he saw…”Now, Digger!” he thought-sent. “NOW!”

Lil had her eyes glued on Gid and did not see Digger come upon her. He hosted her off the ground, picked her up over his head, and was getting ready to toss Lil. She had no time to compensate and free herself, but she had something already in her hand: an open Capsule of Dragon Scale Dust. She flung it in Digger’s face just as he hurled her towards Gid. She landed hard, and the magics swirling hurt more, but she got satisfaction in hearing Digger scream a death wail.

An awful humming filled the cave crossroad. Lil was sprawled at Gid’s feet, both unable to move. Both beginning to feel their insides churning.

Lil croaked: “Open the damned compass, Gid. Open the back cover.”

A small glass dagger was lodged in the back. “Talisman of the Triad! Huh! ..what do I…”

“Palm it,” Lil said, tears startng to stream. She felt herself being crushed, a hot liquid running down her legs, and she saw blood on her legs. “Palm it, damn you! How did you know?”

“Later,” Gid had trouble saying. He palmed the 2″ blade into his open hand. It started to grow as it landed. Growing to its full length, it began to glow and emit a sound that was the counterpoint to the noise growing from beneath them. The sword levitated and circled the pair three times, twirling its tip into the ground, breaking up the chalk outlines.

“GO!” whispered Lil, forcing her focus onto the compass and its once hidden weapon. The blade shot forward and found its sheath in Doc Stovepipe’s chest. Surprised, he clutched the handle and screamed.

“Close your eyes, Gid.”

They both did, and the glass dagger lit up like twelve years of fireworks. Gid felt heat, and he ducked down, covering Lil with his body.  It died down as quick as it started, and with the pressure off, they were able to stand. Gid was amazed they were whole. Doc Stovepipe was gone, Digger’s body was a charred husk, and all the chalk markings…like nothing was ever there.

“What did they want?” Gid asked, once they were free from The Pass.

Lil looked up at the sky. “The Moondust Stone is way down below. Powerful magic, worth a lot in money and for power. He betrayed me, just as I was gonna do the same to him. You stood up well, farm boy,” the last said, with a smile.

“Huh! Thought it was just folklore, nothing more. You betrayed me,” he said with some menace.

“I gave you the compass. I knew you’d do well. Knew it,” and she flung herself, this time, to Gid, kissing him hard and with real meaning. Down they went, in a fumble and tearing of clothes, and they yelped and yowled accordingly, together, and sometimes in harmony.

Gid woke alone that morning; Mississippi Lil gone and Doc Stovepipe’s steam driven Medicine Show Wagon with her. He tended to his studies after that, learning what he needed to protect the Moondust Stone. His father was surprised he knew where it was hidden, as only the Waykeeper (his dad) was supposed to know. Gid trained hard, ready to take on the mantle, when the time came.

A bit more than nine months after “the incident”, Gid’s mother found a baby girl outside their door. There was a note: “Gid, meet your daughter, Chrystal. Lil (no longer Mississippi)”.

Gid loved his girl to pieces, and as she grew she returned it. She met her mother one time…but that’s a tale for another day.

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Postscript

Cough. “Daddy, I’m not tired. I want a story. PLeeeeeaaazzzeeeee,” George wheezed, looking up at his father.

“Shhh little one. You know they are lowering the air volume for the night. It’s late, Georgie, it’s late. Can I tell you one tomorrow?”

Looking as miserable as he felt, George signed “No.”

Pauldyne shook his head and sighed at the insistence of his only son. He looked over at the sleeping/living area where Bethel was already asleep, cradling Sara. Why did we have another child in this horrible world, he thought. Because we love her, as we love George, he answered his own question. As hard as it was to live in Renaissance Dome 7, it was made better by his family. Tolerable.

I’m tired. We’re all so tired, he wanted to say out loud, but, Georgie wouldn’t understand it, and Bethel understood it all too well.

He nodded OK to his son, and using DSL  he signed a tale of the past…

Before the domes, before The Great Devastation, there was the town of Renaissance, and it lived in the open air. Yes,little one, open, clean fresh and, most importantly, free air. There were real trees, grass, fresh flowing water, things that FLEW in the skies…yes, no domes! Sky. My great great grandfather told me about this just before he passed on. He told me he had had a great adventure-well, one among many-shhh..I’m getting to it. Shtill, remain shtill.

