Thursday Quotable: 3 AM

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Oh God, midnight’s not bad, you wake and go back to sleep, one or two’s not bad, you toss but sleep again. Five or six in the morning, there’s hope, for dawn’s just under the horizon. But three, now, Christ, three A.M.! Doctors say the body’s at low tide then. The soul is out. The blood moves slow. You’re the nearest to dead you’ll ever be save dying. Sleep is a patch of death, but three in the morn, full wide-eyed staring, is living death! You dream with your eyes open. God, if you had strength to rouse up, you’d slaughter your half-dreams with buckshot! But no, you lie pinned to a deep well-bottom that’s burned dry. The moon rolls by to look at you down there, with its idiot face. It’s a long way back to sunset, a far way on to dawn, so you summon all the fool things of your life, the stupid lovely things done with people known so very well who are now so very dead – And wasn’t it true, had he read somewhere, more people in hospitals die at 3 A.M. than at any other time…

— Something Wicked This Way Comes, Ray Bradbury

Whoever said midnight was the witching hour? It’s three AM when the carnival train comes howling through Greentown like a chill wind through the keyhole in Charles Holloway’s aging heart. He starts to feel his mortality, and delivers us this deliciously poignant soliloquy, reminding us that we all must have our three AM, our dark night of the soul.

Check out my post from last All Hallow’s Read for more on this Bradbury classic. Shout out to The Ceaseless Reader Writes, for making me think of this classic Bradbury quote.

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Flash Fiction: The Codex

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Desktop Nexus Wallpaper

The Order, Part II

In the center of the Tower of Mystery, the Codex shone upon its pedestal, its illuminated script radiant with peace, wonder, and terror. For what is awe — what is mystery — but these three of the nine virtues?

“What are you doing?” came the voice of Sister Ceodwyn.

Sister Constance wheeled. “I was… only curious.”

Ceodwyn slammed the book shut, her face a mask of fear and fury.

“This is not for our eyes, Constance. We are only acolytes.”

She took Constance by the hand and pulled at her, but Constance pulled away.

“No, Ceodwyn,” she said. “I have to know.”

~100 words

Author’s Note

Something is lost when a story must be explained, but I do think it’s relevant to mention what is going on here, structurally, although I will allow the story itself to do its own interpretation. Let’s start with what I know so far.

I know that there is a story here that wants to be told. I know the story will come in bits and pieces. And I know this particular snippet is not in chronological order. It reads to me like a prequel to the first story in The Order.

But, at this juncture, you the reader, know about as much about this story as I do. I’ll leave it as an exercise for the reader to piece the events together, just as I must do.

Here’s the first part if you’d like to follow along:

The Order Part I

via Daily Prompt: Constant

Flash Fiction: Edge

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Photo by Bikurgurl

There are places between places. There are times between times. The clocktower has struck one, but the dancer cannot tell if it is one in the afternoon, or one in the morning. Her people do not experience time the way that humans do. For her, this bridge is already decayed, is still being built, and never was at all. Bridges are like that, places between places.

The dancer lifts herself up onto the ledge and does a pirouette. For all the bewildering dimensions that shift around her, she is not afraid of falling. She likes to dance on the edge.

~100 words

via Bikurgurl 100 Word Wednesday Week 57