Monday, April 21, 2014

Chapter 105: Donald Hears A Myth

Sun, December 13, 2074 1:34 pm: The House of Fallen Trees- Gothier, Pleasantview

There was this thing that Donnie's mother liked to tell him when he was being bad. She would save it sometimes until just before he fell asleep, but he could always tell when it was coming. The words would hide between her thinly pressed lips, peeking out at intervals through her well-timed sneers:

You are not my son, she would say. You are the daemon child of a crow. Believe what you want, but I saw the whole thing happen. I accidentally left the chimney flue open once when my real son was just a baby, sound asleep in his crib. Then the crows swooped in through the fireplace and switched you for my baby so that they could take him back to the swamp and gobble him up. I cried and cried for my son, but I kept you just the same. And someday if you are a very bad little boy, black feathers will grow all over your body. A beak will sprout from your face, and big black wings will stretch from your back. Then I would only need to open the flue to be rid of you for good. Donnie was ashamed to admit it, but this might have worked on him if he didn't look so much like Mort. No way the crows were so smart as to make that happen.

Donnie told his Grandma Dee about the story. He thought to get her reaction to see if it was fake or not. Grandma Dee was quick to confirm that it was just make-believe, and that his momma shouldn't be filling his head with myths and garbage anyways. She seemed real unhappy. Mort said he shouldn't have told her about it, but he had to know.

When Donnie got out of the car with his brother and dad, there were lots of people telling myth stories like the crow one. Donnie didn't know why they were doing it, but it was making his father mad enough to spit fire. It was probably because his dad didn't want a head full of garbage. He grabbed Donnie and Mort by the backs of their coats. That level of protection worried him. Ordinarily, when Donnie was reigned in like that it was to keep him from doing something that might end with him hurting himself. This time, he knew, was different. The storytellers were closing in.

"If you don't get the fuck off of my property, I'm calling the police." It was kinda scaring Donnie a bit, but he was a big boy so he didn't cry or nothing. Mort was making little whimpering sounds. Donnie didn't think Mort should be embarrassed if he was scared. Donnie would look out for him. Donnie always did. A man in a big red coat pressed on with his myth.

"'...and the horizon shall be engulfed and flooded, and Death shall come unto The Body saying, Wake now that I return to you, o my beloved, upon the cradle of the world-- that the blood quickens at the moment of recognition, that ecstasy feeds the life everlasting. And the Creator, hearing this invocation, shall call it accursed for it is the duty of the Sheut to keep the gate of the heavens and to bar the body from the soul's ascension--'" Donnie's dad tossed him and Mort back toward the garage, and a lady with glasses pressed forward.

"Who are you people? Wh-- You know what? I don't give a shit. Just get out of here! What are you waiting for?" The wind whipped up around them as though the very house were beating its wings. Donnie shielded his eyes from the snow and the detritus.

"We are waiting for the absolution of a sin, Mr. Tellerman. Yours." The lady with the glasses kinda looked like Mort's teacher, Mrs. Sanzkoffer. She always smelled like petroleum jelly and menthol. "Its master is the minister is silence and eternity. You have awakened His lust in the shrine of the Creator, and hell shall follow with Him." Donnie's father pulled his cell phone out of his pocket.

"Go in the house, kids." Donnie's father did not turn around to look at them. Neither Donnie nor Mort budged.

"From Earl Gozanga's blood, a race of wolves will arise!" The woman in the glasses raised her voice the way people who thought they had won sometimes did. "This can only end in flames, Mr. Tellerman! Deus Rex purified this house once and shall do it again!"


  1. Sorry this was such a long time coming for such short chapter. When I wasn't working on wedding stuff, I was puttering around on Tumblr. By the way, why did no one tell me that that thing is so much fun?? And such a time-hole??

  2. Yeesh, what a scary story to tell your own kid! Scary, and rather... I don't know. Dissonant? Granted, none of Isabella's POVs have had much to do with her kids, but I would have guessed an average level of parental affection there. I wonder why Isabella hasn't told Mort any similar stories. That she hasn't suggests a definite favoritism, and I'm curious as to what's up there. Some critical difference in birth or conception circumstances? Or maybe Mort is a quiet, sweet, probably malleable kid while Donnie is stronger and that scares her for some reason?