There used to be three main roads leading into Renaissance; now we only have the balloon drops from dome to dome. Gid…his name was Gid.  One day, along the Kris trade route, came an entertainment drawn by an engine of steam. It was led by a Doctor and, from what Gid said, the most beautiful, but wicked, woman in the whole world.

Soon after meeting her, this woman (no, I don’t know her name; he would not tell me her name. He said it was like a curse, now) brought Gid to the top of Minor Gauche, which is Dome 3 area now. She taught him some little magics there, and through that night and a day Gid learned, and learned well. Then, she told him why she taught him this. Gid said he was angry, to be used in such a way, but this woman, this beautiful horrible woman…he loved her.

Gid said there was a great fight soon after, with magic sparking off this way and that, causing not a small amount of damage…

“Georgie?” he said, even though he knew his son was  asleep. He had been drifting to begin with, and with the air pressure lowered, it had only been a matter of time.

Pauldyne lay down, between his son, wife and daughter, and closed his eyes. The evening dome lights flickered over his skin like a caressing dance of light. The warmth they gave off felt good, and he slowed his breathing rate for maximum rest, as he had practiced for too long a time.

He sighed, coughed twice, and knew Georgie would want the whole story when he woke in the morning. In the morning, he thought, as he shut down for sleep.

The End

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Author’s Note

For those of you tuning in for the first time, or who don’t follow me religiously (why not? I’m a nice guy and I won’t bite…unless you want me to 😉  ): This posting puts all of my The Rule of Three Blogfest (#REN3) stories together. Well, the Doc Stovepipe tales. There are a few more, and I need to finish that thread. Soon. Real soon. You might also notice that in the postscript, Pauldyne tells his son a story that is not wholly reflected in the main part of the DSMS tale. Shhhh…spoilers. 😉

As a co-host of the writers challenge, I just had a blast not only playing in my own world (see Amlokiblog: Writing n A Shared World)  but reading over 60 others playing alongside of me. So many different takes, and it was good.

This was such a success. We (Damyanti Biswas,  Lisa Vooght and JC Martin) have decided to run the next phase of this blogfest again in May 21012. There is now a brand spanking new dedicated blogpage, Welcome To Renaissance, for all things #REN3 (and yes, we are on Twitter AND have a #REN3 paper.li published daily).

AND….we will be working on at least one volume of a Renaissance eBook. All proceeds will go to charity. News on that will be coming, soon.

Speaking of eBooks…have you purchased my very first eStory (short story category) from Trestle Press? Flash Over, only          $ .99!!   The story is available on Amazon US, Amazon UK, and Barnes & Noble.. You can read Flash Over on your PC, MAC or other device. They have plenty of options beyond owning a Kindle or Nook. If you go, rate it, tag it, read it (first, natch).

Thanks all!!!

The Kitsune-Mochi and Tora Baku

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Chiyoko had bribed Kitsune, the trickster fox, with his favorite food, a freshly caught  kunimasu salmon that was ready to spawn. A rice ball, expertly made, sealed the pact. Chiyoko gained her familiar: Kitsune’s magical prowess was hers, as she had wished for. Spirit Fox hissed his displeasure, but still licked his whiskers clean.

“What do you wish of me, Kitsune-mochi? You have fed me well, and must now continue to do so, if you want my services. Tell me your story, and we shall dream together such cruel delights.”

Chiyoko told him, as she prepared another fish…

Nobou had not lived up to his name. He took what woman or girl he wanted, all the time professing his deepest love for me. I accepted, at first, the shame he brought upon me, for I truly believed in the love he professed. I did  believe his lies, until he ruined Fumiko, my younger sister. Nobou crushed her delicate beauty in an afternoon by the still waters of  Saiko lake, near Mount Fuji.

Fumiko tried to fight his advances off, to the regret of all. She was found unconscious, bloodied from head to delicate toe, naked and feverish from infected wounds.  Fumiko drifted in and out of delirium for close to a week, uttering only “iie Nobu…iie!” once, before she drifted away into the shadow lands of Yomi.

What little law was practiced was of no use to my family. Nobou had been seen leaving the village the morning after Fumiko was found, in “quite a haste”, or so it appeared to the farmer who passed him by just as the sun was rising for the day.

