Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Fire


detail from Imbolc (The Creative Spark) fabrics 12x15"? '94?

Here's some fiction: a couple more of the Trixie and Luanda stories. (See the post Wilda for one about their cat, Molly).

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"You left the kettle boiling away again, Luanda! I wish you wouldn't, I just wish you wouldn't. If I hadn't come in when I did, we could be up in flames in a second, I hate to think. I saw that movie up at the home, you never saw it, but I did, the movie from the Chicago fire department. They know how to put the fear of fire in you, those big Chicago firemen in huge black slickers with the shiny yellow stripes and their nasty sooty axes rushing around to chop things up, all your beautiful things ruined in just seconds, Lu! People think they have time to save their valuables, time to find the photo album off the bookcase and the jewelry box out of the other room, but when it gets down to it, they can't see a thing for the smoke! It's pitch dark, darker than night ever is, the smoke rolls right in and shuts out all the light and you don't know the way out of your own home from down on the carpet where you are breathing the very last of the oxygen. You forget what every mouse and spider knows about your house and you just plain panic and maybe open a hot door, but you mustn't! because that will just feed the fire more! and it takes 3 minutes,10 at the very most 'til its all a pile of rubble and wet steaming charcoal with gloomy tatters of your placemats amazingly spared, and I hate those placemats anyway, I never told you but now's the time, why should I have to live one more day with those horrible, horrible placemats? You are not the only one with feelings, Luanda, you are not the only one with sensitivities!"

(Here Lu hazards the first semi-ironic eyebrow twitch in her not-laughing, contrite face, a look saying, I guess not!)

"....We could go at anytime, anytime at all!"

She's winding down. She's looking by degrees less tragical, roving the room-still-here with her eyes, the green chunky glasses not melted into nuggets tramped by big black rubber boots, and more's the pity, really, she hates those glasses too. The parallelogram of innocent winter sun on the counter, the faucet dripping--the water bill!! The photo album, where is it anyway? It should be near the door at all times. The tires need rotating! Rubber, rubber suits and axes.... Luanda is hugging her really, not a pat-pat hug, a real holding. A slow hand circle on the back, a gust of tears and hiccuping, a sheepish looking out through wet spiky eyelashes, a quirk of the mouth edges, and who knows who giggles first: it is all over in minutes.

"Want a cup of tea, Trix?" Luanda asks.


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Now Trixie has Mother's black leather album down from the attic, its big heavy wings splayed across a third of the kitchen table. The clock clicks, slow and portentous, outside her hearing.

Molly comes padding in and about-face out in one smooth move, whiskers hectic, tiny nostrils flared, from the noxious nostalgia weighting the air.

Trixie is pouring over photos, pouring her devout attention all over anonymous bland-faced babies, dead handsome men in tuxes, impossibly tall and stately gowned women, long-waisted as another species, none giving up a single silent secret. Her swollen heart pumps its hardy two-step while the frozen couples waltz.

Another page turned like the closing of a great trap door. There was Christmas. Little Lu and Trix, over-exposed, looking shell-shocked as refugees amongst the plunder. Tiny tufts stood out at odd angles on Lu's head, her little hand tagging a picture book like home base in a dangerous game of hide and seek.

Little Trix sat very straight, demonstrating good posture, cradleing her new Sam-the-Bear as proudly as the mother of twins. It was obvious, her radiant intention to guide, nurture and protect that tender bear cub through thick and thin.

And where had that bear gotten to? And where had the afternoon gotten to for that matter? The light was pinkish, almost throbbing, and the room so warm, intensely warm, hot-flash warm and dripping moist. And no little bear to raise up. No more hope of a little one now, something so matter-of-fact to her mind, but here her body was pitching a storm, a minihell, a tantrum of heat.

The Change, the change was coming on, and Luanda coming in now from the library, unchanged from her child self, still cuddling books as safest.

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Change (Altar Cloth) fabrics 21x23'? '92?

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