Wednesday, October 28, 2009
THE TYPEWRITER-- Part I
In honor of Halloween, I thought I'd share a little story with you, my dear Alliterati. I'll be posting it in parts over the next three days. Stay tuned to find out what happens... BWA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAhahahahahahahaha!
*PS- for those faint of heart, stay ye course, mateys!
"I've seen this movie before," I say, to the scraggly old gypsy woman. Huh. Never thought I'd actually come across one. Who knew traveling carnivals were so . . . cliché?
I just came here to do some research for the new novel I'm writing—a horror story. What better place for horror than a traveling carnival? Still, knowing it's research doesn't help the creepy feeling trapezing down my spine as the lady glares at me, her eyes filled with conviction, one hand on her hip, the other lowering a withered finger in my direction.
"What I portend isn't a movie, dear girl." She hobbles up to me, and I try to back away, but I'm trapped by her iron gaze. "Come with me, there's something you must know."
Her hand is around my wrist before I can move it, and she's tugging me towards a shabby tent away and behind the carnival's midway.
"Wasn't this an episode of the Simpsons?" I ask no one. She's certainly not listening. But I'm positive all that's missing are visions of a grown-up Lisa in a wedding gown.
We're at the tent now, the sounds of merriment and screams from the rides fading behind us. A wind is starting to blow up, and I roll my eyes as the gypsy lady pulls back the tent flap and gestures me in.
"Seriously? A thunderstorm and a crystal ball?" So far, this isn't the kind of research I had hoped to do. I swear my story will be more original.
She stomps me over by a teetering stool next to the table holding the crystal ball, and lets go of my wrist after I sit down. She sinks into the opulent, purple-velvet chair across from me and leans forward, piercing me with her eyes over the ball.
"What is your deal?" I say, rubbing my wrist.
Her eyes turn from cold steel into lightning and fire. "My deal, girl, is a warning." She pauses, leaning even further forward until the beaded gold around her neck is clinking into the crystal ball. I drop my gaze from hers, my stare falling into the ball as if I'm expecting to see something there.
I'm almost disappointed that there's nothing, not even a mysterious swirling fog.
Her voice is lower and deeper. "You must not finish that which you seek to begin."
Cripes. Not this fortune-cookie vague prediction crap. Where am I, a King novel?
"Could you be more specific? You know, if you tell me exactly what you're talking about, there's an even better chance I won't be stupid and activate whatever curse it is you're warning me off of. This cryptic stuff doesn't help either of us."
She sits back in the chair. I can almost hear her back vertebrae and hips squeaking with the motion. Her fingertips touch before her.
"The spirits do not allow me to tell you of what I speak. You must decipher it yourself, before it's too late!"
I wait. No sudden bank of fog, no evil cackle fading out. She's just looking at me.
"That's it? Don't start what I seek to begin? That's all I get?" I stand up, the stool fainting in fright behind me. "No wonder you people have such a bad rap. Curses this, don't do that."
I pull my jacket tighter around me and stomp for the tent flap. "Thanks for creeping me out for no reason."
I stop at the flap and turn, surprised that she's still just sitting there, staring at the empty space over the ball. "Actually, thank you for real. I can channel this into my book."
I intend that to be a goodbye, and storm back outside, where the wind is whipping through the sparse trees on the little hill back towards the carnival. But a voice echoes down the hill after me.
"You must not write that book! If you cherish your life, and the life of those you love, you will stay your hand! Every word you write will come true!"
I flap my hand behind me, and the voice fades away on the wind as the carnival starts to envelop me again. Odd; as I walk back into the midway where the gypsy lady had caught me, the storm appears to die down and the sterile sun of late autumn is beaming down again. I turn around, half-expecting the shabby tent to be gone, but there it is. The gypsy lady is out front, bent down by the fabric wall near the door, plucking at weeds.
I've had enough, and I'm feeling plenty inspired. It's time to go home and get to work.