Short Story: Out & Back

From my ongoing “Gravity Chains” collection, a short short story of questing and rejuvenation.


Out and Back

You are here † [He did not copy symbol to page for you alone]. And moving forward, your bootprints will replicate themselves. As the music duplicates the beat between our smallest participants [these being but copied and reshuffled segments of the linear us], it follows, then, that the green dotted line from the Crescent trailhead, repeated by way of naturally occurring speakers, will lead us to the final waterfall, and show to us the wrecked Life-ship hidden by its tumbling, sharp white flow.

It’s clear on the map. † See?

Graphically clear, if you know the symbols. Intricate for their size, the map icons show a long, narrow rope bridge at the halfway mark. If an inch is a mile, then that’s about twenty-three miles along the trail to this end of the bridge called Oracle’s String. We make our way there for better or for worse. The oracle will show us how to proceed.

Mile fourteen. Fire in the lungs. Hinterhaven Crags climbed.

On the trail, the soft rain we appreciate for its cooling touch on the backs of our necks, is a harsh pounce of hell hounds for the insects of the wood. Picture drops, the size of your head and upper body.

Malicious, truest friend, what tell your cards?”

Cards? Cards?! You think living flesh, simple stiffened paper cards…?! Symphonic Hammer, you test me with your choice of words. Test me no further! The flesh sayers need oxygen.”

No, Malicious. My words are but motivations. Only a show of pure flippancy would arouse one such as yourself to speak fully and with passion.”

I see. The flesh has spoken softly throughout the day’s exertions, painting muddled landscapes of what might be. At the crossing of the bridge, the Oracle’s String, all will harmonize with the flesh tellers, and we will know what needs knowing.”

And what of Christa Päffgen … will she be there? Will your flesh say what I long to hear?”

At the bridge, Symphonic Hammer. At the bridge, it will become clear.”

Mile twenty-three. Take us out of control, Oracle’s String. Turn us to poet donkeys in clay. Show us how to yield, so we might learn a new dance from our helplessness. String. String. String. Bring!

At this newest outburst of the cards, Symphonic Hammer turns to Malicious with a slow shudder; his shaved face turns pale eggshell slack. The air is water. Breathing it in is like pushing honey through the rear ventilation duct of a 2026 Saturn Helium-NINE. Warm and sticky.

Blurting out, “My father was a lowlands metalsmith, his hands strong and relentless.”

A crystal whip brings blinding light, elevating all senses and all time, till irises close. Bridge ropes and wood slats become crossbeams and turnbuckles, as the Ship of State materializes around them.

And from the highest mast, Christa Päffgen calls down: “Welcome, Symphonic Hammer, welcome and be welcomed always; the kingdom of Azores is reinstalled.”

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Wednesday’s Aether is a Facsimile

Tuesday Afternoon turned Wednesday ongoing into Summer’s Evening

The tents are red tinged green, inside seashells at sunset. When ladies at picnics merge with chaos and cream, every possible perspective looks the same. It’s overlapping snapshots of fingers, truffles, mouths and the smiles in between. All daffodil parasols twirl, as cranberry winds blow in from the fields, a dainty voice heard whispering: “Eat the truffles, sip the Earl Gray; the sun has stopped moving, all day, all day, all day.” The ladies are spun and spin in harmonious concentricity; the grass is green, the sky is blue, the cream is sweet. All curves, ergonomic; the effortless bending of elbows and rotating of wrists compels cocktail glasses to tip, and to connect, with rounded lips and eager mouths, until pomp turns to graveled lullabies inside soft eardrums. Oh, what the laureled gods will do when blind, ignorant faith runs amuck at a party of the privileged.


K. Shawn Edgar | Frosted on the Inside | Single Cogged | Non-Worshipping

 

Book Excerpt: A Sliver of H0pe

A short book of fiction by K. Shawn Edgar

Copyright © Publicrats United 2015 K. Shawn Edgar

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Woodheavy Brown? You know, he’s just one of those guys you meet; good at everything except making ends meet.”

Edwin Meek, circa 1997


 

A Sliver of Hope

Dedication

Look up, strugglers. Make good use of the stone, the hammer, and the word. We are never truly overcome. If you have feet, use them. If you have wheels, roll them along the highroad. As one strives to win a Boss fight, we strive to topple the cracked statues of stagnant governance.

 


 

CHAPTER ONE:

One Good Night

•••••

1)

I’d like you to meet Roger Lope. He’s taller than average, and he can out shadow his own shadow. Some call him slender, others slim. Addie and the kids love him to bits. They share a small place in the City. And they foster blind cats. Addie is a Virgo.

Roger’s known as Victor (short for Victory) by the Peoples of Kirkland. And it’s rumored, the Peoples of Turkistan nod their heads knowingly when his name’s mentioned: Victor raised our property values. Victor filled the potholes. Victor stopped the Christian Hordes!

“Butterscotch!” he says. “Butterscotch and pinwheels; you are on to something, Addie!”

