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The stage setting was not large, as representative of parlor style nightclubs of the early 50’s; and contained but a single slim table of antique charm. Upon its mahogany span was a single candle stick, unlit; and a simple crystal vase with a flowered sprig with empty branch, from which hung a silver bell. All of this was revealed by an ebbing spot-light glow as if at sunrise. Of its own accord the bell rang out with a pure tone of joy and all stared at the candle to see what happened there. A hundred eyes watched in anticipation – yearning again to hear that note or some new mystery of flame – anything to break the silence.

Beside the table, un-noticed in the shadow of focused attention, the darkness turned to reveal a pristine ruffled “V” surmounted by a dark eyes and somber smile. Harry’s hands were crossed such that the white protruding cuffs blended with the dress shirt – allowing the elegant fingers to float up and out and frame a noble portrait reminiscent of Olivier and Stewart Granger. With his gesture came full light upon the scene, and his hands revolved in emptiness. A cigarette appeared in his lips – a popular fashion then – smoke curling about in response to an unseen breeze. Then he removed it with finger tips in the European way, and with a flick and shrug it was gone, smoke and all, as if to signal he was ready to begin.

The removal of a simple handkerchief from a breast pocket should not be a thing of delight, but in his hands it became a foaming waterfall in reverse – free at last to drift slowly over his waiting left hand. The cloth hesitated, then fell away to reveal a glass of wine from which Harry sipped in toast to the white limpness upon the floor. The glass was set on the table and single petal plucked from the blossom to be set upon the candle where it came to life in dancing glee as the bell rang again in sympathy. He removed the candle and stepped aside – coming close upon the ladies in the front row. He removed part of the flame with finger tips and tossed it into the air, and with the catching of it again held a second candle – and so on to a third and fourth, each held in turn between fingers of his left hand for all to see the amber flames. Then, one by one Harry took the candles and tossed them at the bell – never reached except in tinkling delight – the departing flame diminishing into a lonely silence of vision – only the ringing knowing where it had gone. With but one candle remaining, Harry snapped his fingers like a gunshot; and we saw the sleeping handkerchief leap up at his command and fly to the candle fully two yards away. These two merged, seeming at a space between his outstretched hands, to burst into flame and change into a dove which flew to his shoulder. He carried the dove to the candle stick where it remained for the rest of the performance.

A single feather had stuck to Harry’s coat sleeve. He blew on this and once more held a smoking cigarette with which he performed a number of miracles of transportation. He swallowed it and found it behind his knee. Broken in two it was restored. It vanished and reappeared in many places, always smoking. Finally, he drew on it and blew a cloud of smoke into the air. Reaching in he drew out a walking stick in place of the cigarette. This black and silver shaft danced about between his hands and above and out into the watchers, occasionally tapping on the floor as a metronome. With a last flourish of spinning on his finger-tip, the cane became whiter and whiter, and as the bell sounded once more, fell limp across his fingers – a simple white handkerchief!

This Harry stuffed quietly into his pocket so that all was as when he came, save the glass of wine which he drank while whispering to the dove as he walked silently from the stage – and the hall —

and never heard the thunderous applause,
not saw the tear in every eye,
or knew that he had changed my life
forever.

faucon

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Greetings fellow revellers,

I am something of an itinerant and my appearances in Lemuria are somewhat irregular but I usually return with tales of afar, photos, collages or words. I have just returned from more journeying but more about that in another time and another place. I have brought with me two pictures to hang on the walls of the tavern (courtesy of the French postal system).

The first one is called “sleep”

and the second one is called “the sleeping muse”

I feel sure that, with all the creative stimuli I can feel floating in the air around me, it will not be long before there are no sleepers here (dreamers maybe), and wonders will come forth.

Troubadour (aka Traveller aka Carol)

shilling

 

The Carousel of Life by Heather Blakey

To be, or not to be: that is the question:

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,

Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,

And by opposing end them. To die: to sleep;

No more; and by a sleep to say we end

The heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks

That flesh is heir to, ’tis a consummation

Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep;

To sleep: perchance to dream: aye, there’s the rub;

For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,

When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,

Must give us pause: there’s the respect

That makes calamity of so long life;

For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,

The oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,

The pangs of despised love, the law’s delay,

The insolence of office, and the spurns

That patient merit of the unworthy takes,

When he himself might his quietus make

With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,

To grunt and sweat under a weary life,

But that the dread of something after death,

he undiscover’d country from whose bourn

No traveler returns, puzzles the will,

And makes us rather bear those ills we have

Than fly to others that we know not of?

Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,

And thus the native hue of resolution

Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,

And enterprises of great pitch and moment

With this regard their currents turn awry

And lose the name of action

by William Shakespeare

 

 

Ahemmmm! and a word without substance drifts amongst the table of the Salon. I am patient, for the interplay of laughter tinted chatter, tinkling glasses and rippling shadows is finer indeed than the planned performances of the night – or so it seems to me. What grander stage than a patterned quilt stitched by heart and hand of strangers well met, friends embraced and memories gathered? I would not cast a noisome pebble into this pool of muse and dreams save that Sibyl has commanded a performance later on when candle light eclipse the reflected sunset glow.

Finally, my standing presence has an effect and someone chimes goblet and fork –
pingggg!, just to get attention – then again chingggg!, to bond retention. I move ever slightly to acknowledge the now palpable silence and seething expectation.

“My ladies fine and glad,” says I – repeating a phrase heard long ago in a Parisian Cave … I have engaged a most special and singular performance for this evening yet to come, and give some foreshadowing that you might prepare and plan. I will present to you one Harry Shilling medium close to midnight; and as he directed during his tour of fame in 1951 – there will be no service of food or drink, nor shuffling of chairs, nor furtive trips nor – pray toss your cell phone in the river! I assure you his performance is that good, and as anything less than full attention will shatter the expanded moment of allure – the magic that will weave – he will leave the stage!

You have never heard of him I doubt, but may know of others like him – salon performers ‘twixt the Great War to end all, and the bleeping of satellites in the sky..

now gone forever such as he. Oh, he passed in 1964 onto a brighter stage, I’d say – yet I did see him perform – just one time – one night, and I would recreate for you in slightest pretence of imitation the artistry of this event. I am enough of a magician for that – though my words will have to engender the miasma of cherish that touched my soul that night, and perhaps you will transport in a crossing of Currents and know something of one who loved performing magic as an art form – a symphony of motion, mystery and caressed shadows. Just remember to breath …

Now I must leave in order to prepare.

by Anita Marie Moscoso

Just a little tale about a simple hard working woman- a tale I think Sibyl will appreciate-

amm

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Abney Hawkweed taught music for 25 years in the Caswell School District and those were the best years of her life.

Not that she liked teaching; in fact Abney didn’t even like kids.

But the hours were good, she got the Summers off and at the end of the day not many people go out of their way to pay attention to plain looking women with wire rimmed glasses who know how to play the violin and trumpet and the saxophone.

Which suited Miss Abney Hawkweed just fine.

In the old days, after school was over and Abney was on her way home she used to roll the windows of her fuel-efficient little car down and she use to turn the radio off just so she could hear the honking horns and screeching tires. Sometimes she even got an earful and eyeful of some road raging driver screaming their lungs out and waving their fingers around in nasty gestures.

People were great and when they were driving and when they were ugly they were even better to watch.

Just for the fun of it Abney would go out of her way on certain days just so that she could drive passed the Great Mall of Felton Hills.

She just loved to watch people dodge buses and trucks and cars and then no matter how many cars were behind her honking their horns she’d drive slow just so she could see the same people sprint, jog or run across the parking lots with baby strollers and shopping carts- all so that they could get into the shops and the food court and consume anything they could lay their hands on.

It all seemed so trivial and innocent and final.

There was no mystery to life in the suburbs.

You worked, you shopped, you watched TV and then you got to die.

Some people, Abney thought, don’t know how good they have it and that’s a fact.

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Abney’s day job paid the rent; what she did at night was who Abney Hawkweed was. She could always find another day job, but there was only one Abney and when the Sunset came she couldn’t be anything else.

So just after dinner she would gather her tools into a little black leather medical bag- the one she inherited from her Grandfather and she turn the little gold clasps counter clockwise to lock it.

Then for luck, just like Grandpa taught her, she would touch the little brass plate that said, ” Post Mortem Case ” three times.

The luck thing was important because she usually needed it.

eyes1-3.gif

Like with most family businesses you could either take up the reigns and do the family proud or you could skate by and make them wish they could at least say you were adopted or ‘from the other side of the family’.

The worst you could be neither, the worst thing you could be is mediocre.

And know it.

Abney figured she could get the job done and that pretty much described Abney’s job performance. She wasn’t as glamorous and thin and blond as her cousin Inez and she wasn’t as smart or athletic as her Father Dr Setwell Hawkweed had been.

They were impressive figures at work and well respected.

No doubt, Abney could dig up a coffin, pop it open and hammer a stake into the bloated red face of a vampire before it could open it’s mouth and spit blood all over her face-which is what they did when they were about to attack.

If they got you it was bad news because that mess could make you blind.

That’s how they brought you down.

Anyway…

The problem was it was just plain old Abney Hawkweed in some old decrepit church or over grown cemetery carrying on the family trade.

