Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Flash(card) Fiction #002 — RAVENARK


(À la 1960s) 
Because I am still having too darn much fun with these...

And in the event you've forgotten how it all worked
in this post, I'll gladly reprint the

Read between the lines.
(Or between the words, as the case may be.)

Ah! You've got it! Now let's begin the story:



Even so, he walked determinedly, but with little feelingaside from the ache 
for homeas if in a trance, as if, perhaps, one might feel on an opioid.

But despite its obvious beauty and verdant surroundings, its Romanesque 
features felt bleak, and he sensed a certain doom.  Yet it was to there he was 
headedfor he had somehow known, though had not been toldwhere 
a gathering of literati were to exchange similes and metaphors and sip 
from grand glasses filled with champagne.

Upon entering the domain (was it the House of Usher?) he eyed
what appeared to be a vision(was it real? he could not discerna
 petite, flaxen-haired, alabaster-faced woman, and he was 
instantly buoyed by her beauty.
The dazzling woman noticed the stranger, toohis wide shoulders, his 
dark hair and serious countenancewho was now approaching her carefully. 
She adjusted the silky ribbon around her tiny waist and stepped backwards a few feet, 
her skirt brushing against the hardwoods, whisk,whisk.

As he advanced within steps of her, she recognizing what she thought to be 
a familiar face. "You are William, the Anthropologist, are you not?" she asked.
he replied, "but I am a poet, immersed in the origin of words. 
And, please, call me Bill." He took her hand gently in his, and his heart 
felt heavy as his lips grazed the soft posterior of her hand. 

"Ah!" she chirped. "I'm Samantha, and I see
Like so many others here," she smiled.

"Yes, you could say that," he replied. "Come sit with me, we'll dine, and 
I'll tell you more." He took her by his hand and lead her to the banquet. 
Was it possible the feeling of gloom was beginning to lift from his shoulders?

They sat together at the expansive mahogany table and he filled
their glasses with wine.
He looked earnestly at Samantha, and spoke, as if 
reciting something he long ago heard: "
They can be found in the lurid tarn and gray sedge," he said
in a monotone voice, as though he were spellbound. 

Samantha shifted back in her chair, bewildered. 
She felt that the

He sensed her puzzlement, and after a long, awkward silence 
(as if it could have been more awkward than his hypnotic blather)
"It is as if I am like the Raven and you, the Skylark," he explained.
"Forgive me, I've had little sleep. I've been working on a poem 
for some time.  I know I must appear an enigma (he was, in fact, 
perplexed himself). Please permit me to read my poem to you." 
He pulled a piece of paper from his trouser pocket and read:

"The raven cawed
The skylark awed
Her bracken cover
now less blithe
she flied
across the heath
away from Raven
so dark
but the shaggy corvid
Bill so thick
gained quickly
on the little stick
of a bird
who scattered beholden
of her bids
Raven panted forth
a flood of rapture so divine
harmonious madness
in his mind
and seized the skylark
for his kind.
Nevermore, nevermore."

Samantha sat still, eyes fixed on his. "Yes, well," she said, "
I'm feeling the need for fresh air."

Bill took her hand and held it tight. "Please, I implore you. I'm sane.
Don't you think?"

"I don't know what to think!" she squawked. "To be honest, I'm a bit frightened."

Bill, himself afraid he'd lost her affection, pulled Samantha from 
her chair and cried, "I'll take you outside at once!" 

He led her beyond the heavy, arched doors, beyond the patio, through the 
dense field. He moved as if he were sleepwalking, transfixed by the 
luminous moon. But he was quickly roused by a flock of geese 
overhead, and stumbling for words, said,

They came to a pause at the top of the slope, and looked beyond the river. 
Lights sparkled from the tall buildings, stars fell from the sky, and Bill, 
again, felt overcome with trepidation.

 His legs grew spongy and he sensed himself losing equilibrium just 
before he tumbled down the hill to the edge of the river.

Samantha shrieked with great 
and ran to him. 

Bill rose from the damp sod unaware of where he was or how he 
had come to be there, but keenly cognizant that he had, once again, 
left his lonely bed while still asleep. 
He was mortified.

He was afraid of what his somnambulate-somniloquist self
 might have done, for he knew that

Samantha understood immediatelythough his discordant tune hurt 
her earssweet, empathetic soul she was. "Don't fret, dear William. 
I had a feeling it was you, the Anthropologist, all along." 
She continued, "Its all right, 

They held each other tightly. This was a relationship 
he'd long want to study.
And a passionate embrace ensued.

"By the way, my sweet Samantha," William smiled,
his heart heavy no more, 

And then he kissed her.

 Together they flew awayWilliam's
 tail quivering with joyhe'd never again somnambulate
He was home.



  1. "He was afraid of what his somnambulate-somniloquist self
    might have done."

    I wrote these exact words just last weekend. Go figure.

  2. There are those who claim the great Shakespeare used similar flash cards in the creation of his works. The controversy perseveres to this very day.

  3. David- Yeah, it was a bit of a stretch... but well, you know, I've only 1,000 cards to work with!

  4. Munk- I didn't steal an opening line from you, now did I?! ;)

  5. Robert- Really? I hadn't before heard that. Oh, I'd love to see the rhetoric in those flashcards. ;)

  6. Yes, it appears you are having too darn much fun. Thanks for including us!
    In elementary school I used to imagine myself as Lenore in The Raven : )

  7. Jayne, this was so much fun! It was interesting to watch how you hooked it all together, creatively weaving a tale of scraps and whatnots. What patience and imagination this took. It drew me although I wasn't too sure what to make of Bill as he was both creepy and charming...and that poem! I just love how you write;)

    I’m heading to Worcester MA this Saturday to visit for a week. It’s a mixed bag of blessings and sorrows, but I’ll be there and I’ll see the foliage and breathe in that cool October air…

  8. Bahahaha! Loved it...very clever intermingling of verbiage and visuals.
    Declivity makes me giggle cos it makes me think of...oh I better not say that...it's rude :)

  9. This idea is so clever.

  10. Leonora- The sainted maiden Lenore! Such a sweet school-girl fancy. :)

  11. Leah- Sexist scraps and what nots! There aren't too many belles in the lot. These 1960 cards are heavily weighted with MEN! But I do love how they are reflective, conservatively so, of their time.

    Our maples are golden and red, and we've some beautiful New England weather right now. Safe travels-- sorry to hear it's a mixed bag, and I hope it brings blessings and comfort. :)

  12. Loree- Glad you enjoyed it. :D

  13. Dan- ! Yes, do not want to descend down that path! Or do we?! Glad you had fun with it. I did--well, 'xcept for the tearing my hair out part. ;)

  14. Dicky- What to do with a pack of old flashcards...

    When my kids were in elementary school I made for them colorful flashcards which my son illustrated. The pictures helped him memorize the spelling. Should I work from those, too? Nah. ;)

  15. This is a lot of fun to read, Lynne. Though I don't think I'd be any good at writing one. My desk is tiny and I have a feeling I'd need to spread out more notecards than would fit just to get started. I'm too damned indecisive. Nicely done!

  16. Beer- The floor is where my cards end up! That's where I toss and shuffle 'em.

    And I'll bet you could pull some pretty cool ninja narrative from these cards. ;)