Having bulky come after wisp was a challenge, but I liked the inherent contradiction and the conceptual contrast. The art teacher I had in junior and then again in senior high school (Mr. Kinney moved to the high school when my class did; it was not for want of his trying to teach me that I did not become an artist) always emphasized the importance of contrast: “Lights on darks! Darks on lights! Contrast! Contrast!” — at which point, once, one of the guys jumped up and yelled, “Rah! Rah! Rah!” Good thing Mr. Kinney had a sense of humour.
It’s Inktober again. I rather hate to start with this, but I am aware of the controversy swirling around Jake Parker right now.¹ Mostly I agree with the Well-Appointed Desk’s take on the matter (see below).
I had hoped to have more time to devote to this year’s Inktober, to write Bridget’s side of the correspondence from last year’s story, but I need a less consuming project. So I’m going to take each day’s prompt and use it in a line of a poem (no, I’m not really poet, but I thought I’d give writing a poem a try), and “illuminate” the page in the margins as I go along. Here’s the first day’s line and mini-illustration:
Stay tuned to see if I can pull this off. I’ve already messed up by leaving out a word in the first word. I had to glue a strip of paper over the first line to write the proper version. Maybe I can blot tomorrow’s line or spill water on the page!
If you find this note, come find us. If you don’t find us, please take this note to Dr. Morgan Stone; she will want to know what happened.
How we got up this tree I hardly know. My friend Bridget and I left her house around four in the afternoon ~ late enough for the day to feel ripe in our hands. Hallowe’en has always been one of our favourite days; the evening held no terror for us.
We walked through the woods to the little hill to watch the sun set. Just as the rays turned scarlet and gold, Bridget’s father, who has been ill these many weeks, came running through the the woods on the straight path to the pond, shrieking for his daughter, angry and almost berserk. He skittered to a halt at the edge of the pond as Bridget and I tumbled down the hill, fearing for her father’s health and sanity.
Bridget and I lost sight of her papa ~ usually a dear, sweet man ~ as we ran and stumble among the trees. We burst through the trees just as a geyser reached ~ reached ~ out of the pond, poured itself over Bridget’s father, and when it dissipated, Bridget’s father was gone.
Bridget and I ran to the water, pleading with ~ we didn’t have any idea with what. Bridie kept saying, “Please, please, please…” and I just held out my hands. The water reached out again. It touched Bridie’s hair, my hands, then gathered itself together and pushed us off the pond shore. And then Bridie and I were moving through the trees. We had lost the clew we’d brought and were confused by the mist that seemed to shepherd us about.
And then I realized I had used up my energy reserve and more. Somehow we found this tree. How we got into it I don’t know. Bridie is drowsing and I don’t know what will happen now.
Oddly, I’m not afraid, but writing this out seems sensible. Dr. Morgan’s address is ——— wait;
Didn’t you and Dr. Morgan give me a start, sitting by my bed, watching and waiting for me to wake up! Yet how happy I was to see you after all these weeks apart.
You told me so much on the way to your house that all I could do was ride the crest of the information wave that flowed from you. I had no chance to respond before we arrived at yours and I, of course, had to sleep again.
And now that I am awake, I find you where you where you should be ~ at your papa’s side (how glad I am to see him too, though I would he were better). I cannot talk to you freely in front of him, so I pretend to write a letter to my cousin, but I shall leave it on the escritoire for you to read while I sit with your father.
How kind it was of Dr. Torres to stay with your papa so you and Dr. Morgan could fetch me. And how fortunate it was that she found the last page of the Legends book. Now that I’ve read the story through and looked at the unexpected map on the back of that fateful final folio, I wish to talk with you more. Will you, tonight, come sneak into my room, as you did when we were children so we could read under the sheets and giggle and whisper, so that we can puzzle over the chart together? Our two heads will be more effective than the one of your
P.S. It is a small torture to have you so near, yet be unable to speak freely!
My thoughts have been swirling so that I have been roused from my bed these several nights. I have bundled myself up against the chill of the darkling hours and gone to sit on my balcony to watch the Orionids. With the collar of my jacket turned up, I have watched the falling stars coat the sky with movement, one startling wonder after another, then returned to bed to dream of the woods, the pond, and the sense of dragon.
Last night ~ this early morning really ~ perhaps I dozed while star-gazing, but it seemed to me that there was an outbreak of brilliant meteors and that, in one of those elongated flashes of time, they coalesced into the same semblance of a dragon that the sunset casts upon the pond in my dream. The dragon-stars’ head was pointed toward your house, and all the meteors streamed in that direction so that the dragon seemed to fly.
I must have dreamt it; there was nothing in the morning papers about the occurrence.
I write this before the post has had a chance to bring a note from you, but I wanted to jot it down before the rational light off day could persuade me the vision was mere nonsense springing from the fevered brain of