There was no sense of style about how Abney did her work so she did it quietly and efficiently as possible and then she’d go home feed her cat, listen to a little Mozart and then she’d turn in for what was left of the evening.

She did that for 25 years and she never complained.

She didn’t even complain when she had to go into a house on Halloween (of all nights) and take out a family of Vampires who had been sleeping in their basement and then had taken to hanging from the rafters like water logged Piñatas-dripping blood and purge from their hardly working bowels onto the floor.

All Abney figured when she slipped in the gunk and broke her wrist was that they had done that on purpose.

It wasn’t like the books and comics and video games you know.

Abney learned the hard way that oxygen deprivation at death and then waking up to find you had been turned into a mosquito was enough to make anyone crazy.

Very Crazy.

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On the day Abney retired- both from the Day Job and the Family Trade, her work friends had taken her out for lunch and given her some neat gifts and they had promised to keep in touch.

She doubted they would.

And of course they didn’t.

Her family same to celebrate her retirement and of course they promised to stay in touch too- and Abney figured they’d make good on that and of course they did.

Especially when they needed a night off.

eyes1-3.gif

As time went by Abney started to play the Violin again for the simple pleasure of it. She never got calls to lend a hand at this Graveyard or that Morgue because the Vampire Problem was a Problem Solved and Abney decided to take up the guitar.

It was at Inez’s birthday part last winter that Inez had told Abney, ” You know in the old days we could never have all gotten together like this. It’d have been too dangerous. I mean, a couple of nutty blood suckers and a can of gasoline and before you know it we’re crispy critters and people are dropping like flies from ‘ the plague’ again.”

” You had a lot to do with that Abney. Thank you.”

And Abney decided right then and there that she may not have been the sleekest of models to hit the showroom floor but she had made a difference all the same.

That was when Abney really felt it for the first time- her life; her simple quiet life was all she ever was.

And she missed it.

eyes1-3.gif

When Spring came Abney had decided to take up sketching. She was pretty awful at it, but she had nothing but time on her hands and if this didn’t work she could always try something else.

So one day she’s at her favorite park sketching her favorite tree when four teenagers went walking by.

Shoulder to shoulder they looked like a little black thundercloud rolling along on the cobble stone pathway.

Their faces were pale, their lips were black and they smelled like the perfume counter at the Bay Side Department store.

Abney watched them for a moment and then she called out, ” You there…are you suppose to be Vampires? “

There was a chorus of snorts and chuckles and someone tried to growl ” suppose to be ” but his his voice cracked.

One of the little black clouds broke away from the rest and she tried to glide up towards the middle-aged woman with salt and pepper hair ” We’re Goth ” she said slowly with her jaw clenched tight and her black hair falling into her face.

” Is that a new type of Vampire?” Abney asked cheerfully.

” I guess you could say that.” the girl with the pointed white teeth said. Then she tried to stare the old woman down. ” Why do you want to know? “

Abney shrugged, ” just checking. “

And as the little black cloud drifted down the path Abney got up, reached for the black bag under her chair and touched the little brass plate three times.

Then she went to work.

antique_cross_wallpaper_100.jpg

 

Sibyl is perched, cat like, on the mantle of the mauve room with Silky the elf from the Faraway Tree. They are waiting to see who will come to the first of Sibyl’s official Salon’s at the Tavern.

Both laughed joyfully, dismissing any mistrust, when they saw that a Clown had already arrived and was performing.

Bring a friend and enjoy the good company, excellent food and light entertainment.

A watercolor from long ago

I thought you might enjoy

 

 

Cronelogical

Official Lemurian Tavern


Authenticated by le Enchanteur

What is the Soul Food Cafe?

The Soul Food Cafe is an international group of writers and artists whose global mission is to promote writing and art-making as a daily practice through the use of interactive web-based technologies such as blogging and e-mail groups.

Exploring Lemuria

Lemuria is the fantasy construct where the participants of the Soul Food Cafe post their work, andThe Taverna di Muse is one of many places and realms within Lemuria. To see some other Lemurian destinations, select one below and start your journey:

Riversleigh Manor
Murmuring Woods
Cyberia, City of Ladies
The Hermitage
On the Road with Enchanteur
The Digital Atelier The Cave of the Ancients
Lemurian Abbey
Halloween Party, 2006
The Heroine's Journey
Aboard the Calabar Felonway
The Pythian Games
Isle of the Temple People
Isle of Ancestors
The Temple of Solace
Grand Tour
Lemurian Tour
The Gypsy Camp

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The opinions expressed by contributors to Taverna di Muse on this blog as well as on public domains outside this blog are not to be construed as an endorsement by Heather Blakey or Lori Gloyd. Material appearing on this site remains the property of individual artists and writers.

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