More on Margaux

Original image: http://ffffound.com/image/508c657e21642aca5803abf6521b9a672bef4ea3
More Margaux: http://1000days.douglasblaine.com/tag/margaux/
From Jasper: http://1000days.douglasblaine.com/tag/jasper/

Following my hiatus, I’m not ready to go full spontaneous narrative.  This morning I’ll merely speculate spontaneously about Margaux’s role in this growing but unnamed thread.

Possibly I should get a name for it?  Or did I have one and forgot?  Rummaging…nothing definitive.

The artwork of the two inspirational images ties Margaux to Jasper in my mind.  I may have found them around the same time, but I’d have linked the two images regardless as the engender thoughts of a similar theme for me: children of responsibility, earthy human magic, and tainted whimsy.  I saw Margaux as maybe something of a Hermione to Jasper’s Harry–though I’ve only just articulated that thought in those terms just now.  At he very least I saw her in opposition of Ned Who-needs-a-last-name.  As Jasper also opposes Ned that paired the two.

Margaux is tied into a classical oracular magic.  Something a bit more business-like I suppose.  She’s especially skilled at it, but I’m thinking technically anyone the dons the Chronicaller would be able to tap into it’s powers.  Maybe she otherwise possesses a general level of magic like most folks, but in regards to the Chronicaller she’s exceptional.  Seems unlikely that she’d gain access to that helm through typical means.  I’ll need to address how she gets involved in the more adult magic.

Maybe not.  Maybe adults don’t have magic.  Maybe that’s how Jasper ends up writing his fifth and final spell (rather than dying–which is what I thought before).  Still, since Margaux is otherwise typical there would need to be an explanation of her coming into contact with the Chronicaller.

I wonder if she runs around with Jasper or if they merely bump into each other from time to time.  I don’t see this as a team-up situation.  The later seems more likely so I suspect I’ll need a way for them to contact each other over distances.  Cell phones and texting or something my magical?  I like the practical common option the most.  So now I need a reason for Jasper to be out there running around and Margaux not to be.  Could be she’s in a wheel chair or bound by circumstance or geography.

What does Margaux want in all this?  I’m not finding much conflict here.  Maybe she wants to be the best Chronicaller she can be.  She doesn’t much care about what she finds or does, she just wants to be the most precise, the most accurate, the fastest to the answer.  And the Chronicaller gets stolen.  And since her magic is due to evaporate as she becomes an adult they need to get it back to get the best prophecies for the future?

Day 351

Reintroducing Margaux

I’m going to see what I can do to patch up yesterday’s mess…

Margaux cinched the leather chin strap until she heard the groan of leather on leather.  She worked her jaw against the strap while snugging the helmet-like Chronicaller onto her head with her small hands.  If it sat loosely it got off symmetry.  If it got off symmetry she’d get funky results and a headache.  And she didn’t want a headache.

The grade schooler leaned forward to better balance the mass of copper and leather and shell and wood and rubber tubing that made up the Chronicaller.  It looked like a brain might look had it been designed by an artistic god who’d seen a real brain for a moment and then been given a week and a box of garage sale junk to come up with a working replica.  The Chronicaller now settled, Margaux removed the mouthpiece from it’s perch and situated it between her lips.  She blew lightly to check the rested tuning.  With expert fingers she dialed in a finer pitch and blew again–still lightly.  Satisfied with the result, she unlatched a locked rubber tube along the sagittal line and actuated two copper levers: one on the left and one on the right near the base of her skull.  Some part, one she’d never identified precisely but guessed was the transcrystor, warmed to a hum as the released gases rushed over it.

She quickly rubbed her palms and placed them on the nautilus-like swirls on her temples afraid the suddenly cooled pressure tanks would freeze the delicate shells.  The familiar hum would pitch up until the disparate temperatures evened out then it would begin to drop down.  Careful to breathe through her nose she kept her tongue over the mouthpiece to avoid any premature winding of the Chronicaller.  Then she simply waited.

Tendrils of near-blonde red hair stuck out from under the cumbersome headpiece like vines struggling under a fence.  She looked like a nun at prayer.

More pleased with this edit and the additions than I was with yesterday’s bits.  I meant o squeeze some damn springs in there somewhere but may have to do that at another time.

Day 339

Introducing Margaux

Margaux cinched the leather chin strap tightly to hear the groan of leather on leather.  She worked her jaw around while snugging the helmet-like Chronicaller onto her head.  If it sat loosely it would get off symmetry.  If it got off symmetry she’d get funky results and a headache.  And she didn’t want a headache.  The Chronicaller looked like a brain might look had it been designed by an artistic god who’d seen a real brain for a moment and then been given a week to come up with a replica.  Now snug, Margaux removed the mouthpiece from it’s perch and situated it between her lips.  She blew lightly to check the resting tune.  With expert fingers she dialed in a finer note and blew again–still lightly.  As a result she unlatched a locked rubber tube along the sagittal and actuated two copper levers: one on the left and one on the right near the base of her skull.  Tendrils of near-blonde red hair stuck out from under the cumbersome headpiece like a bad neighbor’s vines growing under a fence.

She leaned forward to better balance the mass of copper and leather and shell and wood and rubber tubing that made up the Chronicaller.

OK, gonna need to come back to this mess another day.

Day 338

Enter Ned the Goth

One of the things I love about this daily writing work of mine is that when I write myself into a corner as I did yesterday I’m free to just pretend it didn’t happen.  I’m free to do something new today.  Believe me I want to do something new today.

I’ve got no idea why Jasper is hanging out on the fire escape of my real grade school.  I’ve got no idea what spell he is writing, why it’s his last, or why being fifth matters.  At least why it matters enough to mention.

