Copyright 2012, October
Quiet times were upon them and in the moment of their rest, their success and their innocence
They were greeted by the Sass.
He was as cool as the coolest and smooth like glass. They expected the best commotion and the sass gave it to them.
In the midst of this commotion there was an unaffected voice, warning with caution and swaying poetry.
“Take heed the untiring truth, take heed the untiring truth!”
The Sass said to them, “I am the best that you can have and the rest are but of stone and broken glass!”
The voice said again,
The victory that the Sass yearned for was in the bond between what they desired and what they could find in the Exotic Dusk.
The place where they knew right from wrong and where they might take a moment to dream of the future.
Perhaps the Sass thought to himself they will not want me and what I have to offer them, perhaps. Yet he knew as the rest were they would be.
The voice of their consciousness would remain silent for the days to come and they would be found unaware of the shadows that were beginning to surround them.
Trial Blaze and Snare Slake looked at each other and a love borne of circumstance was created. Trial Was the better part of Snare as she was the cautious one.
Snare said, “ We can follow this Sass to the end of the earth baby, to the ends of the Earth.”
Trial said, “But who is this guy Snare?”
Snare thought about this for a moment before he replied. “He’s where it’s at sweetie, he’s where the road meets the highway honey. Let’s go and see what he has to say Trial!”
Trial took his hand in hers’ and said, “No Babe.” He looked at her for a moment and her caution was suddenly understood.
“You think he’s bad.”
“Yes!” Trial replied.
And as the drama unfolded the people in town began to gather around the giant stage that the stranger had built in the center of Hallow Vine (Somewhere near the edge of the western horizon).
The stage had a series of pillories and gallows poles attached to it. Oddly no one made mention of it. Sass put a sign on the front of the stage reading,
The voice sang to the consciousness of the people, the gentle denizens of Hallow Vine,
The sky bleed spears of long amber light in the twilight sky as night approached.
Dogs barked and cats mated with relish abandon as the sky turned dark and the light of the moon shone over the rows of wheat that bordered the four sides of the town.
Somewhere near the far side of town two lay next to each other aware of the darkness that had entered the Hallow.
“What can we do about it Trial?” Snare said as he looked into her serene face.
“I’m not sure Snare, maybe we should tell someone.”
Trial kissed snare gently and they found each other in that moment. The lights flickered for a moment in the midst of their lovemaking then went gray as the bosom of a greater dream overwhelmed them and made way for the future, their future.
“Participate for prizes and free cash today at the big stage in the center of town, be there or be square!” the morning radio announcer said with a dramatic flare.
The eggs tasted good and Trial was the best cook in the Hallow as far as Snare was concerned.
“That taste good baby?” Trial said to snare as she shook a spatula in a grand wave.
“It’s great Trial.” he replied to her.
“Good then maybe we can go for a drive in the country today hon.” she said hopefully.
“Sounds good to me baby.” Snare said as he grinned at her.
They had gone for long drives in the past exploring the different parts of their surroundings and always discovering something new.
She knew the would make love in the wheat, she loved that.
They would be in the seed, new life and she would become pregnant on this day while the people in town gathered around the stage…..
And lastly Sass the coolest guy on the block, the man, the guy who had all the answers.
They drove through fields of wheat and they paused near the afternoon sun to be with each other, in conception, in the grace of nature and blue skies, in the nature of innocence and love.
Chimes tinkled in the air and the sound of wind rushing into the town filled the empty spaces around the stage.
A crowd of several hundred people had gathered to witness the spectacle.
Sass sat in an old school desk chair near the center of the stage.
He picked up the microphone and spoke.
“You are gathered here today to witness a miracle.”
He stood and waved at the pillories, watch as your dreams are realized. Suddenly the pillories were full, men and women both were locked into the pillories as Sass proclaimed. “Look what they have dear hearts, look what they have.”
He waved his hands again and the men and women were gone.