“Masanori-san,” I said, gaze averted and bowing to the farmer.  “Did you talk to Nabou? Please, did he say where he was off to?” Masanori the farmer only shook his head and continued working in his field. Four days later Fumiko was dead, and I approached the farmer again, with the same result.

Two weeks after the funeral ceremony, my mother passed away into Yomi as well. Father took off after Nabou a day later, in a rage like I had never seen before in so gentle a man. Weeks passed, then a month, then two…and my father has never returned. I decided that to have the justice that was deserving it must be mine to deal out. I returned to this spot off of Saiko Lake, where we found Fumiko. It is March, when the kunimasu salmon would spawn, and I set this plan in motion. Great Fox, you are that plan.

As a child I  had sat at the feet of my grandmother and aunts, listening to the tales of the Kitsune-Mochi, the solitary witch who plied the trickster fox with food. Thus, fox became their thrall, and the evil and vengeance that would ensue from such a pairing. Instead of frightening me, as it did Fumiko, I had dreamt of having that power myself, and woe to any who would  hurt me or those I loved.

Chiyoko’s tears of the telling mixed into the preparation of the second salmon, and this doubly satisfied Kitsune as he gobbled up this treat. “Chiyoko, your wish is mine now. Come, let us find this Nobou.”

For two years, two months, two weeks and three days, Nobou escaped Chiyoko’s wrath. The story of the fox witch reached him no matter where he went, his name attached in waves of threats and horrors to be visited upon “The Man Who So Deserved His Fate!” Changing names did not deter their coming, nor clothing nor disguise nor distance. Always coming closer, always leaving others whose evils were as great crushed beneath the power of the Kitsune-mochi! Those stories grew in those two years plus, each one driving more fear into Nabou’s dwindling soul.

It was on that third night that Chiyoko and Fox caught up to Nobou. Fox, as directed, disguised himself as a woman of such exquisite beauty that none were immune to her lure. Nobou was easily entrapped, and set to have this delicacy as his own. But, Fox played his part well. Fox pushed and pulled, flirted and flared, delicately balanced demure and distance with demand and desire. Enjoying the dance, Fox led Nobou through the illusions of love like one never experienced before.

As Nobou slept, Chiyoko, with Fox’s powers at her command, drew to her Tora Baku, the dream-devouring Tiger spirit. “What is your wish, Kitsune-mochi? What pleasures can I assist you with?”

Smiling, Chiyoko brought Tora Baku to the sleeping world that Nobou floated through.  “Take his dreams of wanton pleasures, O great Tora, O great one, and eat to your own pleasure. Leave him the horror of his deeds, leave him the blood and fear and shattered lives, leave him the gaping raw edges of despair and pain and suffering. It is his want, his needs, his blessings upon himself.”

So Tora Baku ate the dream life of Nobou, and was more than pleasantly sated. Nightmare upon nightmare visited Nobou in his sleep, and even upon waking the nightmares did not cease. No matter where he turned, no matter where he ran, no matter where he sought help, the nightmare of his life descended upon him.

Nobou took his life, what living shell that was left, and was mourned by none. His broken body, upon the rocks at the bottom of the cliff, fed the animals and birds, and it was just. No one found his bones for many, many years, and then only a few, for the rest were scattered by those who had fed well. Nobou’s slim spirit remained beside that cliff, and every now and then Fox would return to laugh at him and urinate on the spot where Nobou’s body had first landed.

Chiyoko, Kitsune-mochi, and Fox traveled together for a long, long time. They  created their own legends as they lived them.

Those stories are for another time.

Watch your sleep, for Tora Baku still prowls, and is hungry.

 

Birdsongs: The Virtuous War

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Birdsongs: The Virtuous War

When I wrote the first part of Birdsongs: The Walkabout Man, I found I had a lot of stories that I wanted to tell in this world.  I left paths in the story for me to travel on another time: Why is Serenite away with others from the Mukel, and why is Otium so concerned?; What was the Honey Bee Dreaming?; What is the music of language?; Why should we Never Avert Our Eyes?; and Why is The Walkabout Man coming?

