Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Mardi Gras

 At midnight the police moved in and began to disperse the dense French Quarter crowd. The members of that crowd didn’t want to stop the party but reluctantly gave away, breaking into sub crowds, then into smaller groups that gradually streamed off toward homes or other parties. Fat Tuesday was over. Lent had begun.

As the crowds split, a cold hard gust of wind came blowing in over them and over the Quarter. It gathered other gusts to itself, swirled across the Faubourg Marigny and up Bourbon and Royal streets like a desert dust devil. It carried with it black dust and a mélange of beads and other Mardi Gras trash. It picked up the stench of sweat-soaked people, the stale odors of alcohol, urine, vomit. Along with those scents it gathered the thoughts and feelings of the revelers—their joys and rages, their laughter and sobs, their lusts and sins.


And when the wind had all of that in its grasp, it leaped upward toward the highest steeple of the St. Louis Cathedral.The cross at the top of the steeple shook; a dirty shadow enveloped it, then shrank down, took darkling form. For a moment it seemed that a long-armed man clung to the steeple. Then the figure leaped down and down from the cathedral and disappeared into the bushes and hedges of Jackson Square. The wind was gone as if it had never been.
----
----

21 comments:

Lana Gramlich said...

Awesome, baby!

Ty Johnston said...

Nice imagery.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Charles, what Ty said. I could picture it all. Well done!

Brian Miller said...

oh dang...i like...kinda got an otherworldly feel to it...all the sin & emotion/joy even becoming solid briefly pulling at the cross...cool

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Wouldn't want to encounter him in a dark alley.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Exciting!

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

Great beginning to a horror story!

Christina said...

You had me at the title! This is really good.

Charles Gramlich said...

Lana, thankee sweets

Ty, thanks, man. I kind of like the scene.

Prashant, glad you enjoyed!

Brian, appreciate it. I thought of doing it as a prose poem but then it seemed right as just prose

Alex, me either.

Patti, thankee much!

Bernard, now I just have to figure out where it goes from here.

Christina, that title will likely be popular!

ivan said...

Wish my dreams were that vivid...Seems there's always a piece missing.

It does remind me of an old Germanic tale.


There's more.
The horse he tied to the steeple cross, thinking it was a shrub in that great snowstorm, will soon come tumbling down. :)

David J. West said...

Eerie, I like it.

Charles Gramlich said...

Ivan, that would have been one serious snow storm.

David, thankee, man

jodi said...

Charles-I can totally picture that scene. I forget you are in the middle of all of that.

Charles Gramlich said...

Jodi, Lana and I try to stay away but we still get brushed by it.

Oscar said...

Vivid description with a little fantasy thrown in.

Riot Kitty said...

That is great descriptive writing, CG!

Erik Donald France said...

Fantastiastic, indeed.

Charles Gramlich said...

Oscar, thanks. Glad you enjoyed.

Riot Kitty, twas fun.

Erik, much thanks, my friend.

Snowbrush said...

A neighbor here in Oregon had a Mardi Gras flag in front of his house this week, but I had to ask what it was to know this. I told him that I lived 100 miles from New Orleans for 36 years and never went to Mardi Gras. That's what happens when you hate crowds.

David Cranmer said...

Beautiful writing there, Charles.

Charles Gramlich said...

Snowbrush, I went to Mardi Gras events when I first came to New Orleans. enjoyed them but didn't like the crowds. By now I've completely stopped going and try to avoid as much of it as possible.

David Cranmer, thanks, man!