Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Entry #216

A Frogpondian Transgression
by Linda Ryan-Harper


Cal Hickman was salt of the earth, although he would not liken himself so; salt spilled is bad luck; the curse of Lot's wife, a dolt unable to follow the simplest instructions: As Cal would say, "I may be crazy, but I ain't stupid." He worked in the mines under mountains when young and half of his breath stayed buried there. He'd fought his lungs up the mountain path to Reddfield's cabin, hacking and spitting.

Hickman now watched as Tad Reddfield called to a circling hawk, Edgar Allen! The hawk swooped down and landed on the sleeve of his worn leather jacket. Reddfield was transformed by the bird into a royal medieval falconer disguised as a pauper.

Cal spit. "Edgar Allen?"

"Named as a joke on a fellow who came through here last year. Said he was a transcendentalist looking for his natural man." Cal didn't know what a transcendentalist was, but thought it must be a city-shaman interested in mountain magic. "When he saw Hawk, he told me about Edgar Allen Poe."

"Who might that be?"

"Someone who wrote about a raven and didn't like transcendentalists. I don't either—they don't know a bird of prey from a scavenger."

"So did he find what he was looking for?"

"He'd have better luck finding Sasquatch—our winter bested him."

"Think he'll be back this way?"

"Nope." Reddfield squinted at the sky. "To quote the Raven—'Nevermore'."

21 comments:

Laurel said...

Yay! Another Poe reference! The spirit of my last entry lives on...

This is cleverly conceived and written.

McKoala said...

Love the description.

Meghan said...

I agree with Laurel. It IS well-written and very clever. Great job!

Bernita said...

"Cal didn't know what a transcendentalist was, but thought it must be a city-shaman interested in mountain magic."
I love that definition.

Deb Smythe said...

Loved the voice.

laughingwolf said...

beauty, eh! thx linda :)

Aniket said...

Clever and poe-lished writing. ;)

Great work.

Aerin said...



Caveat

Something I Would Keep

The first paragraph is brilliance, brilliance, I love it.

Something I Might Tweak

If Cal's salt of the earth, he might not know what a medieval falconer is/was?

Preeti said...

Heh heh heh ...

i loved this for its laid back style. there is a slow easy pace to this. The characters are awesome. i could almost hear him call out ... "Edgar Allen"... :-)))

James R. Tomlinson said...

I like the dialogue and actions of your main character, but he ending (another Poe reference) didn't seem to work for me. You had one hell of an opening though--some really good writing.

quin browne said...

dialogue, place, phrasing...all of it so well done.

Aimee Laine said...

Nice use of Nevermore! :)

Karen said...

This is very strong writing. I loved the first paragraphs, especially.

JaneyV said...

Nice voice. You have created clearly defined and memorable characters. Well done.

Craig said...

An extremely strong opening.

Tara said...

Loved this! My favorite line was the one which Bernita quoted--so great!

Leatherdykeuk said...

most amusing! Well done!tot

pjd said...

I do love the voice, and Aerin is right though I admit that I didn't catch that nuance on my read. Also love the line that Bernita pulled. Nice work.

Harper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Harper said...

Thanks to all of you for reading my story and commenting. Re: Aerin and pjd—the next sentence after the description of Reddfield's transformation is "Cal spit." Cal didn't think Reddfield was transformed, but something in Reddfield-who knows what? maybe Reddfield eases Cal's claustrophobia hangover from the mines— drove his emphysemic lungs up the path to visit with him. Nay, that allusion came from the narrator...in The Big Lebowski, the narrator interjected himself into a scene at the bowling alley and conversed with Lebowski over a sarsparilla. The Dude has a look on his face like , "Do I know you?" No, Dude, but he knows you.

catvibe said...

Harper, reading your last comment above...:-) I loved it.