One of the things that puzzled me was “where did the Walkabout Man get the layers and layer of virtues”? Virtues play a role in these tales. I pretty much know where I’m taking this, utilizing the abstracts of virtues.

Birdsongs: The Virtuous War, answers part of the question I posed to myself. The reason it’s not here? I entered a contest on Figment: to write a fable, keeping it under 1,200 words, where the setting of the story is in an imaginary land on the day before a final battle. Oh…and Paulo Coelho, modern fablist author of “The Alchemist,” would be reading the top ten finalists and choosing the winner of the bunch.   I would like that chance, to be read and hopefully critiqued by an author I admire. There is a top prize of money, but in all honesty: I would love the chance to get professional feedback more right now.

So, here is what I’m asking you to do: click on the link to Birdsongs: The Virtuous War. Read it, and ONLY IF you like it, please “heart” it (and leave a comment if you’d be so kind). Now, the only snag: you have to join Figment (no cost). I have had others join to read, writers have created new pages, and a few others logged on, voted, and then deleted their joining. I WILL be writing and posting more on that site ( I entered a lyrics contest for the fun of it), so…if you join, and you like my work, just let it sit. You’ll also find a wide range of reading on the site. I’ve enjoyed a number of tales already.

REMEMBER: if you read it and like it, great. If you do not like it, or decide not to read it: PLEASE DO NOT HEART IT. I am serious. I want to get this on merit, not trolling for votes. The only way I’m stomaching my asking you this: I’d like you to read my work. Plain and simple. I want honest feedback. I want to be a better writer.

Thank you one and all. More Birdsongs will be on their way.

Can’t Bleed No More *updated

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You took my hand
You took my mate
I was used by all
Now just full of hate
Won’t bleed no more
Can’t bleed no more
I bleed for me
I bleed for my
 
I can not cry
No outside tears
I look away
While you destroy
I bleed for my
I bleed for me
I bleed for my
I bleed no more
 
You can not take
From me no more
You tore and rent
My soul is gone
I bleed for my
I bleed for my
I bleed for me
I bleed no more
 
Ground into the dark dirt
Ground into the mud
Ground down by the boot heels
Ground down in blood
 
Ground into the nothing
Ground into the sky
Ground down by the awful cries
Ground down in blood
 
You took my hand
You took my mate
I was used by all
Now just full of hate
Won’t bleed no more
Can’t bleed no more
Can’t bleed no more
Can’t bleed no more
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“Female Indian” (2006)    Artist: Sam Durant (c)

I did not expect the amount of commentary (on here and private conversations) that I have received on this poem/song lyrics.

Yes, song lyrics. While I was writing this, I heard EmmyLou Harris in my head singing this, her particular phrasing and voice was a part of this creation, so Thank You EmmyLou.

For those interested in how I create, I saw this work of art at The Bronx Museum.  I was going to be performing there, and I knew one of the things they liked was for the storyteller to find a piece of artwork that spoke to them, to tell in front of. I kept being drawn back to “Femail Indian” but had no story to tell…at the time.

I had this for awhile now. The poem just came to me really late at night when I was thinking about the piece: the look she has, the missing hand, the abused nature of her arms, the naked torso. I wrote from the picture, trying to capture the feel of what I do know of the plight of Native Americans, and how I feel about it. Every artist leaves something of himself or herself in the work they create.

Poll: Vote For Fave Stories *Updated

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Hello and Welcome:

I have been writing almost daily (well, I have been, but not always posting on Tale Spinning) and the responses to continue certain story lines was intense. If you have not visited here before, I created a poll to see which stories have resonated most with my readers. The links to the stories are below the poll, so if you are just discovering my work, you have a one stop page to check them out. Please take a look and post if you have any favorites you’d like to see me continue. You also can vote for up to THREE of the tales.

Yes, I have been writing since, and those will be on another poll, at a later time.

THANK YOU ONE AND ALL!!

Work In Progress (No Title),               Look at…/Epigamic,                  Thou Premonished…,

The Spenetic Tango                             Bushwhacked

Little Animal,                                        Night Abduction                       Beware of Falling Cows

Redhead Story                                       Birdsong: The Walkabout Man

The World that Holds Love

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               I went to visit my island once again. The skies were overcast and the wind was cool as the catamaran skimmed the waters. Arriving at the beach the dog was waiting for me, its black fur lush, and he jumped up to lick me. Following alongside, I made my way up the embankment of sand to the grassy pocket of land. The trees were full and created shade much needed on a warmer day.

