Thursday, December 27, 2012

Midnight Mass (Blogophilia 44.5)



Christmas eve and spirits past hang heavy. As Kari looked into her glass, it occurred to her this was not her favorite holiday.  Old clients communing in their own midnight mass above her weathered couch.  But Kari didn’t like to think of herself as a Priestess, powerful and holy.  She wasn’t.  She was a human helping other humans’ transition to the next phase, whatever it might be.  That is all. The images always seemed to mock her loneliness and vulnerability.  And really, why couldn't they do that at All Saints.  It was what the holiday was for she thought, gulping down the ruby dregs. 

She was so stoned she couldn’t make sense of the images on the TV.  A mummified skeletor speaking demanded attention.  The audio didn’t match the video exactly, like one of those poorly dubbed art movies. The addled brain had some difficulty processing the effect. A disembodied voice stated her weight would disappear if she would just use this product.  Looking down at the soft tummy poking from her sweater, she laughed.  That easy?  Yeah, right.   

The remote then brought up the face of a talented tarot artist, another shallow huckster.  But it was a subject she had some interest in. There had been enough contact over the years to convince her the spirits were there, if patient.  She poured another glass of wine and picked up the pipe.  

It was a ritual implement and she  used it to transport her to another plane.  Resembling a dagger, it had been a thank you gift from a friend of a client.  He was a homeless man running from decisions he had made, like so many of them. She never judged. It wasn't her job.  Every time she smoked, the image of him calling the girls name arose.  It took time, but he hung on long enough to have them reunited before his passing.  It was her best case, to her mind. Another ghost to deal with tonight, but truly a  pleasant one.

With a flick, the Zippo’s flame touched the bowl.  A halo of smoke formed around her silver mane.  Gee, add some charcoal wings and the illusion would be complete.  Silly and cynical didn't match the image, though. She lay back on the couch and turned off the TV.  An image of Randi, the transvestite with the shagged blond hair drifted along the ceiling.  He had been such a funny valentine.  No, more like a madman across the water, with his short green skirt and white blouse.  It had been almost a year since he passed in her arms, completely alone in this world. She knew he was in a better place now, but still had some regret over her service.  So, who would handle the job when it was her time?  She had no one left since Mama died.  Maybe the powers that be figured she could do it herself since she had done it for so many.  

Looking at the ruby liquid, she decided she didn’t care anymore.  She took another sip and drifted off. 

11 comments:

  1. First!

    Wow.... riveting and haunting piece. Your imagery is razor sharp, and the pain Kari is trying to obliterate comes seeping through in your words here. You've really got a talented pen, my friend. This is amazing.

    :)

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I had been hoping to use Kari recently and this was a good opportunity.

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  2. Replies
    1. Yeah. I think we are all haunted by our past to a certain extent. It's just Kari more than others.

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  3. Kari is a very interesting character and I would enjoy reading more about her! Very unique and powerful write! 8 points Earthling! :)
    Marvin

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  4. Here is the first story from a long time ago.

    http://anothergovernmentemployee.blogspot.com/2012/01/streetligts.html

    Kind of wild when I realize the character evolved from a secondary Blogophilia prompt (alternate use for panty hose)

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  5. Tell her not to worry - there will always be humans ready to help other humans

    TM

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  6. She'll figure out what to do later. She's had a lot of experience as a living person.

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