Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Holy Mountain Saga: The Parade of Blood and Teeth, part 2

This is part 2 of many to a story I'm writing. If you haven't already you can read part 1 here. Thanks buddies!

Sarah pondered on the day ahead of her. Another uneventful day in this boring old town, She was saying silently to herself, but sighing out loud. She closed the door, turned and looked out past her modest chain link fence and out into the street. Just off the ancient sidewalk, the cracks and dents of which she had mapped and memorized her entire childhood sat her mom's old station wagon. It was old and ugly, but like the ancient sidewalk or even this boring old town in which she lived, it was a part of her; her mother drove her to school in it, to recitals, to the mall. Until her mother died she never really understood how many memories this ugly old car held in it's dated upholstery. Her mother had died 3 years ago, and she couldn't bear to get rid of it even now. Regardless of how ugly and old it was.
As she got next to the driver's seat she looked back at the house she spent her childhood, at her dad's truck and smiled unwittingly. At least my car isn't that ugly. Her dad's work truck was a big red beast from the sixties, it had an endless amount of compartments in the container in the back and had a goofy caricature of himself in a kilt on the side. Her dad was silly, definitely eccentric as evidenced by the dozens of bobble-heads on his dashboard. He was on-call so he was painting his figurines in his study, how he loved to do those war games with his friends every Sunday. Recently though he had to cancel the get-togethers because he had work late at night.
Getting into the car, she changed her idle thoughts from her dad onto the day ahead. She turned the ignition, heard the radio fuzz into focus and smiled because she was just in time to hear the soothing, deep voice of Everett Klein. Everett was the local talk radio celebrity, he gave the weather, national news and interviews with local people. His dry wit and paternal take on the gossip-about-town had always been apart of Sarah's mornings, her day would feel incomplete without it but it was his voice that gave her a warm blanket feeling. Good morning Mount Vernon Everett hummed smooth as molasses through her car speakers.
Sarah pulled out into the empty street and made her turns out of her neighborhood towards the dip in the center of town where the park was. In the park was a pond where she could see the eccentric old folks feeding ducks. Half way up on that fat, flat topped mountain she could see the radio tower from which Everett was broadcasting. The tower was situated up the mountain trail, long after holy mountain road ends as it makes it's left turn into Mount Vernon's thoroughfare. Today's going to be another lovely day Everett said lovingly.  
She makes the left turn towards her work and witnesses the morning routine of the small business owners in full swing. Gladys, a woman in her mid thirties and the proprietor of the small corner grocers looks tired as she opens the shutters and writes on her chalk sign the specials of the day Ranier Cherries, $2 a pound. Ernest, the friendly old man in a white beard that runs the second hand book store lifts his flat cap as he sees Sarah drives by showing a completely bald head. Sarah waves back, just in time to catch eyes with the businessman next door to Ernest, Herbert. Herbert, a tall, slim man in his fifties with a pencil thin mustache and a greasy crop of hair was the town's real estate agent. Herbert only stared back at her with icy-blue eyes, Sarah instinctively pulled her hand down and stared dead ahead. Herbert was never hostile to her, but he always gave her the creeps anyway, especially as a child. Sarah was on the final leg of her journey to the diner where she worked and took time, as she always did, to look at the ornate church kitty-corner from her job, it was a Tuesday so she didn't have an after church rush to spy, but she always liked to look at it anyway. Every time she looked at the ornate spires and stained glass windows of this classically roman catholic cathedral she saw something different. The height of the building, the gargoyles and other ornate decorative flourishes, the pure size of it all seemed to betray a sense that this palace of god was too big and too old for a town this small.