            The storyteller was at the door of her hut, and she smiled when she saw me. Her skin had the golden hue of a tanned worshiper of the sun. Her eyes were dark and almond shaped, and her hair was jet black and fell straight, past her shoulders to the middle of her back. She was nude, her legs long and her breasts firm.

            She greeted me as she always does, with a kiss. The dog settled down outside the hut. She and I went inside and lay down on the woven mat on the floor. Looking in her eyes and caressing her face with my right hand, I asked her to tell me the story of how this Island came to be. This is what she told me.

 

To a large ball of rock, floating in the endless space, two beings of immensity fell. They had always drifted through the cosmos entwined. They met in perfect unison in every which way, blissfully content with every point of contact. Floating together, they were embraced, entangled, ensnared, enraptured, as they had always been.

Never before had the two ever felt or touched anything but each other. The solidness of the rock became a momentous catalyst.  They rolled around the rock, experiencing new sensations. They were flattening areas, causing crevices and cracks, large juts in their passion. Their shifting and moving shaped and transformed the rock upon which they were upon.

This went on and on, until finally they both reached the apex of what became their passion. They  shed vapor from their eyes, and the vapor whipped around and became water. As the water fell it surrounded the rock, creating the ocean of the world. In the bucking and thunder of the sound that emanated from deep inside of them, a patch of the rocky bottom rose around them, to cradle them as they floated on the water. As they opened their mouths, finally parting from each others lips, they sighed and the air that escaped filled this world that they had caused out of drifting rock.

One being knew himself to be He.  Rolling onto His back, He was looking at the one known to herself as She. She rolled to her side, looking towards He. The world was dark, and they both wanted to gaze upon each other better, for this was the first time that either had been apart. Reaching up to the brightest star of the heavens, they brought it closer to this new place. It lit the rock and they were able to glory in each other. Keeping themselves so for time unknown, their visage took on shades, forming colors they had never experienced before.

They  grew to a light golden hue, which pleased them both. But, the star was powerful and stayed bright and continued to alter their skin. As they got darker they grew upset, not wishing to become so dark they would not be able to see each other. Reaching up to the star and they shoved it down to the side, giving them a gentler light. Soon the orb of light  faded from sight, giving them their first Night, which was opposite their first Day. The star, and its light, returned as the sphere they were on rolled along.

Gazing at each other, He thought, for the first time, as did She, and in their thinking Love bloomed. From this, they created the first Man and Woman, in their images. The man came from She, and the woman came from He, for both loved the other so.

Smaller in scale were the Man and the Woman. They were easily affected by the light of the star and, seeing this, She and He created trees to give the Man and Woman shade. The rocky earth was too harsh for the Woman and Man, so She and He gave them tall grass and softer earth for comfort. From this new earth grew fruits and vegetables. In the water and upon the land stirred other new things, and woman and man were joined by creatures of the sea and the land.

Then Man and Woman discovered each other. In the eyes of He and She, they coupled for the first time, and it was everything.

She and He came together again, and in doing so left the island, the world, they created. He and She returned to the space that had been all they had known before. The island, and this world, they left to Woman and Man.

Finished, the storyteller closed her eyes, smiled, and we held each other, falling asleep. When I awoke, I made my farewell. We hugged, kissed, and I left the hut, the black dog following me down to the catamaran. I patted him, got in the craft and cast off the island beach.

Thou Premonished…Beware the Hundred Handed

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Holly and Faith ran, ran, ran for all they were worth, and then some. The clanking and yelling followed them no matter where they ran or climbed or hid. “StupidStupidStupidSTUPID,” cried Faith, lagging just a breath behind Holly.

Not even having the air to answer her “shut up!”, Holly dodged the tree limbs and roots, the rocks and drops of land as she raced along. She couldn’t see far, the leaves of the trees slicing apart what light from the moon there was. Her face was a tattoo of bloody welts, crisscrossing in abstract intersecting lines, and her arms and hands were no better. Faith looked the same, the one time she was racing beside her, but she was wearing shorts and her legs looked…Holly gagged at the thought. She ran.

