Excerpted from the freshly-begun book by the Marc Kane---her guest blog!
“Don’t go. Please, I can’t stay here without you. I don’t even know these people, how can I live off of their kindness?”
He hunches beside her, their heads now nearly at level, as she brushes his knee with her hand, then hugs it as he replies.
“You have to sis. I have no choice. They’re kind enough to let you stay sweetie and we don’t have anywhere else for you. Don’t cry now! Listen. I’ll be home soon. First I must make my fortune in this endeavor. It’s more money than I might see in the next few years. This will be all we need to make our own life, Emm. I just can’t turn it down. Lue understands; I had hoped that you might as well. Then when I come back, I will wed Lue and you will finally have that sister you have for so long desired.”
“She’s only twelve, Brian, how is she supposed to understand?” A voice, feminine, calm, assuring, precedes the lady into the room. “You are the only family that she has left. And of course she would be nervous about staying in a house with people she doesn’t even know. You haven’t even given her a night to adjust. Must you go so soon?” Lue puts a hand to Emm’s head and rubs fondly. Emm dries her tears with her hand and sniffs really loudly, trying hard to compose herself for her brother.
“I can’t wait honey. They are already behind on the order because the last ship hit a storm; shattered the ship in two and most of the shipment sank to the bottom. I’m glad that most of the men made it back to land. Only the cabin boy didn’t make it back. Horton says that is because the waves must have been too strong for his little body.” Brian takes Lue’s hand in his and looking at his sister, Emm, he assures her, “I promise I will be back very soon. We will be together again and I can afford to build us a big place to live. We will proceed to fill it with nieces and nephews to play with you. Then, within a couple of years, you’ll find some guy who catches your fancy. He’ll come to me for your hand. If he’s good enough, only if he’s good enough, I’ll consent.”
“Brian, brother, I love you so. I will try and honor you by giving your future in-laws no reason to feel put out by me. I will help Lue and her mom with their duties in the house and try and be a surrogate for you and listen to Lue’s father as he tells of all his war adventures. I might not be able to keep up like you, but I can stand in and listen. I promise I’ll make you proud while you are gone.” Emm hugs Brian to her tightly, as if she would never let him go. Lue links her arms around them both to make a unit of three people who don’t really want to part.
Brian slowly extricates himself from the ball of love that now surrounds him. The two of them certainly make it difficult for him to force himself to walk away, but walk away he must. If he doesn’t do it now, he may never leave, so he picks up his bags and starts heading toward the boarding plank of the ship he is determined to catch; the one taking him away from everyone he loves and everyone who love him. He feels his own eyes welling up suspiciously, so he picks up his pace toward the ship.
Lue catches Emm’s eye and it seems as if she can read her sister-in-law to be’s thoughts. “She thinks it too. I see it in her eye. This is the last time we will see Brian. No reason to feel that, just know it to be true and she suspects it too.” Lue squeezes Emm’s hand she still holds tightly in response to their shared dread.
Brain, totally oblivious to what his two best girls are thinking, takes this time to drink them in and savor the essence of their love. He discerns that it will be a long time before he gets this close to them again. He loathes leaving them, but he fails to understand how he can do anything differently. So he enfolds the two of them strongly, hoping that he would be saved from this task by some Divine miracle.
Lue hears the boarding call and pulls back from the group hug. “Brian, the moment’s arrived. Now you must away. If you miss this transportation, you’ll simply be waiting out the next two weeks.”
“Practical as ever, Lue. Yes, two more weeks--if that would only make things easier!” Brian drags both his girls close one more time and then strides briskly to the ship, as boarding reaches its final stages. He foolishly grins over his shoulder, just making it on before it pulls up it plank and makes its way toward the open sea. He casts a wave; then two of the crew prevail upon his attentions. Never did the salty mist of the tide reek more bitterly than it does this day.
As soon as the ship draws away from the port, Emm begins to sob. Through her teary eyes she spies Brian waving from the departing ship. That is when she notices the name on the side of the sea vessel, Amistad. “So we await the return of the Amistad,“ she murmurs through lips that appear to fail her. “Today you take my brother away, tomorrow you bring him home, you hear!”
Lue hugs her tight and starts to lead her away from the pier. “Don’t worry, hun, he will be back to us in no time flat. You can stay with us as long as you would like. My parent hardly care they have so much space. Old family home, they don’t own it, it owns them.” They make their way away from the loading area and commence to strolling toward where their mares stood tied in front of the general store, which desires to welcome all travelers and has everything for their traveling needs; they mount their horses and begin the two hour ride back to the countryside that Lue shares with her family.
“I’ll race you!” Lue calls at her as she passes her and continues on at a fast pace on her cream colored mare. Emm kicks her brown mare into gear as she tries to catch her new friend. But Emm has a secret. She believes that she communicates with these fine animals. That she hears their thoughts, all animals really.
