Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Rorschach Scarecrow

The wind purrs through the trees. A crow caws at a distance. A cardinal darts for a feeder in the yard, its wings not quiet silent. On the deck, I hear the clack of the wooden wind chimes, the tink tink of the copper ones. My ears are attuned to this world.

But my eyes are lost in greenery. Not twenty yards away the woods rise. Pines. Oaks. Magnolias. Other trees I cannot name. And blackberry brambles drip with yet unripened fruit. Things are hiding there, though with a little effort I can see them.

Shadows sweep past with wings. Perhaps there are birds high in the air casting them. My mind tells me there are birds. But I do not see the birds; I cannot swear they are there. A moment ago a long silken blackness raced down the bare trunk of a pine. I saw it clearly, an animal shape some three feet long with a sleek head and long tail. It took a while for my mind to say anything about that. It told me I’d seen the shadow of one pine swaying past another in the wind. But I don’t believe it.

I don’t believe it because of the Rorschach scarecrow who conceals himself just below that spot in the bushes. He is painted shades of green and black, and blends so well with his surroundings that the wind blurs his outline. Sometimes I see only his eyes. Sometimes I see the ratty top hat he wears. I’ve never seen his mouth. I don’t know if he smiles. I wonder if he has teeth.

But he is watching me, very very quietly watching me. I suspect the silk-black animal is his familiar.

I wonder if the scarecrow and I can be friends. Should I invite him up on the deck? Would he come? My mind is divided on this subject. One part says the scarecrow cannot leave the woods or he will die in the bright sun. Another part says he’s already here, standing at my shoulder.

I wonder if I should turn my head.
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37 comments:

Heff said...

Sounds like more than your "eyes are lost in greenery" to me, lol !

Very nice.

Scott said...

Charles,

Great stuff! Very nice piece of flash fiction...at least I hope it's fiction...if not, keep that sword handy.

Lisa said...

Love it! I am so there.

jodi said...

Charles, Mr. Scarecrow is an illusion made of shadows and leave and I think he wants to be left alone to observe.

G said...

Very funky indeed.

Perhaps a bear will come strolling by to offer some words of wisdom.

Thumbelina said...

I am sat at my keyboard and I do not want to turn around...
This is excellent stuff.

Travis said...

I like this. A serene scene to begin, then touched by a bit of menace.

Sidney said...

Ahhhhhhhhh!

Charles Gramlich said...

Heff, I get lost easily.

Scott, partly fiction, partly true. I just have to figure out which is which.

Lisa, thankee. I appreciate that.

jodi, but perhaps he wants tea and crumpets?

G, geeze man, keep that bear away from me.

Thumbelina, ;) thanks for the compliment.

Travis, trying to see the world in a new light.

Sidney, I'll take that as a compliment!

the walking man said...

This theme needs to be explored. There is a very good novel in the making here.

G said...

But, but, but, the bear only wants to be friends.

BernardL said...

I sensed a bit of Edgar Allan Poe in pace and creeping effectiveness of this scene. Nice

Lana Gramlich said...

Very cool, baby. But no, please don't invite it up on the deck. ;)

Wil said...

That's it! This is the name of my next band!

Wil Harrison.com

Charles Gramlich said...

Mark, thanks. I do plan to do another scene or two related to this, and see how things flow.

G, it's just that his friendship is so...intense.

BernardL, thanks. Poe has certainly been one of my influences, though I didn't put any Poe consciously into this piece.

Lana Gramlich, I won't need him when I have you sweetums!

Wil, you know, that might make a pretty good name for a band, better than Putryd Bytch, which was my thinking about a name for my own band.

Vesper said...

A great piece!

Shadows sweep past with wings - I like this!

pattinase (abbott) said...

Love the idea of it. And yes, I see scarecrows every time. Or witches.

laughingwolf said...

dunno boutcha charles, but i'm compelled to look... to know... even if doing so kills me... at least i'd KNOW!

nice and shivery/spooky :)

ivan said...

Great reading. Fine.

But me, I keep failing Rorschach inkblot tests. Where most people might see a bat, I see a vagina.

...I think I need to get out more.

G said...

Oh well.....

Seriously, you got the makings of good "Tales from the Darkside" story here.

Or "Tales from the Crypt".

Cloudia said...

just an "Aloha"

Steve Malley said...

Just what I needed on a cold, dark winter's morning-- a dose of scary!

Charles Gramlich said...

Vesper, thanks, I kind of liked that line as well.

pattinase (abbott), I've seen witches myself.


laughingwolf, I generally have to look as well. Almost always.

ivan, I'm not surprised at your Rorschach responses. I suppose it was the projective elements of your writing! ;)

G., I'm thinking it's a bit more tales from the darkside. Not gory enough for the crypt keeper. AT least not yet.

Cloudia, back atcha

Steve Malley, could be I'm just going crazyyyyy!

Erik Donald France said...

My perception is, my last attempted comment was lost in space.

But, again -- looks like you're starting to so what you set out to so with the Eisely post. Three cheers!

No scarecrows projected onto *my* porch though, please!

Erik Donald France said...

so --> do . . .

Sam said...

Sounds like a good horror story to me!

Charles Gramlich said...

Erik, If you've ridden trains my friend surely you have seen the scarecrows that follow them!

Sam, and a true one! Well, maybe in my head.

Heff said...

Charles - Don't waste your valuable time looking in to it. It's gotta be a "blogger issue", because I'm experiencing problems, too, especially on Wil's site.

Charles Gramlich said...

Heff, I've had it happen before. It seems to happen most on sites that have a lot of moving applets.

Rita J. Webb said...

I saw that you visited my site and left a comment. I responded to your comment with a blog post with a link to your blog. You can check it out here.

http://afantasyfiction.blogspot.com/2009/05/racism-part-iii.html

BIBI said...

Great read! Thanks for sharing. :)

laughingwolf said...

i wanna know, so i can decide what to do next... if it's possible :O lol

Charles Gramlich said...

Rita, I read that. Very interesting post.

Bibi, thank you.

Laughingwolf, ;)

jennifer said...

I could call mine "Faces in the bathroom floor". Of course shadows seem more sinister than linoleum.

Charles Gramlich said...

Jennifer, I see those faces in the tiles as well.

Alex Moore said...

the scene quite envelopes the reader: i feel folded in, a new ingredient added to the mixture, then absorbed, then myself no more.

beautifully done

Charles Gramlich said...

Alex Moore, thanks. I had fun with this one.