Sarah parked her car and looked across the street from the church. The library, a building almost as big and ornate as the church, gave her the faintest sense of apprehension; not fear, but a feeling that somewhere in the deep recesses of that old stone building was something other-worldly. Her mother loved the library and they would spend their Sundays there as a family, Sarah would wonder the many floors of the library and still, to this day felt like she didn't, couldn't have explored it all. The librarian, Lorraine, a stern blue hair presided over it all like a monarch, the queen of all the knowledge in the world. She'd be cold at first, but once she could see curiosity, a respect for knowledge in you, she'd lighten up and before long she'd gleefully help you with anything you'd be interested in learning.
Sarah got out of the car and headed slowly towards the front door of Helena's diner where she was greeted by the owner writing the special of biscuits and gravy on the chalk sign. Helena had already lovingly drawn them on her board: the biscuits, golden brown and flaky covered in white gravy thick and full of crumpled sausage and was halfway through writing the words in flowing, lovely script before she noticed her employee walk by towards the door. “Good morning, Sarah.” She spoke warmly and smiled at her. Helena had been the best friend of Sarah's mother long before she was born and naturally felt like an aunt to her as long as she could remember. The two apparently were very talented artists as girls and there was a heated rivalry between the two but as they grew up the competition gave way to a close friendship. As adults they had spent many hours painting the pictures that adorned the diner. She loved working for Helena but even if she wasn't a waitress there she could effortlessly envision herself spending as much time as possible at Helena's diner, not just to be with the second closest person to her mother, but to look at their beautiful paintings.
Uncle Ollie, Helena's husband and the cook at the diner, grinned lovingly at Sarah and offered her a wave. “Coffee's on the counter” he said, nodding towards a plain paper cup in a cardboard sleeve as he stirred a pot of his famous sausage gravy. The diner had drip coffee, but Ollie knew Sarah liked it cappuccino style from Ike's coffee hut near their home, and would get it for her the mornings she worked. She loved him for it, his mischievous sense of humor and the silly faces he'd draw on the lid made her love him more. 
She hung up her coat in the back and turned on the radio to hear Everett purring some anecdote about the local amateur baseball teams. She could smell Helena's world renowned cherry pie being baked fresh for the pie case up front as she sipped the best cappuccino in Mount Vernon. She couldn’t help but smile. All was right with the world.
Helena came in and sashayed gracefully behind the counter and poured herself some coffee, she bumped hips with Sarah and asked “How's your dad doing young lady? I haven't seem him some time.”
He's good, he's been working nights” Sara said, looking down at her coffee cup lid, Ollie had drawn a cat's face winking back up at her.
Working late huh? I wonder at what.” Helena said, almost as if she knew what her father was up to, or atleast wasn't all that curious.
I'm not sure, but he's been missing his war gaming get-togethers” and with that Sarah noticed with her peripheral vision Helena giving an oddly knowing look towards Ollie.
Ollie chimed in just after. “Yeah, it's a real bummer, Sarah. You need to tell him to stop working so hard!”
Sarah looked at him and he was smirking his usual smirk, Helena had started off towards the kitchen to pull her Cherry Pie out of the oven and spoke up over the kitchen din “Sarah, be a darling and open up.”
Without much hesitation she headed towards the front, snapped on the 'Open' light, flipped the hours sign on the door that also said they were open and in fact were open until 7 o'clock. She was about to turn around when she heard the sound of screeching tires just out of sight and then, there it was, her dad's work truck careening down the street. Loudly turning the corner between the Church and the Library he was speeding towards the only road leading in and out of Mount Vernon. Sarah was drawn outside with concern for her dad's uncharacteristically reckless driving.
She walked out into the morning air, crisp with autumn scent, and followed with her eyes her father's truck until she could only hear it drive into the distance. As she turned around to go back inside she looked down at the ancient sidewalk and saw what she could have sworn was a tiny puddle of blood off the curb, inside of which was a pair of tiny pink teeth.

3 3 3 3 3 3 

Hell yeah buddy! Can you feel that tension mounting? I'm sorry for this taking so long but these things don't respond to being rushed (much to my consternation). Regardless of the spotty pace at which I write this opus I do feel a definite momentum building. Come what may, I'm glad you read it and I'm excited for you to read more.

Big Mike.