Wanting to please her, Aya Anda speeds up and starts overtaking Misty. Forgetting her earlier sadness, Emm catches up to and surpasses her new friend. As she gains on her friend and over takes her she retorts, “No fair, you gave yourself a head start!” Then she lets out a big “Wooho, Ye ha!” and she and her beautiful mare perform a feet which creates the appearance of their feet never touching the solid ground.
Lue runs her friend Misty attempting to catch up to her friend who fades fast into the distance. She shakes her head, laughing. “Who would have thought that she could fly like that? I did not know that Aya Anda has a thoroughbred parent. She must to be able to race in that manner. I must ask father to be sure about her parentage.” Despite pushing her horse to the brink, Lue drives her Misty all the harder so that she might finally catch that seemingly floating friend of hers.
As she nears her love’s sister, Lue wonders at the emotion that she already feels for this young one. “How can it be that I feel so strongly already for this new family of mine? I just know that I’d leave my parent today if staying with them meant that I would lose Emm. Why do I presume anyone will attempt to thwart the deal that Brian has with my father and mother to take Emm? I suspect that it comes, though I don’t know how or the direction from which it will hale.
Emm glances at her new friend, “I think that we will get along fine you and me. We can race horses when I am not helping you with your chores here.”
“Chores, “Lue laughs, “who does chores?”
Emm joins in with her friend though she doesn’t seem to understand exactly what it is she finds so amusing about doing chores. She finishes undressing and dons her robe. “I’m unsure of where we go to clean up,” she admits to Lue as she appears before her.
“We don’t go anywhere,” she replied smiling at Emm. “They bring it to us.” With that Lue tugs a small knotted rope which is beautifully frayed on its end. She then disappeared behind the curtain herself. “Tell them that we need enough for two will you when they come in hun,” floats up disembodied from behind the hiding place.
“And when he came into the room with that hat on...well let’s just say that I’m glad that I wasn’t eating or I would not have made it to have such a beautiful daughter,” as he recounts this the Jake takes a long look at his favorite person in the world. “It’s no wonder that Jane displays jealousy; I do indeed love Lue more than life itself. It pleases me that Brian adores my daughter and has a hero heart. I couldn’t ask for a better man for my Lue. And now it seems as if his sister is just as fatal to my emotion.”
“Oh daddy, you do spoil me. Brian will find me hard to handle if you don’t allow me to be a bit humble,” Lue catches Emm’s eye and winks at her. She realizes that she truly enjoys being the center of her father’s world. Then she gives a little sigh because it bums her when she discovers that she will be sad when she leaves, for who will be his apple then. “Not mom, for surely she’d be a sour one.” Lue glances around furtively feeling some guilt over the unkind thought.
Emm clears her throat tentatively and turns toward the Admiral, “Admiral Jacobs, I’d like to thank you on behalf of my brother and me. He knew time was of the essence in this endeavor and could stay no longer, so thank you doubly for taking me in, I, a stranger.”
“No need to thank me youngster. Why, having someone as pretty as you to look at around, well and old man will never tire of life,’’ on seeing her expression Jake promptly throws back his head and racks the room with his laughter. “Dear girl, you two so brighten an old man’s day. I haven’t laughed like this in a very long time. I’m delighted that your brother and you have come into our lives at this point in time.”
Emm stares at her venison and quickly begins to give it the attention it deserves. “Mmmm. Gee I didn’t realize how hungry I’d gotten, but we haven’t eaten for a while, have we?” She nods to Lue for confirmation and Lue nods her head in total agreement. “Tell the cook that this meal is scrumptious.” Emm digs into the potatoes, freshly mashed with butter and some other spice that she couldn’t identify. These were fast becoming her favorite part of the meal though the venison and roasted vegetables were delicious as well.
Lue giggles at Emm’s appetite and then it dawns on her that perhaps it had been days since this child had eaten. “I know Brian said that they’d fallen on hard times financially, but Emm doesn’t seem to have eaten in days, her ravenous hunger gives that away. The poor dear! We mustn’t ever let this occur again, never; I vow it so.” Lue leans close to the Admiral who sat to her right, “where is mommy? She doesn’t seem to show up at dinner often lately. Another one of her ‘headaches’?”
“You know your mother, dear. She just can’t bare the smell of food when she has one of those headaches.”
“How often does she have these headaches?” Emm asks concern in her voice. “Might I help in some small way? Take her a cold towel to put on it or something?”
Jake shook his gray head, “No hun, the best thing that anyone of us can do is just mind our own affairs while her ache eases and have a bit of fun together in the process. Or at least that is what I intend to do.” He rises from his seat at the head of the table and asks, “Would anyone else care to retire to the Library? You, Jern, would you care to join me for some whiskey or scotch?”
