The hour is nigh, they told him. Nigh, he thought. Pie, cry, sigh, bye, nigh. They were pretty dramatic about it.
Awards were handed out from the back of the shop. Winners were instructed to stand still against a lime green backdrop while the ragged, drunken owner took Polaroids.
“Night comes late on the island,” she said, handing him a gray pint of something, “not because of the latitude, but because we will it to be so.”
They watched the filmstrip mutely, lulled into strange, lazy eroticism by the gentle repetitive bing.
When the leather-scrap man came around the children and the dog hid under the old shed in the cool dirt.
Sheering happened once a season, and the entire town came to watch. Afterwards the old men were brought back to their tree houses in a cart drawn by goats.
Whenever the church bells in town chimed he would begin a long, violent tirade of swearing. He stopped when the bells stopped, he claimed to remember nothing.
On the island, after the war, they set about creating a new society. It wouldn’t be perfect, but it would be fair. Almost fair. Fair for some. They’d work it out as they went along.
At the expense of the town’s new mayor each citizen was provided with a wooden spoon and a healthy pullet. Critics claimed the campaign also promised a fly swatter.
Dirt was swept from the corners three times a day and put into small glassine envelopes for regular patrons. These were flaunted at social events.
The wind was howling, shaking the house, reminding him that we are weak and temporary.
Bins of apples were traded for horse tails. Festival masks were assigned. Villagers chased and nipped at children. Dogs lit their pipes thoughtfully.
A small mountain cabin stuffed full of wet leaves. A failed experiment for eternal autumn.
There was a horror on the roof, there was a terror in the woodpile, there was a ghost in the pantry, there was a witch in the attic, there was a demon under the stairs… None of this was mentioned by the house inspector or real estate agent.
The Viking on the street corner had the password, but the powerful meds the druids gave her destroyed all short term memory.