The British line during Fort la Presentation's annual Founders Day French and Indian War reenactment in Ogdensburg, N.Y.
Pillar of Salt
He froze. He froze because his glasses lay on his bedside drawers and he had forgotten them there. The words were a blur of various shades of gray on the paper in his hand. The students expected grades. Always grades; as if that letter, those numbers, were the most essential things.
He let the packet of pages ruffle pleasantly back down to the desk, pressed two fingers to his forehead. The tower in the distance, that image that had once stood so clear and crisp in the grand light of knowledge, seemed to grow dimmer and more undefined with every passing semester. He was losing sight of it. Found he had to concentrate, brows knit in consternation, just to see it at all now.
What was worse, he couldn't recall exactly what brought him to and stayed him on this particular path. He had gone in a frenzy through some old boxes in the attic, forgoing the warmth and brightness of a whole summer afternoon for the dust and darkness of his days past.
At last, there were the journals. Every day, lik
"And from that day forward, there were none who could say that King Verdannon did not try to save his people."
--- The Memoirs of Wissdonim
It was that day in April. The snows were nothing more than filthy piles that spoke little of their former glittering glory of months before, when perhaps the strangest thing in Kirhadea transpired. Some would call it the Meeting of Kings, but it was not that. Rather, in the beauty of blooming new life, it was a meeting of traditions. It was the result of one last great change, the dawning of a new age, the test of serpents in a conflict as inevitable as death itself.
Battle, war and conflict had raged so long between the two southern kingdoms, no one knew the source from whence this well of hatred sprang. But there it was, perpetually bubbling, boiling, seething up. Only the faces of the men destroying one another seemed to change much, aside from some other minor things. Thou
Delis, snippet 8
Gradually, Alexander nodded awake again. He started forward and looked around. The great clock in the corner betrayed a loss of hours. William remained where he lay, his position absolutely unchanged.
Alexander leaned over. His shadow fell on the blankets and tangled sheets. He could see that the coverlet moved ever so slightly. The old man's hand, too, on top of it.
The young man breathed a sigh of relief. He swallowed. A pit moved in his throat. Perhaps... Slowly, shakily, he reached his own fingers out. He took the old man's hand. It was cold and seemed so fragile.
There was a stirring, a ruffle of cloth against cloth. William's eyes fluttered open. "Alexander?"
The young man swallowed again. "I am beside you."
"Please... come close, I want to see."
Alexander left his chair, crouched at the bedside. He hovered over the old man's head.
A hand shot out of the sheets. William grasped Alexander by the lace at his throat, his fingers transformed into a claw by waste and disease. T
Legend of DeLis, snippet 7
There was a hand in the darkness. Alexander woke and sat up, startled.
It was the manservant, Trombley. "The hour is late but your father bid me wake you and have you dress," he whispered.
The boy rose without a word. Trombley went to the wardrobe and returned with Sabbath finery.
The old man looked embarrassed. "He requested it."
Alexander washed himself at his basin as Trombley readied his clothes. Then he dressed solemnly. His face was a pale half-moon in the looking glass.
Trombley helped pull the frock coat over the boy's shoulders. "You are to go to your father's rooms straight away, and with your violin." He lowered his eyes at Alexander's questioning look. "He has instructed it. I am sorry, young sir."
The boy's footsteps were slow and measured down the corridor. As he neared the doorway, he could hear laughter. He paused when he stood before it, his hand tensed on the neck of the violin and on the bow. Then he reached for the latch.
As he did, it opened. He foun
Legend of DeLis, snippet 6
Edouard moved from bar to bar, grasping them with his white-knuckled hands. His eyes roved wildly in his head. "Alex!" He spat when he spoke. Had he possessed the power to emit flame and ash from his nostrils, he would have then. "What did you promise him?! What have you given up?!"
By now the two guards had forced the cell door. They struggled to drag Edouard out.
"Don't you free me!" He strained against their grip, threw his fists out, tried to catch every corner or crack in the floor with his feet to foil their attempts. "I am DeLis! I said it. I signed the confession. I am he!"
Alexander had stood there grim-faced and silent, his eyes cast down. He turned now with a pained expression. "Edouard!" He hissed the name.
The prisoner paused in his lashing. He stared at Alexander.
There was defeat in the Englishman's voice when he spoke. "Go with grace, Edouard."
It struck the Frenchman. His heart sagged and his body went limp in his captors' arms. They dragged him out, his
Knick-Knacks and Clutter
It was not her place to judge him. All she knew was that his voice was heavily accented and that his house was filled with wonderful things.
Their relationship was probably wrong. That's what grown-ups would say, she was sure of it. Because he gave her gifts. So many gifts; a well-beloved volume of poems she couldn't read, a crystal paper weight in the shape of a knight, a box of golden trinkets, a chest with an elaborate painted scene on it, an old clock with a key and a moon and sun on its face. There were more; she'd lost track of them. He would give these things to her with tears in his eyes and she didn't understand.
But she would keep them. Her own bedroom would have become cluttered with things, but she hid them. Hid them under her bed, in the darkness of the closest, in the crack between the wall and her dresser, behind the books on her shelves. There was a loose floorboard under the rug just inside the door and she hid things even there. Her parents would not know.
Kindness and Greed
The man with the groove above his eyes grabbed Natasia by the wrist. His grimace smelled of vodka and she turned her head to the side. With his other hand, he locked her chin and forced her to face him again.
"You have come here every Sabbath, a pouch of gold in your ragged pocket. How? Where do you obtain it?"
She made a guttural sound of alarm and didn't answer.
He shook her. "Tell me!"
"Let me go!" She struggled to free herself.
By this point, they had drawn the attention of others in the marketplace. Two tall men moving barrels stopped what they were doing and eyed the man ominously.
Moshe let her go. But before moving away, he leaned in and whispered to her. "You will bring me the source of the gold by this time tomorrow, or I will kill you next I see you. And don't think you can hide," he added. "I know where your cottage sits."
That night, she wept at the foot of the owl's roost.
"What is it, my child? It hurts my heart to see you so distraught."
Through her sobs, she told the o
Morning at Steepletop
Edna wanders down to the pool barefooted on the soft moss. Leaves fall around her, they get caught in her hair. The birds hush in the trees as she passes and touches her hands to the branches. She drops her robe at the water's edge. A black suit for bathing holds to her form as she steps slowly in, white toes like pearls submersed. It's cold this morning. And quiet. Perfect.
She reclines, her arms against the stone. Behind her eyes, poetry stirs.
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Thin Times Indeed
It's the money thing again. She dreams she's in a curiosity shop with her sister. There are so many treasures, ones-of-a-kind; here a stuffed monkey, there a statue of Buddha the size of a table. Behind a rack of voodoo charms, she finds a necklace. It's perfect. Semi-precious stone beads, spiritually symbolic pendants. She closes her hand around the small packet. Around a corner she sees a box of kitten calendars, three dollars a piece. She takes one for herself and one for her sister, who is still looking at a shelf full of miniature ships.
Then a radio is blaring in her face. She opens her eyes a second time. Red numbers are there, the sound of a man selling used cars. She frowns and slaps the snooze button.
She opens her hand to look at the necklace, its price tag. Twenty dollars. Then she looks at the calendars. Looks at her sister.
She smiles a wistful smile and puts the necklace back.
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