Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The Cycle of Constellations: Orion (Winter)

(The first in a four-part series of vignettes)

       Evan brushed away the snow and lifted the tarp. The stiff plastic crackled. He heaped a stack of logs in his arms, then let the tarp fall. His breath billowed in brilliant white clouds.
       Turning back to the stairs, he avoided the crusted ice. Each thump of his boots across the porch echoed in the walls of the cabin. He dropped the load next to the door, then returned to the railing, which overlooked the silent woods. The slopes held a luminescence. The leaves had fallen and now knitted into the soil under a layer of snow.
       Evan blew heat into his cupped hands. A waft of smoke swirled, then melted into the air. The bitter smell evoked the warmth of firelight inside. Still, he remained.
       Overhead, the heavens dazzled with stars. So many stars. Shining with infinite variations. Evan marveled at the display. The haze of summer never could compare, even in those remote mountains where little light bled from civilization.
       Evan questioned whether he was lonely.
       Perhaps. But only in the most profound stillness could he hear the voice where all branches of his personality rooted. Only in isolation would the bending of himself ease and the lines become true. He decided he welcomed the fleeting loneliness.
       He swept the northern sky in the hope of catching the dance of solar winds, the aurora borealis. Instead, only the cold permanence of stars. So, he climbed and wandered the great circle of sky. There he saw the three stars of Orion's belt. Orion the Hunter. And below, like the tip of a sheathed sword, the great Orion nebula. So profoundly beautiful in pictures, the nebula hung like cotton without color or definition.
       The first shivers tickled his legs, and he yawned. The late night was drifting into morning. Evan drank one last view of the rarity, then hurried back inside. In the trees, a breeze stirred, and a few clinging leaves chattered. Icy crystals sprinkled, then the hush settled once more.
       And for a moment, as Evan nestled under the blanket of the sleeping world, curtains of blue shimmered in the north.
       Mystical and secret.
       Then disappeared.

FORWARD


17 comments:

Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

hmmm. curious.

Robin Caroll said...

interesting...

jason evans said...

UTMG and Robin, in this series I'm trying something a bit experimental. Some experiments boil over in the test tube, though. Not sure if this one is working...but we'll see.

Kelly Parra said...

Very enchanting, Jason. That's the vibe I got from reading it. =)

Terri said...

Vivid.
Great use of words to describe the setting. Brr... I swear it just got colder in here.

I really like this, Jason.

ps not that I'm in any position to be critiqueing anyone's writing - just saying it as I see it.

jason evans said...

Kelly, thanks! If you got a vibe from it, then I did accomplish something.

Terri, I was hoping to get across the notion of cold, plus the healthy moment of isolation. And I value critiques from everyone and anyone! No prerequisites required.

beadinggalinMS said...

I was sitting here trying to figure out how to compliment you on Orion, when you left your comment. I felt the isolation of Evan but could not figure out how to put it in words.

Sarah said...

Beautiful imagery. I love that your dried leaves "chatter" - this is really a nice little piece of prose.

Jeff said...

jason- Good imagery. Someone pass me the hot chocolate. :)

jason evans said...

BeadinggalinMS, thanks for sharing the moment with him. :)

Sarah, amazing how loud those leaves are in a winter wind.

Jeff, hot chocolate coming up!

Bernita said...

"the bending of himself ease and the lines become true."
The essential point here, I think...

Farzad said...

Hey Jason, I love it already!
Let me tell you, I went through the piece so smoothly. The words carried me away being right there with the character. This is gonna B a good one. I can feel it!
Keep going my man. You got my attention.
Cheers :)

jason evans said...

Bernita, yes, that's probably the single most important line.

Farzad, thanks for the vote of confidence!

mermaid said...

I usually don't read your prose pieces, but I see what I'm missing . I wonder what he is looking for in the sky, and if he will find it.

jason evans said...

Mermaid, I think you'll enjoy this series. :)

Chemical Billy said...

Great ambience.

jason evans said...

Chemical Billy, thanks for visiting. :) Looking forward to seeing your novel teasers.