Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Room Full Of Bodies



Another excerpt from the new novel -- trying like hell to get this one done by Halloween!

My mother loved to tell the story of Bluebeard, the ultimate cautionary tale. Bluebeard marries a girl, his seventh wife. Nobody knows what happened to the first six. When he goes away for a week to his secret room and warns his new wife not to look inside the room. But she lets herself and finds all of his other wives butchered. In the original story, Bluebeard returns and tries to kill her, but her brothers save her at the last minute. Mother, of course, left the last part out, the saving part. She believed you were on your own in this world.

I once knew a girl whose father forced her to eat dinner from a dog bowl. “You’re a fucking dog, so act like it.” In a single line, your heart can break. I don’t know, the whole thing is fucked up from the get go, what the Pentecostals call a generational curse. If you have one, the elders of the church tie you to a metal folding chair and put their hands on you while speaking in tongues until the evil is cast out of your body.

So when I met Chris for the second time, I didn’t recognize him for what he was -- a curse, a cruelty, my Bluebeard. He didn’t have a room full of bodies yet. That would come later. I always wanted to know about the holes in the story. How does someone come to need the secret room? And how does it feel to be the secret?


Michelle's Spell of the Day
"When what we hoped for came to nothing, we revived." Marianne Moore

Cocktail Hour
Any of my readers wearing costumes that I should know about? Tell all!

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Wednesday!

8 comments:

chris said...

Now wait just a minute. I have only met you once. If you ever come back to town and we can all go out. Are you sure you want to make fun of my Blue beard,it's all natural.

I don't have a room full of bodies but I do have a house full of dogs,4 large agressive ones.Yes I do have a lot of secrets,99% work related.

I am eager to see where this story ends up because we still plan to move to the US Virgin Islands. The US Virgin Islands have a lot of Bluebeard history.I am just wondering if Bluebeard will pop up again or is he just a one time Pirate ?

I hope all finds you well and no I still don't have any idea for a costume. I was Uncle Sam last year and with my blue beard longer than normal it worked out rather well. I did not win the contest,but a lot of people thought I should have.

jodi said...

Aw Honey, those are secrets we should never have to learn. Way to painful. Of course, my fantasy costume would be a mermaid with a large sparky tail. I would have long, flowing locks and be carted around all night in a wagon fashioned into a giant clam she and people would hand me frothy cocktails. Hey, how about you dream up a "Mermaid's Kiss" cocktail for me. It would be the official Keys Vaycay drink!!!! xoxo

Charles Gramlich said...

This scene really has a punch to it. It builds almost like a poem, but then shifts the tension forward, which should definitely keep the reader turning the page.

the walking man said...

It seemed discordant until you pulled it through with the third paragraph. The second paragraph is completed with the third by asking the questions that are answered in the second.

I am wearing my usual costume, gas station jacket and attitude to cover everything else.

I say you take a poll on the Virgin Mary thing. It is so you kiddo.

Anonymous said...

Mark Martin #5 Nascar jacket with Froot Loops Toucan and Corn Flakes Rooster emblems on the front. A giant Tony the Tiger on the back. This oufit is capped off with an orange Kellogg's baseball hat. Dark grey corduroy Levi's, Scetchers driving shoes and leather Mizuno driving gloves round out the picture. Vrooooom!!!!!--Parnelli Jones

Scott said...

Michelle,

I've been enjoying your latest work so far. Good job!

I still haven't decided what to do for Halloween yet...guess I better come up with something soon. Any suggestions?

Quan said...

And the Lord passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, 'The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet He does not leave the guilty unpunished; He punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.'
Exodus 34:6-7

Loved the generational curse reference and look forward to the completed book.

Laura Benedict said...

Bluebeard--one of my favorites.

There was a time when it meant a lot to me to be someone's secret. I love secrets.

You'll get it done. Go, you!

(And I'm going to be a zebra. Don't tell anyone. Shhhh.) xoxo