In the previous “The Approach to Epiphany” I wanted to describe Johnathan Goffe’s walk up to his sister’s home. The narrative spun of topic and did not return well even once I noticed, made note, and tacked the other direction.
In this I’m am going to take the same photograph and apply it to entirely different characters. Should be a fun exercise.
Wednesday Walk was strange. High branching trees colonnaded the narrow lane emphatically. Icy fog obscured the leafless canopy making it seem even more lofty, more universal, than Sophia already imagined.
The wet winter air held mysteries from her nose. The Walk smelled clean as far as Sophia could sniff it out–and maybe it was–but she knew the world outside this oaken corridor hid pungent wounds needing healing. The limp day-old snow helped hide them too.
But mornings like these couldn’t muffle sounds. A spoken word, a closing gate, a toe catching on a stone would all rush to her on the moist air and she’d hear them as precisely as her own thoughts. She could be the perfect eavesdropper finding out lovers and holding their secrets secret–or not. She could spy on honest men and thieves alike. She could hunt up twittering mice like an owl. She could do all these things if only there were sounds sounding. Even the couple ahead was quiet.
Sophia knew she was coming to something too quickly. The blind sky and the mute fields compelled her patience. Even her numb fingers told her to to wait–to be not hasty. If she arrived too early, too unprepared, this thing would not yet be, might even cease to be able to be.
In defiance Sophia picked up her pace.
Word count: 278
By .tyler. – Claudio Martella.
This one’s been in the interesting list on Flickr before. Or I find it so compelling that, having seen it earlier this week but never before, I felt it had.
If Leon would just do one thing to let you know you couldn’t trust him you’d relax a little, enjoy the ride. But he won’t and he never will. He won’t pull forward as you start to get in his idling car. He won’t palm the coins from the ashtray of your ride. He won’t speak ill of you when you’re not around. He won’t try to convince you he doesn’t need a condom. And he won’t kill you in your sleep. He just won’t.
But you know he could. You know that if you just let your guard down you’ll end up pwned.
You first met Leon in high school. He was a grade up from you. Your buddyfriend’s sister hung with his little brother…or something. You were all at a party you shouldn’t have been. He sat down in the circle of your friends just like they were his. Offered you a smoke.
In the moment it took you to politely decline–because WTF does that?–you realized you’d just failed a test. A test given by the universe, but administered by the Mr. Leon Wrecks.
That’s fine. Life moved on. In college you learned that the universe was giving plenty of tests and it had plenty of proctors. Some you passed; some you failed.
The next time you ran into Leon was in the parking lot in the basement of your first real job’s building. You discovered the shorcut to Starbucks by accident one day when you went one more floor down when you thought LL meant lobby and not lower level. To this day you still can’t decide if he was breaking into that Chevy or getting out of it. Unstartled and as if he’d known you’d be there he turned and called out your name. Next thing you know you’re late to get back to the office and jittery from too much caffeine–probably too much caffeine.
Gonna stop there.
If you can’t tell Mr. Leon Wrecks is a work of fiction despite the accompanying picture of a real person. Thanks Sig. Martella.
Word count: 393
The newly fallen leaves stacked poorly in her hand. These red and yellow and gold leaves retained their suppleness. This natural, nearly flesh-like offering, contrasted her brittle metalic fingers. The leaves’ tones wavered through the various shades of autumn. Their organic patterns occasionally punctuated with a spot of green or a tear or an insect-made hole. Haphazard symmetry drew my eyes to the web of veins branching from larger to smaller paths and out to the rim. The brown wind-worn edges showed the future for each.
Her knuckles were stamped and folded tin. I hadn’t seen a tinker of this generation outside of picture books. I would have expected a rime of [chemical name here] darkening the simplistic joints, but she seemed greased and newly made. I knew she wasn’t. Her arthritic posture and shuddering movements betrayed her age. The gleam of her naive but precise frame was the result of care not recent making.
When I did not immediately take the leaves, she spoke.
“Take them or I will unmake you.”
Word count: 166
Johnathan Goffe said, “Good.”
He worried he hadn’t turned off his Bluetooth soon enough. Tinkers on the trail ahead was a bit of a surprise. They looked intimate–probably had theirs off as well. Blah blah blah
As if the small black road through the big white snow wasn’t an obvious enough path, the generation old trees walled the trail in. The high grey fog obscured his retreat. Stay on the path. Move forward. Face the inevitable. The vanishing point.
Johnathan expected to be alone. He had expected to be contemplating his next action. He had expected this back approach would help him in that regard. Now his attention was drawn to the couple ahead. Drawn down from his own lofty problems in a way that was both compelling and unappealing.
eesh–less concrete anyone?
This is the road to his sister’s home. Her palace. She’s the queen–or something. He’s the disaffected brother. Brother-in-law. Ex-brother-in-law.
Most folks will circle around to the formal road even if they originally reach the palace from the west where this road would shorten the walk. There isn’t a law or a gate or a haunting or any other reason that tinkers should take this route, they just don’t. But Johnathan does/will.
Can’t tell if this seen is the first of the final. Given the presence of the mist I am thinking the later, but I’ve never worked out if mist was entirly metaphorical or only partially so. I like it both ways. In either case I he needs to be contemplative but unfocused. Once he gets to the palace he and the reader need to feel like there are two paths for him to take and that either one is as valid and likely as the other.
This is the approach to epiphany.