ONe thing she's done well is start with a very relatable, human basis for what will no doubt become a mysterious and occasionally fantastic story. Is this some past life remembered? ______lUe
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Saturday, June 6, 2009
D ‘n ‘a “the mountain”
Okay. Beckie’s friends, Rhona and her boyfriend, Chuck, arrive at this house in a small town Georgia village. She’s riding with them. She’s visiting her friends Louemmie and Gina.
They’re talking about piercings as our story opens, moving from a truck parked outside to the window and into the middle bedroom where Louemmie has just talked her sister into going first.
“Closer to God” is playing while Chuck readies Gina’s upper ear; they’re talking about facial paralysis from bad piercings. Beckie teases Gina, “little Momma,” about being the buttoned-down one, getting this done! She figures, although she has just met Rhona’s new boyfriend, everything will be cool. Beckie notices the ouija board sitting out while Louemmie comes in with something for them to drink from the kitchen. She tells them to make themselves at home now and get anything else they want themselves. Becky brings up their previous sessions on the board, which Louemmie characterizes as haunted by an idiotic spirit named Walrus, the mention of which gives Becky chills, since it has spelled out a message recently that it wants to take Becky! She then mentions that she shouldn’t even let Becky on the board, since she is not saved.
(that’s about two pages of drawings, btw, as are each of these segments)
“Don’t believe in that stuff.” Beckie scoffs.
“There!” says Chuck. “This alcohol astringent seems to be working okay, since we don’t have alcohol. The hole looks okay.”
“Yeah,” says Beckie, “except for the blood.”
“Shut U-up!” says Rhona, who steps over to Chuck’s shoulder. “Did you tell them what time we’re gonna be there, baby?”
“Yeah,” he replies, “I got time to do your friend here.”
“Well, her mom’s in the living room,” retorts Beckie, “are you sure that’s a good idea?”
“Oh, she won’t mind,” Louemmie says, “whatever money we girls can work up on side is good for the whole family’s cookie jar! Ah-hah-haha!”
“Louemmie’s terrible,” Beckie says, laughing.
“So what got you into the ouija board?” Chuck asks Louemmie as they start her ear piercing.
“Oh, weird shit’s been around me as long as i can remember,” Louemmie says. He steadies her head for the piercing. “Our fans kept turning on and off mysteriously over at our house on 227---our Dad was preaching at the time, and he eventually got mad at us for turning the fans off and the house being really hot when we’d get home on Sundays...this happened more than once, and not just on Sundays, but that was what really ticked Poppa off! Heheh! Are you gonna do this, man?”
“I’m ready if you are,” Chuck replies.
“I don’t think she’s going to call him, really,” Beckie says to Rhona. “I wouldn’t! Not after embarrassing ME all over school over HIS stupidity!”
“She just didn’t know him that well,” Rhona replies.
“Yeah,” says Louemmie, “we just left that board out, I guess Gina did it. Didn’t know she’d bring friends, but that’s cool, I like knowing everyone. Well, not everyone, but –he-heh! Cough! You get me.”
“I don’t know how you’re not screaming out in pain,” says Rhona.
“I’ve got a really high threshold for pain,” says Gina.
“Not me!” says Louemmie. “Y’all gonna have to deal with it if I scream, I know I ain’t gettin’ killed but I’m a complete pussy when it comes to pain, ask Gina!”
The others laugh. Louemmie’s howls are the center of attention.
“Yeah,” replies Chuck. “Oh, I’m finished.”
“You two need to come out with us to this spot out near Coosa,” Rhona says. “It’s so pretty.”
“A picnic! Cool! “ exclaims Beckie. “At least Daddy keeps me in a car that runs, you should ride with me.”
“You know, our Dad might be able to look at your car for you,” says Gina.
“Could he really?” replies Rhona. “Seriously? My brother looked at it but he couldn’t figure it out. I mean, it needs a break job, definitely, but I don’t know why it’s cutting out. Old, I guess.”
“Oww! Huhhuhheh...Poppa Bear loves looking at stuff, especially if he gets to rescue somebody as a bonus! I can call him in the middle of the night and be like, ‘Papa! Come get this thing! I just wanna come home! Heheheh!”
“That’s pretty cool,” says Rhona.
“Why don’t you come by early tomorrow afternoon?” says Louemmie. “ I think he’ll be up...sometimes his alarm will go off for like an hour, you have to go pound on the door and yell, “Papa! Get up!’ Hahaha! I get like that, too, working dumbass late shifts for Milton. But if I ask him he’ll at least take a look at your truck.”
(A tiny devil sits next to Chuck’s ear and whispers, “man, this is your chance! You need to take this opportunity to get control of things.” There is a halo with a Vacancy sign hung inside.)