100 stones through the air, crashing around the two, nicking and gouging them. 100 more followed, smashing into body parts already at the breaking numb stage. 100 eyes, 50 pair, tracked the movements of the two that fled, as the Hecatonchire crashed after them, plowing the earth in its quake. Gyes took out its’ swords, the 100 for the Hundred Handed, the short and long, the double and serrated edged, the barbed and hooked and curved, and let out a piercing scream that you would swear would cause any animal in a siriometer to flee for its life.

It did spur Holly and Faith to find a renewed pace, as their hearts gripped them in desperate fear.

Faith wanted to cry. She wanted to just drop, but she couldn’t abandon Holly. Everyone else was dead. The monster killed their parents, her boyfriend, the professors and their friends. It emerged from the cave so fast, so utterly savage. It had all these blades, and they swirled so fast and cut so deep. Body parts flew all around and only a few had time to utter a scream, or tried to run. Holly and Faith were holding fort by the camp, bored with the whole idea, wanting to go home. They were dragged kicking and screaming the whole way.

Now they were running and screaming away. The tried to get to the cars, but the damned thing cut them off, and they had no choice but to run in the opposite direction. Faith couldn’t get the sound of the whirling whooshing cutting of air sound the monster made, the blades cleaving the air in its attempt to get them. It almost did, twice. The first time just as they jumped off the ledge into the lake. Not a far jump, but enough to cause the thing to stop.

Holly and Faith swam to the other side as fast as they could, not a large width at all but it felt like miles. Rising out, sodden, they looked back to see the thing sheath the swords and start making it’s way down to them. That was hours ago, when it was still light out.

The second time it almost got them was when they hit the line of trees, thick closely grown together trees that had wide enough spaces for the two of them, but not many that would accept the size of the thing after them. This time is was rocks and stones, and the trees at first saved them. Faith in shock laughed that the Ents saved them, and Holly slapped her out of her descending madness. They raced on, but not as fast, with not as much wind, with very little hope.

Gyes sliced the hindrance before it. The tree that had stood for hundreds of years became splinters. As did the next one, and the next. Tall or thick, it did not matter. Gyes only had one thing driving it, and the quarry was getting closer. Slash, stab, thrust at a speed and ballet-like beauty, the Hundred Handed smiled through deadly teeth as it made it’s way forward. Gyes only had one purpose, to guard it’s charge. They had their warning, and did not heed it. It had been engraved above the rock warren: “Thou Premonished… Beware The Hundred Handed.”

Holly tripped and began to fall. Faith tried to catch her, but their combined momentum sent them both down. Both winded, with no wind left. Holly began to cry dry tears. She clawed her way up a tree trunk, and reached down to grab Faith.

Faith saw Holly’s arm fly off into a hundred pieces, the blood splattering the air and Faith and the tree..and the swords. She screamed, back peddling the way, shoving her fist into her mouth to stiffle the scream as she saw her sister cut into a hundred hundred bits. She saw the too many heads smile in unison, she saw the blades and the arms arc their way through her younger sister, the good child, the good girl. Sliced and diced, like those they only caught glimpses of from the camp site.

Faith whimpered, biting into the hand that was in her mouth, causing more blood to foam. She defecated and urinated, unable to control any part of herself. Her eyes were near bursting with the fear that her heart and stomach were pumping out. Fell into complete darkness as the shadow of the thing blocked out all moon light.

Gyes came forwards, raising its arms its swords its laughing to the sky, opening itself up so it could return to the cave…

A huge scythe sliced through the middle of Gyes, now separating the Hundred Handed. Gyes fell in two parts, its top half barely missing crushing Faith. She was still shaking, still whimpering, still biting her hand, when she passed out.

It was dawn light when she became aware again. There was light in the sky, enough to see. Faith moved her hands in front of her. No blood. No cuts. She raised herself was only fixated on what she could see of herself. Except for tears and rents in her clothing, and feeling her face, she was unmarred. Tears swept out of her, running down her face, as she remembered Holly and the others. She looked over where Holly had been..where Holly had been..where there was a giant of a being standing, looking down at her.

Colorless, but holding all the colors coalescing so it hurt her head to look upon this…man? She stood up, afraid but not, but more afraid when she took in the giant sized whopper of a scythe.

