I wish one day
that I could tell you I Am a Star
and mean it in the romantic sense–
that I’m a source of light
in the darkest nights;
that I am resilient,
I am eternal,
and I will guide you home.
For now, the literal will have to do:
I Am a Star.
I am unreachable,
I am an illusion;
I am just a fire that burned out long ago
and this light you see
won’t be there tomorrow.
As promised, here’s the fourth installment of my novella ‘Bad Company’ which I managed to pull out of the bag yesterday in an unusual – though wildly beneficial – bout of inspiration. Hope you enjoy!
The boat pulls up gently to the riverbank on the other side of the water. It’s lighter over here – no fog to create murky shadows and more lanterns filling the vast space before them. The air is thinner, cooler; more comfortable. The black marble path still continues away from the river in a straight line, surrounded on either side by pure white expanse. The path stretches sixty feet down the way towards a set of doors at least fifty feet tall, guarded by a hulking shadow.
“Okay, so, Orpheus,” E begins as he steps off the boat and flattens out the creases in his suit, “Long story short: Orpheus followed his deceased wife’s spirit into the depths of Hades in the hopes that he could get her back. He endeavoured to do this by appealing to Hades through music he plays on his lyre. He was relatively successful and was granted the opportunity to have his beloved Eurydice back. He was doing really well until, after being told not to look back on the journey out of Hades to see if she is indeed following him, Orpheus falls at the last hurdle and glances behind himself as he’s about to step out of the Underworld. His wife is in fact behind him however because he breached the contract and looked before stepping out of Hades, he gets to watch helplessly as Eurydice gets dragged back into the Underworld and he never sees her again.”
“That’s a tragic story but I fail to see its connection to our present endeavour,” Diane retorts as she disembarks the boat also. Charon wastes no time in docking from the riverbank and disappearing into the gloomy fog on the water again.
So, after posting yesterday about a severe lack of inspiration: Mother Mary came to me and bestowed upon me words of wisdom.
Last night I bashed out a good, solid 2,000 words. Moment of silence please. So pleased with it! And I’m feowing more confident that I can continue in the same manner. BOOYAH.
Will have Chapter 4 edited and posted sometime later today for those who’re interested to read it!
1. Open up ‘Bad Company’ Word doc.
2. Spend next 3 hours compiling a playlist to write to.
3. Close ‘Bad Company’ Word doc.
As you can tell, it’s been very productive.
You’re an uneven collection
of heart and soul
and flesh and bones that,
ignite in you furious flames
zealous and wild enough to rival those of
the Great Fire of London;
the blazing infernos of Hades;
this burning sensation in my very heart.
I can feel the sparks in my fingertips
when I touch your skin
and I’m swamped by your heat
when you stand so close.
You’re an explosion waiting to happen;
a terrible time-bomb whose ticker is set to five seconds–
I can only wonder what your blast radius is
for I have no fireproof blanket to wear
and no extinguisher to hand–
And this body’s been burned one too many times already.
Here’s the third instalment of Bad Company for your reading pleasure. Things are starting to move a bit faster in terms of plot, as Diane and E head towards an entrance to Hades near Jasper, Alabama.
Walker County Lake sits outside Jasper, on its south-east tip, tucked in amongst a large array of conifers. A peculiar opening rests near the north side of the lake – a circular patch of flattened grass, surrounded on all sides by clusters of misplaced Corsican pines. Everywhere else there are firs; tall, towering firs. However, this small section north of the lake is covered in Corsican pines.
“Looks like it’s just flattened grass, not dead grass,” Diane indicates snidely. E simply rolls his eyes.
“Do you see the difference in trees though, Diane?” he quizzes as they approach the area on foot. The Impala’s been left at the car park next to the fishing hut, just down the east side of the lake.
“It’s the oddity in the vicinity then, is it not?”
“As ever, your enthusiasm throws me,” E drones sarcastically, “This is an entrance to Hades.”
“Why these trees? Are they a symbol of the god of the Underworld?” Diane inquires.
“Not as far as I know. My only guess is because Corsican pines are considered a wilding conifer – and are, therefore, an invasive species – there is then some symbolic connection between the entrance to Hades being this uninvited entity in the area just like the trees. Either that or they just happen to, coincidentally, thrive at the very entrance to the Underworld. Like a lot of things, I just don’t fucking know.”
“So they are the oddity in the vicinity but they’re also possibly not at all connected to the fact that this is an entrance to Hades despite them being the oddity in the vicinity which suggests they are almost definitely closely tied to the presence of an entrance to Hades?”
E’s mouth forms a thin line.
“I think there’s almost certainly an unwritten fifth rule between us and that’s definitely a violation of it,” he chides reproachfully.
“All of our rules are as yet unwritten, E.”
“That’s a fair point. Right, whatever, forget the fucking trees. This is still the entrance to the Underworld regardless of the species of nearby vegetation. If anything, the flattened grass gives it away.”
Things have been moving a bit quicker on the novella front these days as the brick wall I seemed to have encountered has finally fallen down. I’m here today with the second chapter of Bad Company. This chapter features the segment of dialogue I posted a few weeks back. Hope you enjoy! Would greatly appreciate any constructive criticism or comments!
E’s destination in the state over is Jasper, Alabama. As a born-and-bred New Yorker, it’s not somewhere Diane is familiar with – in fact, the whole state of Alabama is pretty much uncharted territory for her. Their journey time is less than half a day but it allows for plenty of time for E to chatter on to Diane about his plans.
“Do you know what’s in Jasper, Alabama?” E asks Diane somewhere outside of Tifton.
“No, but I’m going to guess you’ll tell me in a minute anyway,” she replies bluntly.
E ignores her tone, “The entrance to Hades – well, one of them anyway.” E grins at Diane excitedly and she has to try her best not laugh. E can see the mirth trying to break through though, “Okay, rule number one: no laughing at anything I ever tell you.”
Diane rolls her eyes and sits back in the passenger seat, throwing her feet up onto the dashboard. E swats at them immediately, brows furrowing in a frown.
“Rule number two: no feet on my dashboard.”
“Rule number three: don’t touch me,” Diane demands quickly.
A long silence befalls the pair. Night is slowly passing by and the very tip of the sun can be seen in the rear view mirror, creeping up beyond the horizon.
“Don’t you have any questions?” E asks curiously. He takes a long side glance at the Latina in the passenger seat. She looks bored beyond belief; eyes drooping shut out of exhaustion.
“Mostly I just ask myself why the fuck I agreed to this.”
“Ah, that would be because of a deeply rooted curiosity at what I am offering you and whether or not I can truly provide it. I think part of you also wants to prove me wrong – or, more importantly, prove yourself right. I also-”
“Okay, rule number four: no psychoanalysing me.”