“Yeah,” says Chuck, “you should bring the board. It will completely rock. Are you a virgin? (to Gina) You seem like one. (in other direction, towards what could be any of the other three girls) No way are you a virgin...”
“You talkin’ to me, or her?” asks Beckie.
The next day, outside, the three way for the sisters in Beckie’s car (model?).
As Gina comes out the front door, her mother calls to her in the living room, and asks her to fix her “a Co-ooke.”
From the backyard, Louemmie can be heard loudly telling her father goodbye while he works in the garage, with the door open. “Be safe!” he says. “I will, Daddy,” she replies, as she walks over to car, climbs into the back seat, while Rhona and Chuck sit in the front seat.
“I got that board, too, Chuck,” Louemmie says with enthusiasm. “Your car’ll be fine where it is, Dad said he’d look at it in about an hour, while there’s still plenty of light.”
“What convinced you to buy one and figure it out?” says Chuck.
“Actually, nobody’s asked me! HAhaha!” Louemmie replies, tossing back her hair. “I think it was an incident with a swinging door, at that same house I told you about, 227? Okay, it was like, we’d ask questions, and the door would swing, like two for yes and one for no, I think. Something like that. Now this only happened the one time, and it must have been about fifteen or twenty minutes. I don’t think we ever tried it again, but I can tell u it scared the fuck out of us! Hahaha!”
“So what’s that got to do with the ouija board, then?” asks Rhona.
“We went out and bought it the next day! It may have been even THAT day, but we didn’t need the door again, we wanted more than limits of yes and no.”
“Sorry!” Gina says, running across the yard. She stops to make sure the gate locks, as Beckie cranks up the car without a hitch.
“Hits off smooth,” Chuck remarks.
“Yeah,” replies Beckie, as Gina climbs in back with her sister.
They take a right out onto highway 101, as “Operator” by Jim Croce plays on the radio, with the sisters singing along.
The next shot is on another back road, and they are engaged in conversation, which means Louemmie is saying something...
There’s another shot from Gina’s perspective Oh! We’re almost there? I didn’t even know what road we were on. I’m terrible with directions.
“I’m glad we all got together like this,” says Rhona. “It’s not easy to make good friends sometimes. You guys all went to school together, right?”
“Yeah.” (“no rain” by blind melon is playing on the radio.) Gina sings along as a joke:
“And I like watchin’ the pu-ddles gather...boogers!” (everyone’s laughing as we see car turning right.)
BECKIE: Is this Huffaker Road? This is the way to the mountain where we’re going, right?
RHONA: Is this the way to the Seven Bridges Road? I heard it’s somewhere out here in the country.
BECKIE: I hear there’s a satanic church hidden out there!
CHUCK: If you keep going down Big Texas Valley Road, you get over in Armuchee. That’s where you find
CCC Road, tucked away behind 27 North.
LOUEMMIE: Really? I didn’t know the directions, but our brother did that one. He said what they say about it is true: if you drive the six bridges on the way out there, there will be seven then on the way back. He’s smart, so somethin that didn’t make sense that he saw with his own eyes creeped him out! They went back and tried again, and it happened again!
GINA: Bubba knows some people who say they are into Satanism and other things. I think some of his friends in Rome are some pretty crazy people, but that’s just from hints, I’ve never been up to his new place. I figured, after that last time at home, he’s ready for space!
LOUEMMIE: If this is Huffaker Road, we’re actually pretty close! Yeah, I think it’s in town, that way.
GINA (leans out the window): I’m waving to him: hey, Bubba! Hahaha!
LOUEMMIE: Hope you’re having fun, miles away!
RHONA: Is he your older brother?
BECKIE: Yeah, Timothy graduated from Rockmart, too, the year before Louemmie.
RHONA: So you guys are all like a year apart?
GINA: We’re stair steps.
CHUCK: I thought y’all were twins when I met you.
LOUEMMIE: Hahah! Lot of people think so! We ARE the same age for eleven days.
GINA: Maybe I was your twin for eleven days, too! Somebody was.
LOUEMMIE: Yeah, they thought Mom was gonna have me and a boy at first. He was the first brother to move out, I guess! Hahaha! Is that awful?
BECKIE: Her parents tried every form of birth control and those kids just Kept coming. Me, I’m adopted, I wouldn’t know! Maybe someday!
RHONA: Your Mom musta liked babies! I hope she did.
GINA: Oh, that’s where I get MY love of babies! Momma used to have visions about babies---this was all family---she would have a dream about someone getting pregnant, and then she’d tell them about it, sometimes before they even knew! She would dream the sex of the baby before it was born, too---once she said it was a girl when the doctors said it was going to be a boy, and she was right! Hahaha!
RHONA: Your Mom can leave me out of her dreams for now! I’m not ready!