“ Watch and be amazed!” he proclaimed as he paced back and forth across the stage.
The gallows rope swung in a calm arc as sass suddenly appeared in the knot, lifeless hanging in contradiction to his performance.
Then he was on stage again, whole and alive.
Betray not the miracles you have witnessed today dear ones. Take witness to the power and my anger. He waved his hand again and a spray of flame rained down on the church bell tower.
Sass stood still, silent and watching the crowd that had gathered for the show. They screamed and some shook with fear as well as admiration for his abilities. In the end he waved them off with a flourish and a shower of daisy petals.
“The rain can be the sweetest thing for the Hallow.” he said as they fled back to their homes and businesses.
And the day continued to dusk with whispers and secrets.
“You will listen and you will learn lest you perish dear ones!” Sass exclaimed as he screamed to the sky in a high pitched whine that shattered windows and eyeglasses around town.
Trial lay next to Snare her arms around him in a bed of saffron colored wheat. They were at one with the sky and the approaching dusk, exotic and warm exclaiming a freedom that few understood.
Snare said in a quiet whisper, “Years have come and gone with us sweetie but this is the best.”
Trial sighed and replied, “What about this guy Snare?”
“I don’t know Trial, maybe he isn’t what you think he is.”
“I had a dream Snare, and he was the monster, the thorn, the darkness in everyones life, maybe….I think he’s the devil Snare.”
He rolled over and looked at her expression, she was serious.
“Maybe we’ll get out of this town Trial, just leave….him and the whole thing behind.”
The savor of phenomenal hotdogs, grilled to a crisp
And cool sips of beer were admissions of pleasure to Pep Chapters world. “Ahhhhhaaaaa he groaned as he patted his belly in sated satisfaction.
Then the sky became shadow……
Pep froze for a moment as the sun receded to a twilight blur.
Good beer he thought as the sky bled crimson.
Leonora Chapter waved from the kitchen window to Peps private barbecue.
“Come listen Pep……the news, channel nine says it’s the end Pep”
Pep looked at the sky again capturing the moment before everything changed for the Hallow.
Exotic twilight he thought, an image of island girls popped into his mind and he smiled.
In the midst of the wheat the young couple were making a decision.
The car was parked a few rows over, cool, blue Camero and a ride for the lovers.
Trial said, “I have a bad feeling about going back to the Hallow Snare.” she was trembling and her eyes shone bright red in the twilight sun.
“Do we have to go back snare? Can’t we just drive on forever honey?”
“Maybe we can baby, maybe we can.” he said as he wrapped his arms around her.
Drifting clouds dotted the horizon and the wheat rippled as the night approached. In the distance crows settled in for the night and a scarecrow supplicated the twinkling stars.
Pep stood in front of the television as Del French, the anchor for the Channel Nine News spoke.
“…….and then a sprinkling of fire lit the Hallows’ church tower on fire.”
“Touch Little is on the scene with the reverend Alton More the caretaker of the church…….Alton what’s the situation there?”
“Well Del the reverend says it’s the end and this man is the devil incarnate.”
The camera cut away for a moment to show a shaky cell phone video of Sass on the stage in the center of Hallow Town Square.
Pep squinted his eyes for a moment, it looked like he had horns.
Leonora saw Dragon wings and fire behind him for a moment. The picture became clear for a second and he was just a man again.
The Exotic Dusk came and went, in a slow cloak and shade of change. The night bloomed and the town would see other twilight skies but this was the bridge, the moment between here and there, the seconds and minutes and hour of decisions.
No one had the option of going back to that nights exotic dusk.
Sass held the lace curtain at the Dollarway Motel open as he looked out into the parking lot.
Flies buzzed around the fluorescent lights in the outer hallway and Sass stared at them with interest.
The flies swam in lazy circles to the sidewalk as they all died.
Cars passed on the road to and from town, the sound was a gentle hiss as he made plans for the following day.
