Allendale: A Shunned House Part 22

After we told the Fitzgeralds that we had devised a plan to rid Allendale of its problems—we were vague about what we believed those problems to be—my uncle and I took two folding canvas chairs, a canvas cot, and some scientific equipment into the house. We placed these things in the basement during the day and planned to return in the evening for our first vigil. We had locked the door from the cellar to the ground floor; and having a key to the outside cellar door, we were prepared to leave our expensive and delicate equipment—which we had obtained secretly and at great cost—as many days as we might need to keep vigil. It was our plan to sit up together until very late and then watch alone until dawn in two-hour stretches, myself first and then my uncle, the inactive member resting on the cot.

The natural leadership with which my uncle procured the instruments from the laboratories at Austin Peay University and from locked rooms at Fort Campbell, and how he instinctively assumed direction of our venture, was a marvelous commentary on the vitality and resilience of a man of eighty-one. Elias Allen had kept himself in extraordinary health and if not for what happened later would be here in full vigor today. Only three people know what did happen—the Fitzgeralds and myself. I had to tell them because they owned the house and deserved to know what had gone out of it.  And I felt that, after my uncle’s death, they would understand and assist me if some public explanation became necessary. They turned very pale but agreed.

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I can’t tell if your writing is any good or if I just like it because I’m your mom.–My mom, keeping it real.

S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night!

Elizabeth and I have been discussing our reading list all morning and I am so stoked!

Don’t get me wrong, I could read all day from A City of Ghosts to an empty room and not get tired of it. I’m really proud of that strange little book. But there’s something about reading my stories next to someone who’s taking her poems on a similar path, who also believes that this city should have a mythology rich enough to support all kinds of stories, is really exciting to me.

I’m going to debut a new short story the name of which I can’t remember. It’s something like “Beyond, Below, Behind,” but I keep wanting to call it “Bed, Bath, and Beyond,” which, weirdly enough, almost works.

Somedays, Walking the Dog is like Taking a Mild Hallucinogen

A week out from my doctor’s appointment, I tried walking the dog again. I had to, for the sake of all our sanity. No matter how old she gets, if she doesn’t get a good walk, the dog is insufferable. I don’t yet feel any soft tissue pain, and that metallic pain has not overwhelmed me, though I feel it kind of like a pipe cleaner in there. Hopefully, we can continue to walk in the mornings. We both need it.

But that is not what I was going to write you about. No, I wanted to say how the trees are not yet bare, but have lost some leaves. And the way we were coming back along Lloyd with the sun not quite up, everything at our level was in color, but all the tall trees above us were still in black and white. And there was this noise, like the ocean, but higher pitched and then the tops of the trees seemed to come off and swirl around above us, as if all the leaves had been caught in a strong wind too high for us to feel and then the leaves would all land on another tree, filling it up with foliage.

And I knew they were birds. I mean, you couldn’t not hear them squawking. And yet, I also couldn’t not seem them as integral to the trees. They looked like leaves.

And then a deer bounded across the road and I looked at the dog and she looked at me like “Wow, did you see that?”