Tuesday, November 25, 2014

First Shot (64)

The banging itself wasn't what brought Blow fully awake. He'd heard it before. It partially woke him hours earlier on the stinking couch where he'd crashed and fallen instantly asleep. Startled to imagine it might be Rust or Salzwedel returning after some mishap in their mission to take the wounded Donnie to the mainland, he struggled to his feet in a somnambulant daze and shuffled to the door. A quick peek outside revealed nothing but the same blackness and blasting rain that had made the journey from Rust's boat to the house a living nightmare. He still heard the banging but consigned it to something loose on the house the wind was torturing.

Monday, November 17, 2014

First Shot (63)

A gray wool blanket covering everything but her head, Sarah huddled knees up on the plank floor next to an orange-glowing kerosene heater. A hissing gas lantern nearby gave off a strange light that seemed a mix of fierce white with vague greenish-bluish tints. The odd color spectrum played theatrically on her face, adding to the intensity of the stare she'd fixed on Blow with a feral vigilance.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

First Shot (62)

Salzwedel was the first to see the light, or at least to recognize it aloud. The teacher's blurted “Look!” had an effect on Blow of mitigated surprise as his eyes already had registered the feeble glow while his mind had yet to process its significance. The luminance wavered like a dying moon's vestiges in the encompassing blackness. As an ocular phenomenon it fared poorly against the adversity of sporadic lightning sheets, warping rain and the intermittent flashes from Frank Rust's lantern as the old mariner navigated through unfriendly terrain.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Tree

It was known locally as The Hanging Tree. No history to corroborate the name that Sutton knew of, but he allowed there was enough circumstantial evidence. At least one if not others of its massive reach of sturdy horizontal branches might well have held a rope or more back in the day. And it was old enough. Sutton knew that. At least two centuries under its ragged bark. And huge. Hips big as an Asian elephant's. In fact, damned thing looked like the child of a wild night 'tween a mastodon and a giant squid. Frozen, though, were that the case, save for the trillions of leaflets waving like royal fingers in a parade.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

First Shot (61)

Follow the oyster shell road, follow the oyster shell road...
Although he doubted either Rust or Salzwedel would hear him, Blow struggled to quell a giggle forcing its way up in tribute to the munchkin voice that set to chirping in his head when Rust mentioned their immediate objective: the road he said his grandfather had built of oyster shells leading from the boat landing to his boyhood home somewhere beyond in the rain-blasted darkness.