“I am Cronus,” the words came to her, not spoken out loud but known all the same. “You and yours freed me from an eternity of imprisonment and despair. Gyes left me alone too long, so blindly following its command. Gyes was the stupidest one of the three Hecatonchires. Deadly, but ultimately stupid. Stupid to leave me unattended for so long.  Stupid to leave my tool so close at hand. He could not stand up to the sickle which had once separated heaven and earth.  I am free, and that…” he nodded to the two halves, “is not.”

“What are you?” she asked, more out of nerve and trying to hold herself together then really wanting to know. This was almost too much for her to handle, and she felt herself slipping away, but she couldn’t allow herself to do so.

Cronus looked down upon Faith. “I am the first of the Titans, their ruler. I overthrew my father and created a Golden Age, but I was betrayed myself. It is time for revenge.” Peering down and into her, he knew.

“Faith, it is your time for revenge as well. I could heal your wounds, your fouling of yourself, but I can not bring your family back.” Her tears stopped as he said this.”You are their champion, Faith. Be mine as well.”

She knew her answer. She spit upon Gyes twice, both halves, and walked over to join Cronus.

From A to Z: E(lora, of light)

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Part 2: Dumb, Founded

Part 3: Elora, of light

Elora lay, naked, underneath the waning gibbous phase of the moon. Stretched out among plants with dark green glossy leaves, she felt more at peace then she had in…well, she just couldn’t remember when that was. Elora had left her clothing strewn along the shrubs that encircled her, like a crown of green that proclaimed victory.

Heaving sobs had given away to this calm, this peaceful state, that she found herself adoring. The stars twinkled as they should, and every attempt to count them brought a fit of giggles that ended with a deep sigh that came from her toes all the way up.

“Free,” she sighed to the sky. “Free.” Elora wiped away the last lingering tear that glistened on her cheek, feeling (hoping) that that was the last tear she would shed for the life she left behind.  She left them all behind: her folks, her sister, her job, her town, her 1.2 friends…her supposed love of her life.  Getting off the train at this lovely area, far enough away from THERE, in the hopes she can start over, this HERE already gave her more then she could have wanted. New job, new place to live, new sky.

The partial moon moved along on its path, and in it’s wake the air grew cooler. Goose-pimpled on every area imaginable, Elora shivered and sat up. She started to get up, to look for her clothes, to go back to her new place, when she noticed some shape moving very fast away from her. Not wanting to be noticed as she was, she reached around for her clothing.

She found everything but her bra.

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Bronx Stories at the Bronx Museum: March 18

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I just had a wonderful time exploring and learning about the Bronx Museum (open since 2006) on 165th & The Grand Concourse in, of course, THE Bronx. I met with two of the women who are supportive keystones to making the museum place to visit again and again: Hannie & Bridget. It was a real pleasure meeting both of them and they should be commended for the dedication they have to making the Bronx Museum a community landmark.

They are planning a series of storytelling events, and I urge…strongly urge…all The Bronx refugees & natives & storytelling and art to support the museum and this series. The first evening is on Friday, March 18th, from 6:00-8:30pm. There will be two more events of Bronx Stories on May 20th and June 10th.

It is so close to where I grew up (just south of 161st Street on Gerard Avenue) that the whole experience made me nostalgic. I may live in Yonkers, but I’m from THE BRONX!

I’ll be there on Friday March 18th to support this wonderful new art outlet. Please join me there. They’re having an open mic after the main tellers, so if you have a short story of your life in The Bronx, come share it. I might tell everyone about the time Ricky fell through the roof of a convertible, or watching the Pope on home plate at Yankee Stadium, or standing on a long line at the Earl theater to see “Hard Days Night”, and then not being able to hear the movie ’cause all the girls screamed through the whole thing!

See you there.

 

World Storytelling Day Video

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An absolutely beautiful video celebrating the upcoming World Storytelling Day!

Please join us at:

PACE University, 78 North Broadway, White Plains NY  The Tudor Room,Preston Hall Sunday, March 20th,            3:00 to 5:00 pm

Admission is free, but donations will be accepted to support the Center for Literacy Enrichment. Featured Storytellers: Jonathan Kruk, Ron Sopyla, Mellissa Chernowetez, Stuart Nager and more.