Sunday, February 05, 2006

Nightfall From Faraway

In my hometown, which is a place called Faraway, a man named Mr. Nightfall stands under a pear tree full of light green poisonous fruit and waits for the Sun to set.

Mr. Nightfall is my neighbor and our streets, like all the other streets in Faraway are lined with deadly fruit trees and deadly gardens. All these dark shady places are kept and tended by people with pale faces and empty eyes and here in our town Faraway no one is Sane and no one really lives because no one is really alive.

When Mr. Nightfall comes from Faraway sometimes he brings storms and in that wildness all you'll see, all you'll hear is Mr. Nightfall. You'll know he's coming and worst of all you won't be able to stop him.

When Mr. Nightfall crosses your path and he settles over your town you'll know he's there because your skin will start to feel to tight and you won't be able to pull air into your lungs.

Everything will seem...very Faraway.

That' when you'll know Mr. Nightfall is close enough to put out his cold, dark hand and lay it over your shoulder.

Once I followed Mr. Nightfall to a city with stores and cars and a coffee stand where the woman who served me wore a picture on her chest of a creature with stars in her hair. I asked if the creature in the picture was from the Well of Angra Lei and the Woman squeezed the cup of coffee so tight at the sound of my voice that the top popped off and the scalding hot coffee filled her eyes and mouth and she didn't cry out. Not even a little

The woman had turned to stone, her face was frozen into a mask and her eyes had rolled up into her head and I could hear her someplace deep inside screaming and screaming and screaming and she will never stop.

They never do when they are taken Faraway.

Mr. Nightfall didn' come back for me, he never turns back but he did call out to me and I followed him through the town and the entire time he cursed and spat and hissed like one of the cats that' not really a cat from back home in Faraway and he said, "They know I'm coming."

"Of course they know you're coming Mr. Nightfall, don'they always?"

"No, not like this they haven'tknown me like this for centuries I don't like this Miss Praecox. No I don't like it at all."

This time the people in this little town by the sea knew Mr. Nightfall was coming. There were candles in windows and there wasn't a soul on the street. They were locked behind doors and the curtains where drawn and they knew they were very aware Nightfall was coming.

As Mr. Nightfall crossed the city I stopped here and there and looked in windows and when I could I found people and I touched them, carefully, quietly with my left hand and I told them my name and their minds stopped liked old clocks.

I could hear it loud as thunder as gears and cogs and wheels that turn their minds
ground to a halt and I could hear what they took with them to Faraway.

My name.

" Enjoying your visit Miss Praecox?"

" I always do Mr. Nightfall."

He reached out to pat me on the head and thought better of it, " Just like you're Mother, we were a team in our day to. We worked well together.

The Praecox have always done their best work with Nightfall."

" So what's happened here Mr. Nightfall, where is everyone?"

He held a newspaper up and showed it to me. I couldn't read it of course and he ran a cold dark finger under the headline and read it to me.

" Hurricane Force Winds Strike Seattle, Power Outages State Wide, locals ready for Nightfall and freezing temperatures. They were ready for me this time. Lord I hate the press"

" Killjoys" I said with feeling.

" Well, there's always tomorrow, isn't there Miss Dementia Praecox?"

I agreed because everyone knows Nightfall comes from Faraway and sometimes it brings madness with it and it always will.


At 12:29 PM, Blogger le Enchanteur said...

Wow! If this is what my Angry Pixie and the storms over Seattle inspired well... all I can say is it is just stunning. The folk of New Orleans would relate to the terror of Mr Nightfall and his fearsome companions. The ember attacks during our recent firestorms could be the work of these people too. Brilliant! Moscoso at her best!

At 8:10 PM, Blogger Lois said...

I read something else in your story Anita,I may be right I may be wrong......

Mr bringing death by means of a violent storm but at other times he is bringing a peacefull end to the troubled lives of souls ...those with an incurable disease of the Alzheimer's Disease ..(named after a German Physician Alois Alzheimer (1864-1915).
Oou are miss Praecox and before that your Mother Mrs Praecox are the firm of undertakers.....In the town or city of Faraway
Miss Praecox is out and about at night checking to see those needing her services, and sometimes when she meets those not yet ready to go over to the other side...They freeze in horror when they hear the name and knowing your proffession ...your Mother having gone before and that you are now - the new undertaker on the block..
In this part of America where some have known horror,death and destruction they are holding on not wanting to go...they are not yet finished with fighting the powers that be...those who should help but are absent with that help.......

Perhaps my imagination is running away with me Anita........

Lois (muse of the sea) 6.2.06

At 10:45 PM, Blogger Imogen Crest said...


At 2:05 AM, Blogger Gail Kavanagh said...

I agree with Le Enchanteur - classic Moscoso! A deliciously chilling read.

At 11:22 PM, Anonymous Susan Preston said...

Has anyone seen Mr What's A name lately perhaps he prefers to climb in the twilight. I just wanted to let him know. I have a library copy of "The Folk Of The Faraway Tree" I look forward to filling in a childhood gap.I will pin the note to his favourite tree!

Susan Preston


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