He would begin at the break of dawn. He thought for a moment, the sun he realized they took it for granted and his face grew red with anger.
The break of dawn he thought again.
Pep looked at Leonora from across the kitchen table. She looked worried and frayed and he felt distracted and reserved his thoughts of the future and what this monster might bring them.
Pep took Leonora’s’ hand from across the table. “It’ll be ok honey.
The twinkle in her eye was missing and the unchanging atmosphere in the kitchen, usually smelling of pies and pot-roast, fresh bread and lemon scented dish soap was dry and hot, almost oppressive in it’s new whisper.
Pep looked at her again and saw the commotion there.
“Things will be better in the morning hon.” he said as he forced a smile.
Commanding the equality of diffuse reckoning and bad insight the reverend loaded the old cross bow that had been hanging on his living room wall.
The clock rang eleven times as midnight approached.
Earthly passions he thought………where have they led us, what have they given us. Stones he thought to himself, piles of rocks and argument.
He planned for the morrow.
The canvas of indigo night draped itself over the landscape, regenerating the shadows and silhouettes of what lay naked in the light.
The dawn, the morning dew and the scent of wild dandelions filled the air with quenching opiates and evident passions.
Trial stood and brushed herself off. Her jeans were moist with the early morning moisture and she looked fresh in the dawn’s bloom.
The air was cool and a gentle breeze was blowing across the rows of wheat. Snare stretched and yawned to the rising sun as the day began anew for them.
They made their way back to the car and climbed inside. Trial opened the glove compartment and pulled out a couple of candy bars. There were half empty bottles of Mountain Dew in the cup holder and snare grabbed one and drank it in two swallows.
They sat there munching on candy and drinking the warm soda for a few moments, silent thinking of the new day and where it would lead them.
Snare put the key in the Camero’s ignition and turned the windshield wipers on as he washed off the dew that had collected on the glass.
Trial turned the radio on.
The song was an old one, something from the eighties.
“Sexy tender, what price for the sun
Sexy tender, what price for the sun?
Rely on the horizon to guide your fun,
Rely on the day to keep your run,
What price for the sun?”
When the song finished the news came on.
They listened for a moment, in shocked disbelief.
“I was right Snare……..he was bad.” Trial said.
“……….the end of the Hollow. The town is gathering around the stage as we speak and who knows what this man will bring to our town. This is Larry Mel Hubsom for WKJY.”
Trial turned the radio back off and said, “Just Drive Baby, Just drive.”
Snare paused for a moment and said, “Have to do something first Trial.”
Snare got out of the car and climbed up onto the hood, stepping up he stood on the roof of the Camero and looked in the direction they had come from. The wheat waved and undulated in the warm morning air.
He closed his eyes and prayed, then he yelled to the horizon.
“We’re gone Hallow, We’re gone and we aren’t commin back ever!”
Trial laughed a little and climbed up onto the car with Snare.
She screamed, “We’re never commin back Hallow……………we’re on our way baby.”
The couple embraced as they stood there on the hood of the car.
Their silhouettes raging the sun with marks of passing shadow.
They drove away from the Hallow in a cloud of dust.
Sass sat near the center of the burned out church contemplating the day.
The first rays of morning sunshine shone through the burned out portion of the roof and lit the stained glass in a new blaze.
He sighed and found his moment.
…….and his unsated desire to do what he had come to do.
The seconds ticked by and the town awoke. The man they had let in prepared and stole the calm of the early hours with high pitched screams as he worked around the stage.
Pep woke to the smell of sausage and bacon. Leonora was humming in the kitchen and the sound of sparrows and dogs barking filtered through the bedroom window.
Uncovering himself he prepared to model images of easy calm, in truth he was afraid. Striving to brush-off the implied disaster that the news said was coming he found the country he was searching for as he took in the screams that thundered in the air outside.
To Be Continued…
Look for Exotic Dusk Book Two in the coming months!