“Flip this lever, turn past seven, rotate one full Altair”, says Addie, “and push up twice in the center. And we’re in.”

Slivers of light appear at contrasting angles along a giant slab of stone. Growing up from the floor, a beech tree, over several decades, has become embedded against the face of stone.

2)

Quickly, Addie and Roger Lope pick up their toolbox and their kite, jumping to a position in front of the mighty tree in anticipation of the ancient door’s opening.

“Splinters, kitten.” Roger Lope exclaims, “This poor beech will be split to bits!”

“Wait. I brought shims,” Addie says. “Let’s wedge them between the stone and the tree with these mallets, gently prying the beech’s fine hardwood from the moving stone.”

“Brilliant. You’re always a lighthouse in the storm. I’ve got the left, you take the right.”

As the tall and crafty twosome work to free the mighty beech tree, our ancient stone door rumbles along its seldom used, hidden runners.

The humus beneath their feet is soft and a bit springing. A heady, yet comforting aroma rises as they ply their mallets to task with cautious welfare. The perks of an unknown, natural high lessening their stress.

3)

“This grand old lady of the seed is determined to take these secrets to the grave,” says Roger Lope. “It’s a shame, but she’ll make a fine mantle piece for my fireplace.”

“You’re a heel,” replies Addie. “And a nob. And a clout. And a prince. And a bully.”

“ But of course I am, Addie. I’m a Renascence man.”


K. Shawn Edgar | Ember Newt | Asphalt Surfer | Dream Archaeologist
•••••

One Sided Parking Lot Conversations


Volume One:

•The windup man is telling his friend, shuffle feet, about the overlapping details of a dead father’s woodworking precision. The two men unload grocery carts into the trunks of cars.

“He graduated from high school in 1961, and started working the wood in his dad’s garage. Scraps leftover from building the house.” Shuffle feet responses with a hasty head nod.

Windup man spins on: “The cabinet my father left me when he died, he past at the end of June, was his—he’d always joked—like a thesis project. ‘Intricate,’ my mom called it; ‘flowers inlaid in wood like they’d bloomed there and Gothic-era peasant women tilling and planting. So real.’ My dad had artistic connections to representations of old European agriculture. Thatched roofs, I guess.”

At windup man’s first intake of air, shuffle feet half turns his lower body—Is this the gap in traffic, he wonders?—No, the moment’s gone; suddenly it has closed as closes a line drawn in wet sand. Quick and seamless.

 
• forward to The Fomorian


K. Shawn Edgar K. | Fomalhaut K. | Lemmy Caution K. | Goth Newt K. | Undead Streaming K.•

 

On Fiction Writing, Observation, and Local Color

pic of book craft

Hand-Built Books – K. Shawn Edgar 2015

Rubberized Jackdaw & The Fountain of Peninsula:

A Writer’s Life

I begin.
This process is difficult. The kind of difficult that makes over-eaters and alcohol drinkers, or obsessive housecleaners. Those actions are easier than staying in the chair and writing. The mind can turn away at the slightest entertainment. And will. It will be turned, twisted, and tulip-infused. The lights will seem too bright, the room too cold, and the sunshine outside too invitingly warm. Resist these distractions. Focus your eye-beams on your fingertip grenades. Write hard.

But first, to breakfast.

There are a lot of birds lately. Huge Crows, Poorwills, and Tyrant Flycatchers. More than I can remember. Yesterday. Or maybe it started last week with a cloud of them pouring over the reservoir walls, high up and then low over its sloping turf sides. A swirly, carnival-curly living cloud—all flapping their wings and yet, in a way, none seemed to be flapping at all.

I begin. Again. But this time it’s personal. (No need to research and debate; yes, it’s a reference to that action movie.) The ball-and-chain pull of pop culture gets even with me, jerking me back, whenever I try to stray. Some of these referential brands are so deep they seem like memories of summer birthday parties or foreign explorations, like the time you spent six days walking from London to Holy Island; sleeping on the street in recessed doorways or in the fetal position under a bird blind near the sand dunes, a plate of peas as your dinner at The Ship & Cove. Yesterday. Or five years ago. Or ten years ago. Or whenever.

Last night—right after a dream ending with me saying, “Well, gentlemen. Emus….”—I had this thought: The name of my blog is Pull of the Sun. If it were instead, Pole of the Son, it would have to be some kind of porn site involving incest. Or, if it were Poll of the Son, it might be a generational type political blog, like something Ron and Rand Paul would endorse.

In a particular area in Washington State, the local police are running a new program they call Handguns for Meth. Out of respect for the people who live there, let’s refer to this area as Peninsula. The new program works like this: Any citizen, without fear of legal action, can bring in their meth and receive a shiny handgun in exchange. It doesn’t matter how much meth; could be one ounce or fifty pounds, you still walk away with a shiny handgun. Now this, on its surface, is brilliant on two levels. Firstly, the meth can be resold in Tacoma to bring in a whole lot of cash for the state. Secondly, it gives the police a way to deal with all those confiscated handguns that have been piling up at the station. You know, it’s like reduce, reuse, recycle. Right? Hints of the New World Order goals. Debase, reduce.

