Thursday, February 20, 2020

Clouds blog post #377

Courtesy of Flickr,com
Not much comment on Jim and Miss Lily but got lots of hits. I take that as a sign of approval.

Had a little drama in my life recently. I open this web site every morning to check on statistics and to answer any questions I might get. Lo and behold, I opened it on Sunday to find that… it wasn’t there. Google said, sorry, we have no blogs for you. Something akin to panic set in, so I called my computer guru who said, sorry, but I don’t know web sites or blogs. I called a friend of a friend who creates web sites, and she tried to help, but failed. The only suggestion she could make was to recreate the sites from scratch.

I learn slowly, but I do learn. So I went online and located an outfit that came out and recovered all my sites (they’d all disappeared) within thirty minutes. So I was able to post and continue life as if it had not been rudely interrupted.

This week, I’m going mystic on you. Can’t explain why… just feel like it. I’m really interested in hearing any comments you may wish to make (good or bad) about today’s offering. Here we go.

            It first came in a cloud a year ago this past January, although I could not tell if in a billow of vapor or a clouding of my mind. Whatever the manner of arrival, It remained to bedevil me. I cast back into my long-lost youth to discern the origins, but my parents, uncomplicated farm folk, had demonstrated no such vexation. Nor had my sister, now a respected professor of Medieval French literature at a major university.
           Seeking to understand, I shivered as if cold, which I was not. Fever touched my brow, but I did not suffer the ague. My hands trembled without aid of tremens. The me I knew, became the increasingly stranger me I did not want to know, as the mists—now darkish gray—descended, unbidden, unwanted. I fought through a darkness tantalizingly sprinkled with shards of light to what I knew lay at the center. The vision It brought.
           The haze grew thinner, the light stronger as the masking mist drove me toward a scene as yet unmanifested. I loathed these revealings… all too often harbingers of disaster.
          As the roiling strands of vapor parted, my head pounded at the sight of my neighbor Ben sprawled across the floor of his own kitchen, his body and clothing smeared as if attacked by a scarlet-rich palette. My breath caught. Not an oily hue but mortal blood. One sightless blue eye was broken, perhaps cleft by the meat cleaver lying on the floor, handle and blade smudged with crusted gore. A pungent, unpleasant odor invaded my reverie.
          Horrified, I shrank back into the protecting folds of dirty fog, but they pressed me forward to kneel and fruitlessly seek signs of life. Yielding to my fondness for the young man, I cradled his lifeless body to my breast and muttered incantations of sorrow. He gave offense by ignoring me, although the rational me recognized the shunning as no fault of his own.
          I eased his inert frame—alive and vital and handsome only hours ago—back onto the linoleum and gained my feet to take out my phone and dial 9-1-1, providing my name and address to the dispassionate voice on the other end of the line—a phrase no longer appropriate as there was no “line” in this age of unfathomable electronics.
          Done here, I gathered my now welcome cloud around me and returned to my corporeal self across the street.
          Seconds later—or perhaps minutes or hours later—the mournful alarm of sirens shredded the neighborhood calm as I huddled alone and trembling in my easy chair. But perhaps my horrible dream would not prove reality, as was sometimes the case.
          Exhausted, I did not peek through the curtains as my neighbors almost certainly did, seeking titillation from police swarming this staid and sedate neighborhood. Ah, but my mind wanders. Be still and wait.
          I have no idea how long before the knock, but I started like a mouse belled by a cat when the rap came. My legs managed to hold my weight as I shuffled to the door for affirmation of my fears.
          A blunt-faced man stood on my porch with a wary hand on his holstered pistol. "Mr. Fisk?"
           I nodded mutely as his piercing eyes raked me.
           “Good morning, sir. I’m Detective Charles Grant.” He flashed a shield in my face.
          “Come in, Detective,” I said, backing away from the door.
          He remained cautious but accepted my invitation, although he paused until I turned away and returned to my favorite recliner. Another man followed him into the room. The second policeman was younger and much more attractive, putting me in mind of Ben. “Did… did you find him?” I asked.
          “Yes, sir, we found him. Dead in his kitchen.”
          “Murdered,” I mumbled… a question sans question.
          “Hacked with a meat cleaver. Probably his own.”
          “Poor Ben. A nice man.”
          “What was your relationship with him?”
          “Neighbor. Friend.”
          The second, unnamed man’s mellow baritone tickled my ear. “Is that all?”
          I smiled at him. “Ben moved in about two years ago, and over time we became acquaintances. Shouted hello across the street. Met in the middle of the pavement to share our day.”
          “Nothing more?” Grant’s voice was an intrusion. I preferred dealing with the other man.
          “What else could there be?”
          “Before we get into that, how did you know he was murdered?”
          “I saw him.”
          “Him who? The murderer?”
          “No, I saw Ben lying on the floor.”
          “Let me get this straight. You entered his house and saw him on the floor of his kitchen?”
          “Not exactly. You see, I have these visions.”
          Grant’s eyebrows reached for the moon. “You saw a vision of him being killed?”
          My eyes locked onto those thick, dark brows. Would they dance like that again? “I occasionally see things.”
          “Before they happen?” the younger policeman asked.
          “Sadly, no. All my reveries come after the event.”
          Grant’s harsh voice grated on me. “Did you go over to your neighbor’s house after your… vision?”
          I shook my head. “No.”
          The detective’s sudden glare raised the hair on my arms.
          “Then why are you covered in blood? Most likely his blood.”
          My chin dropped as I held my hands before me. Red-streaked. Bloody! “I-I don’t know.”
          “Are those bloody fingerprints on the meat cleaver gonna turn out to be yours?”
          “How… how could they be?”
          His voice dropped into a near snarl. “You left them when you hacked your neighbor to death. Get up and turn around.”
          I expected the younger policeman, the nicer one, to speak up, but he didn’t.
          “You’re under arrest for the murder of Benjamin Pitman. You have the right—”
          “You’re wrong. Why would I do that?”
          “I checked your record. He lodged a complaint against you. You propositioned him, but when he refused, you wouldn’t let it go. So he got a restraining order.”
          “For all the good that did,” the formerly nice officer said.
          As Detective Grant snapped the manacles around my wrists, I saw things as they were. It had a name now.
Does writing about madness make me mad? You tell me.

Until next week.

The following are buy links for the recently released The Voxlightner Scandal.

Now my mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say, so say it!

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See you next week.



  1. Good read, different and some surprise with the ending. Perception can be deceiving real or not.

  2. Thanks, Avid. Happy to have your comments. They help me to keep going. Appreciate it.


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