Each and everyone of the soaked onlookers, in a hauntingly unified gait, began a face-frozen tread toward the center of the sovereign circle where Allie and Zenobia maintained their unyielding clutch.
As a relentless rain pummeled the unfazed guests of this destined ceremony, the shiny spires of massive rock which surrounded the island audibly sighed, and the furious ocean flipped it’s rage to become calm as a mill pond.
There was a time, not that long ago, when a woman named Claire and her partner Will rented the small space in front of their modest, well located home to the pumped up Fourth of July crazies who were never sober or quiet, but always decked out in red, white and blue.
From the stale bed of Shillsdale Nursing Home, Claire continued to think about Will’s unforgettable crooked smile, his insistence on being polite to the kids, and the way he always danced when he wore that stupid top hat.
Whirlwind thoughts slammed hard… her disgusting father was dead, her loving, although distracted mother was dead, her baby was dead… she disembarked, actually fell, onto Brigadoon without the culture and grace of the bird who brought her there.
Zenobia slowly crept toward Allie, who was now facedown and unconscious; everything was about to begin.
The earth and the sea seemed to pause as Allie approached the cut off spectre of, well… where…. and for some reason she couldn’t shake the thought of something called Dock 19.
As the giant grey spotted sea bird circled Brigadoon to locate the drop point, Allie remembered a seated, cordial man when she first arrived at that mysterious shore… humungous table… yes, yes… Shill was his name.
Allie Carraig sat strong on the custodial sea bird, a peculiar and undigestable thought to be sure, as if she knew it was supposed to be beneath her… but how could that be?
In the glide of moments, she suddenly remembered the laborious harrow of the buckwheat, but it wasn’t like before, it was just a passing memory… then, for the first time since she woke, the fulcrum of the dizzying flight leveled.
“Why, phrwth, why, where, aaaahhth,”… Allie’s voice was loud in the cloudfilling nothingness… she spued up another lung cough and lay with misplaced experience returning… this beach bully, yes it was a bird, was lurking just to her left.
Allie wiped her mouth, turned, saw the gigantic bird 2 inches from her volatile soul, and screamed at the top of her lungs “Aaaaaahhhhhhhh”… that was when the air, for the final time in her crunching life, got quiet.
She hadn’t thought about it earlier, but her cough, in her retreat, returned… quite harsh, with an uncomfortable amount of crimson… then she jumped upon the table wearing worn jeans and a ripped cotton t-shirt, both completely dry from the wavy grass.
She put her tightened hands over her head, crouched to a fetal position, and scrunched her eyes closed, as tight as she knew, before she felt the beast breathing vomit into her ear.
The quiddity of Allie Carraig was apparently returning, or at least trying to, along with the unchartable beach tides and that enormous table which was more like an archeological tableau, complete with cryptic scrawl and unexplained epithets.
As the numinous gray spotted sea bird made imprint after imprint plodding forward up the beach, Allie finally got a solid look at her sunken boots, which were lying useless beyond the imposing bird near the waterline… she impulsively retreated back to the table with the monster closing. (Reeeeeeeaaaaarrrraaarrrreeeeeeaaaaarrrrr)
Allie instinctively crouched and did a bit of a spider walk up to the continuously waving grass, where her clothes, much to her astonishment, were not only dry but also sandless.
The large (that was an understatement Allie thought) bird landed without effort near the small bend in the beach… Allie cautiously slipped into her warm clothes and wondered, as sand spouted up between her toes, where her boots were.
Sticky and gooey smooth oozed down both sides of her shivering cheeks… she ate another gooseberry, then another… Allie’s strength was coming back.
She turned and ran down the beach to gather her clothes… then quickly back up to the top of the berm where she tossed her sandy, wet clothes into the warm, wavy grass to dry… that’s when she saw a huge spotted gray sea bird rapidly descending toward her.
In a seeming trance, she slowly walked over her scrunched, sandy clothes, which were lying wet and limp on the beach… her shaking, nude body had been through enough… so she thought.
There were gooseberries on that table, she did recognize them, from yesterwhen… yes! From there, here… but how?… on the gigantic, unexplainable table directly in front of her, gooseberries… she reached…
Stella’s small body began to quiver under a piercing stare that never broke… drool slowly seeped from the corner of her pink mouth, which was quickly swabbed by the queen herself; the final overseer of this isolated and splash blasted, ancient rockiness.
Zenobia raised both arms, shook her hands violently side to side, and never broke eye contact with baby Stella… birds flew at speedy angles and began to congregate up and ’round; darkness happened then. Just darkness.
Slightly swaying and with an effortless skill, Zenobia finished playing her beloved Clarsach for Stella; whose baby blues had become wide and curious, almost tumescent, inside the tidy warmth of a laniferous island swaddle.
As a conclave of spotted sea birds found perch high above, Zenobia applied unguent to her tissuey hands, clutched a slight, roundish face and locked eyes with the pure tranquillity before her.