After the brief—and quite pleasant—plague of birds the rain’s falling day after day. Dark rain, from clouds the color of old motor oil that produce an endless pounding of heavy lead confetti. The primordial piss of a pack of angry gods. Predawn gods. Blind, cave dwelling gods, on a time-without-measure dunk, who stink of some ancient rum booze. Thoughtless, antisocial gods like the ugly masters of Wall Street, only so far beyond recognizing that there’s something for their heavy-metal piss to fall upon they believe this endless release is helpful and joyous. Pigeon poo. This rain! Bring back the Crows and the Goatsuckers.

Crepuscular, I begin twinkling. Tandy has the dark tropic marmalade of a second son’s second son. So what? Bitter oranges. The sun is setting. And daughters are on the rise! I must break for dinner, and I will slowly serenade the sauce as the pasta boils in salty water.

I percolate the coffee. Sickness always revives me; my teaming masses need a trillion foes to fight. With every cough, my immune system loves to bounce back from a Pearl Harbor style pounding. Rapturous explosions of my old cells dying bring forth the new. Decline, revive. Decline, revive.

I begin. Again. My mother arranged thick, flat stones in rows across the lowest part of the trail where rainwater pooled after winter storms. She wanted to encourage foot traffic to the fishing ponds. They were stocked ponds, brimming with rainbow trout. She charged $25 per hour. Some with nimble fingers and quick reactions haled in a worthwhile number of fish, while others overpaid to stand around and swat bugs. To maintain this duality, mother also collected (read trapped) various types: flies, gnats, mosquitoes, and the occasional bunch Buffalo Treehoppers from around the state and introduced them to the ponds. This way, winners and losers of the fishing wars would have something to do and even gain a sense of satisfying accomplishment. That was my mother. And, as I’ve often told friends, one could safely say she was a true businesswoman, entertainer, and self-taught Entomologist as well as a determined smuggler.

K. Shawn Edgar | Midnight Writer | Hedge Goon | Goth Goatsucker

Spider Pillows & Candle Wax

pic of dick

K. Shawn Edgar


Spider Pillows & Candle Wax

Vertical black stroke,
blinking on and off again—

she blinks on and off again—

over page after open page of burning white light.

She likes to power down the external world—

one eyelid at a time.

Burning white light—

her pulsations drive an elegant motorized heart,

through vertical black strokes—

blinking on and off again—

over burning white light,

until she births letter combinations—

within a jagged landscape of lines growing.

The impetus comes from subterranean forces pushing—

pushing her subterranean muscles on and off again—

while Earth passes secrets from seeds through soft soils.

Secrets that soft fingertip pads,

post to rice paper windows,

like this view of the world—

inside—

looking through wafers

of sand-pressed glass at you too—

out there—

somewhere,

inside,

looking out—

to somewhere else.

Aren’t these machines replete?

These gene transporters replete?

Ongoing—

a leaf, a cabbage, a little twinkle in her eye—

a vertical black stroke,

blinking on and off again. Replete.


K. Shawn Edgar | Pumpkin Carved Head | U.S. Mail/Male | Be Dunkin’ Doughnuts 

Waiting in the Bike Lane at an Intersection in Tacoma

If Wells Fargo were Safeway, would the money in its vaults taste like Death by Chocolate and cheap beer? Would midnight to 4 AM see an endless queue of drunk, snack-craving depositors and closing-shift employees ready to night-drop bulging till bags of Teriyaki vomit and tattered twenties?

As the ejaculating cars thrust forward, piercing the diaphragmatic intersection, the red glow of the stoplight grows old, blurred and meaningless with the wait. Peak pressure. Full aperture: green light. I remain balanced, track standing for an extra moment next to the street’s vacuous storm drain. Will it rain on Tuesday?

How long could a vulture capitalist scam like Target exist in a society that prized quality and authenticity over quantity and expedience? And, if so realized, would its people’s feet rest easier in socks from manufacturers that supported rather than preyed on the majority of its citizens?

Green to yellow, it’s such a brief intercourse, and then yellow to red. I remain balanced on two wheels with two narrow tires made in some other country with softer, less healthy, manufacturing and export regulations for a company that craves a “slight” increase in profits for a slightly increased chance of success … of raises to engorge its top two percent’s cushy wealth.

If Bank of America were Defiance Bicycles on Fawcett Avenue, would its half-dead denizen debtors slowly but assuredly progress into healthier, balanced and self-empowered people on a true path to prosperity?

The red light bursts into an emerald green, blinding all eyes trapped behind windshield glass, and I push forward with a dynamite enthusiasm born on pedals and steel.


K. Shawn Edgar | Cumulative | Alt. 62,000 Ft. | Pumpkin Spiced