The Glamour, part IV

This is the fourth installment in a novel I am writing.  Click here to go to the beginning. 

But our fall?  It didn’t happen that night.

            We were in rare form.

            It was almost like we shared one mind.  We were one perfect organism.  It’s hard to say where one of us began and where another ended.  Our glamour, was a living thing that pulsed between us.

            We all felt it as we parked the car at the gate to the park.

            It was a full moon, that night.  The raids often happened on full moons.  I’m not sure exactly why.

            We walked down the closed park road.  The Gothic, he pulled the darkness behind us, so that we couldn’t be seen from the street.  And he parted the darkness before us, some.  Lightened it; lessened it.  It wasn’t like being in the light.  Nothing like daylight.  A bit more like looking at the world through a grey filter, I suppose.

            The road lead us to this little shack.  If it had been daytime, the shack would have been opened.  A ranger would have been inside.  There were specimens and maps of the area on the wall.

            “It’ll be open.” Tom said. 

            Essie nodded. 

            And so it was.

            We walked in.  It was creepy and dark.


            We had tried in the day time, earlier.  But during the day, standing there, before the wall-sized elevation map of the place, I’d gotten nothing.  It wasn’t only that I had no sense about where they were coming.  I couldn’t even make heads or tails of the map itself.  It was nothing but a poster-sized series of concentric ovals.

            But when we’d made it back that night,  as I stared at the map, it went all fell into place.    I could almost see the way the hills rose and fell.  And I felt my attraction drawn to the a spot just northwest of the center.

            I pointed.  “There.  It’s right there.”

            I new I was right.  So did they.

            If it had been a movie, this would have been the time that the song from the soundtrack kicked in.  It would have been one of those atmospheric shots, with lots of close ups, but from down below.   The shot would have established our toughness, and how cool we were.

            I laught at it now, but then, in the middle of it, I can’t quite describe how it felt.  Perfect.  Like I’d been made for it.

            We were wordless as we slipped out of the place.  Heading toward that spot.  Less than half a mile away.

            Tom wore a grey duster like something out a western.  The hem almost swished the road we walked on.  The bat was balanced on his bulky shoulder, nails, of course, facing out.

            The Gothic was smoking a clove cigerrette.  He sent the darkness out from us, in waves.  It darkened the street lights above us and blotted out the moon, gathered, as it was, in a bubble perhaps thirty feet around us.   Inside that little bubble though, we saw everything.  He was wearing one of those shirts had a wide open collar and sleeves that blossomed open at the wrist.  It might have been one of the only white pieces of clothing he owned.

            Essie’s hair was still blue.  She wore a t-shirt whose collar and sleeves looked like they’d been torn off.  I think the shirt advertised some punk-rock band.  Her boot heels clicked on the street.

            I had fallen half a pace behind them to survey the scene.  I suppose I might have been the most “normal” looking out of the bunch of us.  I wore black jeans that night,  and a grey sweat shirt.  

            Sometimes, everything just feels so thin.  Have you ever noticed that?  Sometimes everything just feels so thin.

            It felt like the right kind of finger nails might be able to scratch through the covering of everything.  The bushes to my left, they felt like the waxy-metalic covering on lottery tickets.  You might be able to just scratch it right off and see what lay beneath.

            I don’t have words for what I felt must lay beneath.  But I felt so close to it, as we walked over to the place where the vampires were entering into the world.

            I don’t know what the others were thinking about, but that’s what I was thinking about: how thin the world felt.  In the end, that’s why I did it.  That’s why I was addicted.  Because it brought me so close to God.

            Part of it is because it was deadly serious business.  But part of it was because the world was quite literally thin there.  Even if I hadn’t known it I would have felt it.  It made the hairs on my arms stand up.  It made me feel like somebody had caffeinated my blood.

            I did know it, though.  I knew that there were holes in the world.  That’s how the glamour had been handed down.  Because some of those holes lead to places where the inhabitants wanted to give us something for our protection.

            But other holes in the world, these lead to a different place.  A place that had been used up and sucked dry.  A place full of the vampires, desperate for a new feeding ground.

            We rounded a bend and I saw that hole.  It was like all the other ones we had closed.  Eight feet high, maybe, a curved line, a fissure almost.  It Leaked fog.

            They were climbing out if it, grunting and groaning as they did it.  Many of them had already gotten out, and they were waiting for the rest.

            They turned, as one, to see us.






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The stories that speak to our soul begin at a home where things are good. Cinderella is happy with her father. The three little pigs have grown up and are ready to move on. Bilbo Baggins knows his shire. Adam and Eve walk with God in the garden. My story isn’t much different. There was a time and a place where it was so good. There was a community for me. And there was joy. We were filled with a sincere desire to do what God wanted us to do. We possessed explanations and understandings that went a certain distance. We offered security and tradition and laughter. For a lot of years, that was enough. I have this sense that it was also necessary. I have this surety, now, that it certainly wasn’t everything. There were some things that became increasingly problematic as time went by. There was a desire to package things up so very neatly. Sunday morning services were efficient and strategic. Responses to differences of opinion were premeditated. Formula began to feel more important than being real. A real desire for everybody to be one of us, but also a real sense that there is an us, and there is a them. They carried a regret that it has to be this way, but deeper than this regret was a surety that this is how it is. I began to recognize that there was a cost of admission to that group. There were people who sat at the door, collecting it. Those people wished they didn’t have to. But I guess they felt like they did have to. They let some people in, and they left others out. There was a provisional membership. My friends did possess a desire to accommodate people that are different… But it would be best for everyone concerned if they were only a little bit different. I did make many steps forward in this place. Before I went there, there were lies that I believed. Some of the things that I learned there, I still hold on to. But that place is not my home anymore. Those people are not my community anymore. There were times it was hard. I am engaged in a different community now. And I am working hard at finding a place in many different places now, embracing many different kind of families. I don’t always get it right. I am trying and I am learning and I am moving foreward. I have this sense that I am not alone in these experiences. I believe that we are tribe and we are growing. We are pilgrims, looking for a new holy land. Perhaps we won’t settle on the same spot of land. But if you’ve read this far, I am thinking that we are probably headed in the same general direction. I have begun this blog to talk about where my journey is taking me. In every space, we find people who help us along. And maybe we can get to know each other, here. We embrace ideas that provide a structure for the things we believe, and perhaps we can share these too. Maybe we can form a group, a tribe, a community, if we can figure out a way to work through the shadow of these kinds of groups, if we can bigger than the us-and-them ideas that have caused so much trouble in the past. As important as they are, I think the very nature of online interactions will lend itself to something equally powerful. I am stumbling onto these practices that my grandfathers and great grandfathers in the faith engaged in. I am learning about these attitudes and intuitions are so different than the kinds of things we call doctrine today. I don’t know about you, but I am running out of patience, and even interest, in conversations about doctrine. I hope that maybe you’ll share a little something about where your journey is taking you, and maybe our common joys and challenges might help each other along, and we might lift each other up. Thanks for doing this journey with me.

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