    As for these people... well, sad to say, they seem pretty par for the course as far as extreme religious fanatics go. We in readerland know that JL had nothing to do with Earl's death. As for what he's been doing with the vineyard or the house... well, I guess that's up to the courts (I honestly forget quite a lot of it--sorry!). Reasonable people, no matter what their feelings on the subject, will keep to themselves if they don't fully get it and if someone is dealing with it on an appropriate level (which... Isabella's last POV said something about JL being under investigation, I believe?) in a competent and non-corrupt manner. I don't know how competent or corrupt the authorities are in Pleasantview, but if anything--given the caste system--I'd suspect that they're keen to bust JL because his parents were Townsmen. I'm sure he's being sufficiently punished without the added harassment of these nuts.

    I'm sure something will happen now that it's brought up, but I struggle to take these people seriously when they've come to a stranger's property with a pushy religious lecture.

  3. Isabella isn't playing with a full deck these days. Remember that time she completely blanked for 10 minutes during a thought about how she wished that her father-in-law were dead? Not to mention the fact that she hears voices and sees dead people. (Although, she may not be imagining those.) She's losing it big time, and it was only hinted at here but I think the only person who has really noticed is Dina. Off camera, Dina is starting to become unnerved by Isabella. This will switch to on camera sometime soon. It isn't that Isabella doesn't love Donnie or that she loves Donnie less-- She just isn't in a good place right now. If she is easier on Mort (which I can't be sure that she is) then there is no rationale behind it. If anything, Mort is the bigger troublemaker of the two. I would venture that Donnie is the more mature sibling for sure, but Mort can be just as much of a handful as any boy his age, particularly when Roan Caliente is involved. Oh! And just as an aside, Donnie and Mort are identical twins.

    Oh yes, JL is under investigation for body-dumping and the second gravedigger is no longer under suspicion for Earl's murder because his alibi checks out. While the police have no concrete reason to suspect JL of the murder, it wouldn't take much for the local wackos to add three plus three and get nine. I may bring more details of the investigation into chapter 107.

    However, if you are a fanatic and you read about the Tellerman scandal, then do a little digging and find out about the attempted revival of the Fiorello Vineyard, wouldn't you suspect JL of the murder? To the well-informed nut job, that looks very much like a vampire killing. And well, it was a vampire killing.

    I don't know if anyone is out to get JL per se. Lilith Pleasant is still in office (elections coming up in June, thank goodness) and would not shed a tear to see that Townie behind bars. Whether she intends to make an effort to get him locked up though, I don't know. I imagine that she hates Troy a thousand times more than she hates his brother. Troy is actually in a position to be a nuisance to her (and takes full advantage of that position when he can), whereas JL is just a farmer.

    And I don't take these people seriously at all. JL is a bit shook-up and so are the kids, but that may be the extent of it. What's important is the sheer amount and variety of harassment that this family is starting to undergo. That, and the passages from the holy texts that these people quote.

    Hmmmm, it seems like I meant to add something else but I don't remember.

  4. I used to lurk here and then (sometime after "Kvornan Sees The Invisible Axle") stopped checking it for a while. The other day I decided to take a look and saw you'd been updating and got SO. EXCITED! I reread the entire thing within the last forty-eight hours and just wanted to tell you that DBL is still one of my favorite stories. It's amazing and complex with believable characters, and it was a lot of fun to reread and immediately feel affection for characters I hadn't read about for a long time in chapters I'd first read before I cared about them. Keep on keeping on!

  5. *FLAILS* Holy crap, you read the whole thing in 48 hours??? That deserves, like, some kind of a prize. *ponders this*

    Sorry to leave you, Van and Joseph (and any other potential lurkers) hanging for so long. I get writer's exhaust, if that's a thing.

    I only just started writing Chapter 106 yesterday. D'oh! But the good news is, it will be up this week.