Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wings Wetted Down: 2nd Approach (Harvester of Eyes)

“Waymon,” she says, from the next seat, “you’re awake now.”

“Thought I felt us approaching to land,” he says.

“Almost were. I wouldn’t wake you before necessary.”

“Sorry you weren’t still asleep yourself. How is Buddy?”

“Still sedated.”

They didn’t need to repeat the facts; they had learned they should not.

She thinks back to something she heard on the news five days before...six?

The eyes taken in the mass graves by the Mexican border told her he was back.

Then, Ladell, the last person they’d stayed with, renting his converted garage.

They had come back to Buddy’s farm the next day, but there was no sign of Buddy until they checked the barn, and there, beyond a trail of blood droplets, in the hay he lay, unconscious. His eyes were pulled from his head, scattered aside with contempt nearby on the ground. They had moved as fast as possible to get him to a hospital, keeping his eyes on ice in Tupperware found in the kitchen. His brief awakening had been one of the most awful instances in life. How did Waymon calm him down, even elicit a chuckle, while living with the fear of the damage to his eyes?

There was so much to forget, no wonder Waymon had taken to filling their time together with poems he’d memorized. Kaylisha never remembered more than the chorus of songs she’d heard a hundred times, nor ever knew anyone who loved poetry so. Those words were calm in nerve-wracking instances. They were a mental sedative, a release, an occupation to recall life aside from the vile happenings of their four months together.

Why had they stayed together? Why did she not put all the blame squarely with Waymon Randall for using the spell that ...but then, she could never know what would happen after she was taken by her father’s mob cronies.
We sat grown quiet at the name of love;
We saw the last embers of daylight die,
And in the trembling blue-green of the sky
A moon, worn as if it had been a shell
Washed by time's waters as they rose and fell
About the stars and broke in days and years.

Waymon had been so funny and kind, and she’d been so miserable, it seemed like three or four times talking to him at her job had forged an unbreakable bond, already scary and joyous enough in itself. He glances over at her, and continues reciting Yeats:

I had a thought for no one's but your ears:
That you were beautiful, and that I strove
To love you in the old high way of love;
That it had all seemed happy, and yet we'd grown
As weary-hearted as that hollow moon.

The sunset as the plane inexplicably rose again from its approach formation. Immediately, Kay walks up into the cockpit to ask why.

“No one from the tower,” says the pilot, shaking his head.

“What the hell, are they asleep?” she says, in disbelief.

“I’m going to figure something out. Just take your seat, it’s fine.”

Kay quickly relays this to Waymon, who sits gazing out the window. Her stomach begins to drop. He turns to her, wordlessly. Her internal monologue begins to rush over her conscious mind, as worry gathers in her countenance.

But now they’re thrown together in life or death and she realizes: it was all for her. The conjuring, the many more need die that she might live?

"Here, love, this is the Mouse’s Nest, by John Clare.
I found a ball of grass among the hay
And proged it as I passed and went away
And when I looked I fancied something stirred
And turned agen and hoped to catch the bird
When out an old mouse bolted in the wheat
With all her young ones hanging at her teats
She looked so odd and so grotesque to me
I ran and wondered what the thing could be
She recalls the ceremony that brought the Harvester at their darkest moment.

And pushed the knapweed bunches where I stood
When the mouse hurried from the crawling brood
Her blood and Waymon’s mixed on the paper Waymon burned.
In her mind, it’s there again. "Harvey" makes crude, insane jokes and literally gets drunken on its enhanced awareness, as it adds stolen eyes to its mind and goes psychic joyriding, seeing sights from superhuman perspectives, as though taking on additional imaginations.

The young ones squeaked and when I went away
She found her nest again among the hay
The water oer the pebbles scarce could run
And broad old cesspools glittered in the sun

It did its grizzly work of attracting the eyes, literally, on outstretched vessels and nerves before snapping bloodily, pulled invisibly to its tiny baby hands that stretched out of the top of his otherwise human head. She recalls the Harvester, digging through garbage to find eyes for his pouch of leather. Waymon’s smile fades. He is sorry the poem did not pleasantly distract her.

“Why didn’t the Harvester kill me, Waymon?” she asks. “You were lucky to be in the alley behind the warehouse. “I used to think it simply wanted a witness.”

“How many times have we talked about this?” Waymon pleads.

“No, how many times have you listened quietly? What don’t you want to tell me?”
Waymon now reveals to Kaylisha why she'd been spared during the Harvester's first manifestation. “I did not want you to have to deal with it. I’ll tell you, but I can’t take it back.” He pauses for a moment.

(Concludes next)

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