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.
The rain began from an almost cloudless sky and Allie stood straight up and looked Zenobia directly in the eye.
(Baby Stella began to cry) Allie, shivering and without tense, reached out and hugged this person whom she never met… a cover was draped upon Allie, but her shivering didn’t stop… nor did Stella’s cry.
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.
(Slumber / historical visions / etches in table) How come when I pause to listen to the nothing, I feel like I am going to fall out of myself… that’s the last thought she had when she finally came out of the hypnotic miasma beneath her opening eyes.
Allie was never one to blench, perhaps a result of her foul father… (she was unaware she twitched) but the redoubtablely deep darkness lying ahead, beyond an unassuming moonlit sea, was for all intents and purposes, a welcomed place.
…and suddenly there he was, the mystical and lost Buddy Bolden; cornet on lips, Boller slightly forward, yet upon you… and a sly, slick sound most couldn’t and would never be able to describe, until later… Allie’s dreaming eyes rolled beneath her wind burned lids and thoughts inevitably turned to that god forsaken beach table.
The enormous spotted gray sea bird continued cruising only inches above the ocean line toward the place that she, Zenobia, had long ago proclaimed Brigadoon… preparations had once again begun.
Abagail Adams… Harriet Tubman… spinney high and low… sleep thoughts; oh, awe… Allie’s eyes fluttered and focused into this love and life… arms engaged about.
The skies, abound… calamitous… Allie Carraig was close to her god in that moment, that waking moment, soaring…her eyes widened and she realized she was traveling, perhaps flying, perched upon a giant bird, well above that shitstorm of a planet…
“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)
What Allie Carraig then experienced was something most wish they could one day know, or at least approach… an awakening of sense and spirit, life and feeling… at that moment (she figured it was just another headache) her eyes finally unrolled into a less painful semblance of focus.
The boots were getting soaked as the tide continued to be playful, splashing in and out, laces floated; and her well worn footwear filled with salty beach and leftover moonshine… then the gigantic bird stepped forward and screamed.
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.