You may recall we first met Jasper in a field conjuring a flock of geometric shapes to aid him in his flight and escape (or transport or casual flying stroll).  I’d written into a corner on that one too.  Jasper escapes; I’m left holding the bag.

Jasper preferred the rune-script for his spells over the verbose Enchanters’ Latin he’d first learned.  The iconic shorthand of vertical strokes and compact loops in singlets, couplets, triplets, or staggered bunches reminded him of musical notes.  He could feel the pattern of the spell in his fingers as he wrote.  It felt much more like he built magic from a scaffold than he merely described it in a book report.  That concrete sensation steadied his hand and informed his artistry.

The the handwritten spell shuddered on the printed gridlines.  He looked to the five in the corner of the page.  The lines snaked out of place in a swirl and then spacked into a spilled-ink shape.  The loops of his rune-script came unwound too.  The verticals withered like new shoots unprotected from the sun.

Without ever looking up, Jasper swiftly closed and bound his Moleskine.  He slipped it under his hoodie into the waist of his jeans at the small of his back.  The pencil he positioned in his fingers so that as he slammed his hand down hard on the metal railing his middle finger cracked the pencil in half across the backs of his other fingers.

“That had to hurt Jasper.  Did it? Did it? Did it?” Ned taunted musically from the asphalt playground below.  Black clouds of soot belched occasionally from below his Demonia boots.  “So sorry to interrupt.  Were you sketching birds again?”

Day 334

Jasper’s Fifth and Final Spell

For the sticklers, I did write yesterday.  And edit.  I just can’t post the content publicly for now.  Settle down.  It’s not salacious, just temporarily private.  Plus, the content is not interesting to most of you anyway.

Jasper pointed his #2 pencil finely but the angle of it annoyed him.  The woman  running the cash register at Tilton’s down the road cooed at his choice of color and said, “It’s a lovely sharpener.”  She obviously thought shavers and sharpeners were the same in the way she thought five-year olds and eleven years olds were the same.   This pink plastic and razor blade jobie compared poorly to the seven sharpeners with dual rotary cutters locked in the eight rooms of the school at his back.  It was not at all like the kind the nuns mounted to the door jams at Sacred Heart Parish School in Topeka.

He gently dulled the needle pointed lead with a few careful circles on the back page of his notebook.  Jasper thumbed back to the front to the first pair of blank pages.  He then numbered the page at the top with an encircled five.  He thought for a moment–maybe he prayed for success–then began constructing the vine-like vertical rune-script of his fifth and final spell.

Day 333

Introducing Jasper

http://zulu-eos.deviantart.com/art/Take-to-the-sky-74685129

Grasping a wad of high grasses in his left hand and wrapping it back around his wrist Jasper acted quickly. That would have to do, he knew it probably would not. He scuffed the dry prarie soil with the toe of his sandle enough to draw in with his fingertip. He traced a near-perfect circle, added two sinuous lines that might have been wings, and poked a dot into the center of it all.

Jasper liquified the breeze and draped it around himself. It did not take long.

Air rushed to him from all sides bending the green grass like penitents at prayer. The air then swirled upward into a vortex with Jasper at the hub. Solid circle shapes and other bursts sprung from the markings he’d traced in the dirt and rose with the air. Mostly they were the color of the prarie: green, green-yellow, and green-teal. Some, of course, were starkly white or deeply black.

Jasper hoped the grasses he held were well rooted to the earth, but didn’t look. It wouldn’t matter now. He strengthened his grip for what came next.

The two wings he’d drawn on the circle flowed along the surface of the prarie winding among the grasses growing there as crinkle of his vision. They seemed like eager beasts waiting on chance. They were desperate to fly.

Jasper needed his attachment to the earth to hold. If the roots tore free too soon he’d spin into the initial vortex and bounce in a painful arc along the ground before going up. It happened before; he held no interest in repeating the experience.

The wings popped and snapped along the surface of the prairies battering the gentle plant life and raising more bursts as they came fully to life. Each lively crinkle became a white ribbon expanding into a sheet and then a sail. One split partway out and formed a third anxious beast. The bursts ran freely to the center and rushed upward. The speed at which they formed disallowed them full solidity so nearly all of them were outlines or double outlines.

Jasper waited for the bursts to be incomplete arcs and wilder half-shapes. They signaled his leap.

A neatly drawn plus sign ran up from the leftward wing. Jasper had never seen one of those before. He hoped it good. The point of each wing ripped free of his tracing. They alternated between losing the rest of themselves and trying to encircle Jasper. One twined his leg and popped him off balance. He nearly lost his grip. When he looked up he saw the unsplit wing’s distal end billow up like a sail catching the wind. Then the split one broke free and lept into the air with it’s fellow.

Jasper caught hold of the wing still encircling his leg. He’d been taught he couldn’t force his will on these things; he could only coax them. He watched the billowing ends disentangle from the earth. Their freedom rippled back toward him.

“Please let me time this right.”

Each wing stripped completely free of the earth and rattled into the sky. The wider far ends wafted high and back toward the center. Good. He’d go up first—no arm breaking. A cascade of bursts erupted around him: stars, octagons, circles, hoops, a curious harp shape, more plusses. The wings went up without him. Distracted, he missed his moment.

“No I didn’t!”

He loosed his grip on the grass and grabbed a pair of plusses clawing at the air like it was a ladder. He stuffed his toes into a hoop on one side and stepped on a solid green circle on the other. He kicked and pushed his way up the flock of bursts till he closed in on the nearer tendrils of the wings. They did exactly as he expected—hoped—they twined his body and rooted there.

Jasper launched above the prarie pulled by three wind filled sheets. Bursts orbited him or rested near his shoulders. Sometimes running up the wings; sometimes trickling back down.

Day 295