Friday, July 2, 2010

#flashfriday: The Glowing

The Glowing by Louise Dragon

Chase followed the sound of chanting to a lone rock sitting on the hillside. He laid his hand against it and immediately the landscape wavered, darkened, and smoothed out to become Moss Moor. The lone rock kept its color, but instantly transformed into the rock radio type devices known over here as calmblinks. The chanting words traveled from Chase’s fingertips, up his left arm, and stabbed into his brain cells like tiny needles of relaxation.

Passing through time and space to find himself in another dimension used to sting Chase’s brain with spines of terror until he discovered holding on to the calmblinks for a few moments after the wavering. Grandad called it The Glowing. Chase’s mind always moved back to Grandad when he visited Moss Moor. Grandad with his secret room of potions and tiny strange animals. The Glowing was something in Chase’s (and Grandad’s) brain that allowed them to hear the whispered chanting from Moss Moor even when nobody else around them could hear it. Grandad said that they Glowed a little, that’s all – he said the Mosmorians left some Glowing Americans behind to help them keep up with our world . . . or our dimension . . . Chase was never very clear on some of the details. He only knew that when times got tough in Sulpher, Maine he could follow the smooth chanting glow from the recesses of his brain out to a calmblink and disappear to the other side for an hour, a day, or even weeks of warm calming bliss at Moss Moor.

Mosmorians didn’t speak, they chanted. They were beings of airy light -- shrouded in dark gray hooded robes -- that wandered in packs across the Mossy hillsides of their land. They roamed like monks with heads down and hands clasped in front of them. Chase usually steered clear of them as Grandad had once instructed. The Moor was always warm. Cloudless purple sky was the backdrop for hills of soft gray mossy rock filled with natural caves and outcroppings as far as the eyes could see. The air was denser, heavy almost, but breathable. It was also not what you would call bright at Moss Moor. Perpetual twilight – predawn or dusk – was the best description Chase and Grandad could come up with whenever they dared speak of The Moor in the privacy of Grandad’s secret room back home.

Grandad had warned Chase never to speak of The Moor to regular Americans. Grandad said he had two friends once who knew about Moss Moor. He thought they had tried to talk about it to some doctors in Portland. Grandad didn’t see those friends ever again.

Now Chase was growing ever more perplexed. His Grandad had been missing for several days. Strange men in silver suits kept coming out to the cabin in Sulpher and calling Grandad’s name. Chase got scared and wavered over to Moss Moor, but Grandad wasn’t over there either. Yesterday, Chase took all of the little Mosmorian critters back to The Moor and set them free. He had to be really careful and only take a few at a time. Some of them have huge fangs and sharp orange talons. Others have hideous grinning snouts and large hopping legs. One was completely hairless, black with yellow spots, and looked like the cross between a bat and a snake. Grandad had named it Wix and said it glowed AT him sometimes – like he could hear its thoughts.

Today, Chase took Grandad’s potions over to Moss Moor before the men in the silver suits found the secret room. Wix helped him find a cave on the other side and wanted to help Chase finish Grandad’s work.

Only problem with that was . . . Chase didn’t know what Grandad was working on. Wix kept shooting glowing pictures of new beings shrouded in dark gray robes into Chase’s mind. The new beings were just a bit denser than the airy Mosmorians. One of them had an outstretched hand and looked like Grandad.


As Chase keeps a hand firmly on the closest calmblink, a knowing smile passes over his calm features. The soothing chants glow into his brain. For a moment, his entire body wavers in and out of existence but then blinks partially back. The Glow shows Grandad standing in his cave holding out a hand. In that hand is a new robe for Chase to wear.

The End

Author's Note: The first two sentences of this story (although somewhat modified) are courtesy of #storystarters, a Twitter Application.

The Glowing Bones in the Old Stone HouseThe Glowing Bones in the Old Stone House


John Wiswell said...

I think Grandad was working on more than wardrobe...

Eric J. Krause said...

Neat atmosphere in this one. Good story!

Anonymous said...

So much warmth in your writing - really nice piece.

Icy Sedgwick said...

I like this, particularly the description of Moss Moor, but only one sentence didn't work for me. "The chanting words traveled from Chase’s fingertips, up his left arm, and stabbed into his brain cells like tiny needles of relaxation." 'Stabbing' or 'needles' don't sound like they'd be overly relaxing! Otherwise, I enjoyed this!

Pamila Payne said...

Good world building here, from both you and Grandad. Wonderful imagery.

Anonymous said...

Good story. A whole world well painted here. Wouldn't mind seeing more...

Anonymous said...

Nice job of world-building here, Louise. A nice jaunt to purple skies and mossy fields. Very description rich.