About 18 months ago I wrote a short piece of exposition describing a magical workshop. Shunder Bon Thon, ‘the mighty workshop of Shunder’, drew much of its inspiration from the dilapidated Santa Fe Railway shops in Topeka, Kansas where my Grandfather retired from upholstery before I was born.
This past week the workshop idea returned to mind from no discernable direction so I went searching for what I’d written about Shunder. I’d not tagged it ‘come back’ but my recollection was enough that I found it near the top of my first search for ‘building’. Obviously my thinking is to extend what I’ve written as well as to return to writing (each day). The piece was not what I recalled.
This week Shunder’s glassy and rhythmic shop segments glittered in one angle of the sun and disappeared to near invisibility in another. These high flown atria curled past mere arches to near full circles flaring out from the base in the mountainside then straightening to vertical at the shop floor level and finally ending over the top of the arc back in the mountain’s ragged slope. The windows’ scaffold inside as unobvious as a dragon’s bones inside her skin of sparkling scales. The armor, weapons, jewelry, vehicles, siege engines, and other charms crafted here made boys into men, men into warlords, warlords into kings, and then committed regicide upon them. This week’s Shunder possessed an elegant nature.
What I’d written originally no longer influenced the world as much as it was influence by the world. The mountainside caved in the northern segments of the shop where magic sails were woven. Hundreds of years of rock fall smashed opaque windows here and there along the spine exposing the verdigrised and torn metal holding her up. But the furnaces still smoked and the hammers still rang out. Journeymen and acolytes still imbued their works with ancient chants. Masters still incanted names not heard outside Sunder’s protective womb.
Ultimately I’ve been off looking for conflict. I’ve imagine it dressed up fancy for a night on the town and me a dull humorless boy unable to charm it well. But lately I’ve found conflict can be as unadorned as “If you want this, you’ll do that.”. The plain difference between having a thing and having more—or less—of that thing. The tension between now and once was.