The Shrug of Darkness

March 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

Once upon a time, the darkness shrugged off the Sun.  The earth lay clad in obscurity; the blacks and the blues blended and shared their essence one with the other.  For an eternity of the present moment there existed only a void.  And it was colorless.

It smelled like misty time, that darkness.  You could almost hear the ticking of eternity’s clock across the blended, muddy air where all was gray.

But through the darkness rang the word “Let”, and it was so.  A man walked into that darkness and cloaked himself in it.  He stitched it together like fig leaves and wine poured out, mingled together into a garment inedible, yet bitter to the touch.

His name was Light Though Unspoken.  He wrestled this shrugged-off darkness, uttering the great collapse until the world was reborn and colors more vibrant than before emerged.

Their nakedness.  No longer.  Hidden.

And then more colors emerged; shades and hues of different breeds; all come down to mix together.  Light Though Unspoken watched unseen, still with one hand immersed in the mud.  He spoke his breath into the mud; creating and imparting his Special Gift.

And She was beautiful.

Her hair was like liquid fire, even hot to the touch.  Her skin was like air on lips of Light and  her voice shimmered with warmth.  Indeed, none could resist her in her virgin days.

But she shrugged off her purity and replaced it with power.  Pride followed, and her Maker wept with one wounded and dirty hand still dripping in darkness.  This Child of Light chose dusk.

And the Darkness shrugged even as the darkness shrugs.

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Daggers of Light

March 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

daggers of light

blunted

tipped in blood still oozing

dripping

hope kicking on the floor

 

Healer arise

close your eyes

is this what dreams are made of?

 

rods of darkness

flood these plains

brutality has its way

inky black like the dead of night

and through it all we see.

 

Eternity’s Child

reconciled

is this what dreams are made of?

 

dusk of God

spare the rod

we are Your spoiled children

her wound is deep and still we sleep

to dream and lie forgotten

 

Vision of God

Spread out before us

You are what dreams are made of

 

 

 

 

 

Horatio Benice, Chapter 2

March 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

2.  Earlier that Day

“Brian Albert McDinn, get in this house this instant!” Fran McDinn’s voice cut through the gathering dusk like an arrow.  “It’s time for Supper!”

“I’ll be there in a minute!” he shouted back across the vacant lot that separated their house from the Benice House.  “I’m almost done!”

Mr. Benice had converted his garage into a small bakery in his prime.  But for the better part of Brian’s lifetime, the ovens sat cold and dark in the garage.  The mice had long ago polished off the remaining crumbs, and they had nibbled through an electrical cord or two.

It was in this building where Brian had been spending his time.  He had devoted 3 hours after school everyday for the past week to cleaning up the bakery.  He was the kind of kid who always had his next get-rich-quick scheme all worked out.

His latest attempt involved baking biscuits for the kids at school.  He planned to take them to school in his lunch box and sell them for $.50 each.  When Horatio heard about his scheme, he offered the use of his ovens if Brian could get the place cleaned up and the ovens in working order.

He stood for a minute and looked at the bakery.  The stainless steel ovens gleamed in the gathering darkness.  Maybe tomorrow his dad could come check them out and make sure they were safe and clean enough.  He hated to leave the job when he was so close to being done, but it was getting dark and his mother’s voice sounded pretty serious.

With that thought, Brian closed up the bakery.  He wanted to say goodnight, but from the look of the house, Horatio was either asleep or away.  Not a single light was on.  He took one last look around.  He really did want to get the bakery ready; but he wouldn’t mind bumping into Jamie Towertall, either.  She sometimes cleaned for the old man, and now and then they would talk before going their separate ways when their work was done.  He saw her at school sometimes, but they never had the chance to talk there.  She was in 8th grade, he was in 7th.

He jumped on his bike and minutes later he was ready for supper.

“I’m glad you help out like you do over there, Brian” said his mother as she spooned mashed potatoes onto his plate, “but did you forget you have the Halloween party tonight?”

“No, I remembered; it’s just that I’m so close!  Could you come with me tomorrow, dad, to check out the ovens like you said you would?”

Eddie McDinn put down the paper he was looking at and turned his attention to his only child.  “If it wasn’t for Horatio Benice giving us his day-olds when you were in diapers, I don’t know how we would have made it!  I’ll take a look tomorrow.  I’ve been wanting to see Mr. Benice for awhile anyway.  Maybe I’ll offer him a ride to church on Sunday.”

“I just don’t understand” interjected Fran “why don’t you just use our oven instead of bothering poor old Horatio?  It’s already clean and ready to go!”

“Aw mom, all the kids at school know Mr. Benice.  Everyone thinks there’s magic in his ovens, that’s why his bread was always so good.”

“Well, I think it’s ridiculous” she shot back.  “You’ve never even had his bread.  He stopped baking when I was pregnant with you”.

“Fran, you have to admit, it was really good bread” Eddie joined in.  “For all Horatio has done for us, for Wellman, cleaning up his bakery for one last go is the least we can do.  Let the old man go out knowing that he left a legacy, is that too much to ask?”

Overpowered, Fran passed the bread and changed the subject.  “The party’s at 6:00 Brian.  It’s almost 5:30.”

Brian quietly ate his potatoes and a piece of ham.  His thoughts turned to the party and the Halloween dance.  Maybe he’d get to dance with Jamie tonight.

Horatio Benice, Chapter 1

March 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

1.  Bittersweet

Through the inky darkness of 3 a.m., a withered hand stretched out from the green leather chair.  The skin was stretched tight and dry around swollen, arthritic knuckles.  Five trembling fingers sought their mark in the darkness, which seemed to pull at the hand; to cling to it like mist.

In those fragile minutes before most sleepers wake, the hand wrapped itself firmly around the shiny brass handle attached to a solid cherry cane.  A wedding band reflected the yellowish glow from the streetlight outside as the old man stood and struck a match on a fireplace brick.  He lit the Kerosene lantern that sat on the mantel and flicked the match, still burning, into the cold and empty fireplace before him.  There was much to do before dawn.

Horatio Allen Benice was the old man’s name, and he loved darkness and flame with what could be called passion.  It was not always so.  He had, in fact, rather enjoyed life in his day.  A baker by trade, he used to enjoy the quiet solitude of his pre-dawn hours, mixing, kneading, and firing his ovens.  He relished being left to his own thoughts during those sweet few hours before the day began.

But that was long ago.  That was before The Visitor came and taught him to love the darkness through long hours of patient and devoted practice.

They say that the night is darkest before the dawn, but Horatio had learned better.  They were fools who thought that way.  Through patient practice, one could embrace the True Darkness and never have to fully embrace the dawn again.

Now the only sound in the house was the steady ticking of the clock on the mantle.  It was the last birthday gift his wife had given him before the cancer claimed her, 51 years ago this morning.

The old man stood there, steadied by that brass-topped cane.  He stood looking at the clock, swaying ever so slightly to the rhythmic tick tock.  He had waited for so long already; what were a few more minutes?  He had honed his patience like the edge of a dagger.

The darkness swirled around him like vapor.  He breathed it in and exhaled it out.  The fringes of shadow grew longer and thicker there in that room, filling the old man’s house with the sickeningly-sweet smell of decay.

And still, he waited.

Where Am I?

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