Shadows #writephoto

shadows

Photo by Sue Vincent

Note – this is now Chapter 14 of the story Of Wind and Wings, a story inspired by these prompts of Sue’s.

***

It was the infinite room of pillars again, columns running in every direction.  It was the same, but different.  A bright green light off in one direction extended the pillars into long shadows.

Strangely confident, Ed strode up to the light.  As he expected, it was the waystone again.  This time he followed the sign.  It didn’t surprise him that he soon saw his tower.  But as he approached, the tower grew, expanded, changed.

On reaching the tower Ed climbed up to an open window and peered in.  The structure was just a shell, open to the sky.  But that wasn’t the first thing that struck Ed.

“Pillars,” Ed said out loud.  The room of pillars again.  Was he back where he started?

The infinite pillars filling the shell of the tower collapsed down to just a single structure, a Greek or Roman style memorial or tomb, mostly open space and Doric Columns.  A bright light descended behind the shell of the tower.  The memorial sent shadows racing in front of the light.  The shadows struck Ed like a physical force.

“Good morning Mr. Pulman.  I made breakfast for you today.”

Ed sat bolt upright at the sound of Liza’s voice.  Where was he?  It couldn’t be day, already, could it?  His head was foggy.

Bright light streamed through the window at a sharp angle illuminating the bed but sending most of the room into black shadow.  It really was morning. And he really was in his room at Liza’s house.  He could smell the breakfast.

Still groggy, Ed got up and started fumbling with clothes.  How did he get there?

He had followed The Grubb around the moors for a few hours the previous day.  He was surprised at how attuned the man was to nature.  The Grubb pointed out signs of different animals.  He pointed to different plants and said names, names Ed felt must be correct, though he didn’t know most of them himself.  He turned stones and showed Ed insects.  He watched the birds, knowing their exact behavior and anticipating their every move.  He seemed to be able to sense the weather.

After a while though, Ed felt that he needed to get back to the village and left The Grubb to his lone wanderings.

In the village Ed had explored the shops and walked around until the evening shadows grew long.  He found a place for dinner and discovered that Mr. Brown was correct, it did not compare to the pub where they had eaten lunch.

“Note to self, don’t eat anywhere else in the village but Mr. Brown’s pub.”

After that, the evening was a little grey, shadowy.  Ed didn’t want to return back to Elisabeth Smyth’s house but wasn’t sure what else to do.  But there he drew a blank.  What did he end up doing?

Ed walked down stairs to the breakfast.  Liza greeted him with a warm smile, but he felt something else.  A shadow across her heart.

“Good morning,” Ed said as he sat.

“How was your day out?”

“Good.  I think I want to repeat it. That is, I want to go into the village and then walk on the moors some more.  It looks like a beautiful day.”

“That it is.”

Eliza was watching him in an odd way as he ate.  The look was bright on the surface, but dark underneath.  He tried to remember the night before.  Was anything said?  Or was it just still fallout from her revelation the day before?

The book and the revelation.  Ed had been avoiding thinking about it.  Parts of it did bother him, though.  Actually, parts of it didn’t make sense.  If he did think about it, it led him into contradiction, no matter which way he turned.

“You seem rather thoughtful this morning, Ed.”

“Oh, yeah, sorry.  I’m a little tired.  And being a bit introverted, this is how I handle it.  I introvert, turn inward.  Sorry.”

“No problem.  The moors are the perfect place for an Introvert, you know.  From what I know about the US, I can’t see America as being a very good place for an Introvert at all.  I think you need to spend more time out there.”  She waved her hand in a general direction to indicate the moors around them.

Ed laughed uneasily.  “I guess I can be a later day Heathcliff, brooding on the moors as I plot vengeance.”

Eliza gave him a strange, dark look.  “And who would your vendetta be aimed against?”

“What?  Uhm, I was forced to read that book as a college freshman and don’t remember more than bits and pieces.  Let’s see if I remember.  I guess if it is the spurned lover thing, it would have to be my ex-wife and her new-found family.  Right?  Of course there are no resentments there.  Few cruelties.”  He shrugged and continued to eat.

“Thinking of books, have you had a chance to read any of your great uncle’s book that I gave you?”

“No.  I didn’t have time.”

Ed was about to return to his breakfast, but then an odd thought occurred to him.  Was that right?  What had he done all of the evening before?  Perhaps he did read some of the book.  A chapter or two?  Or Three?  Something about the thought of the book cast a disquieting shadow over him.

“Well, maybe I read a little…”  Or did he read it all?  How late was he up?  Ed felt a bit confused.

Liza smiled, but the smile was truer than before, a little ray of sunshine peeking out from the shadows.

“You did seem distracted last night…”

“Yeah.”  Ed tried to remember Liza from the night before.  The book made some sense in his limited memory, but she did not.  He knitted his brow, holding his fork perfectly still where it had halted on its journey to his mouth.

Liza gave Ed another smile, and then left the room.  Something about her absence freed Ed and he continued to eat.

45 minutes later, fed and washed, Ed headed out for the day.

The Grubb was leaning against his car.  Ed knew he didn’t drive, so he must have walked all of the way out to the Smyth’s house.

“Hi Mr. Ed.  You’re late.  The sun is riding high in the sky, melting the shadows.  But there is still some morning left.  Ready to go out and explore?”

Ed half laughed to himself, but just smiled at The Grubb.

“Sure, Grubb, let’s go.”

***

And so it continues, now up to chapter ten (10) of the newly named Of Wind and  Wings. Chapter 13 is here. Chapter 12 is here. Chapter 11 is here.  Chapter 10 is hereChapter 9 is hereChapter 8 is hereChapter 7 is hereChapter 6 is hereChapter 5 is hereChapter 4 is hereChapter 3 is hereChapter 2 is here and Chapter 1 here.

Yuck.  Someday I am going to create a proper navigation for this story…

***

This was written for Sue Vincent’s #writephoto challenge.  See this week’s challenge here.

29 thoughts on “Shadows #writephoto

  1. Pingback: Photo prompt round-up: Shadows #writephoto | Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I have been busy (or inspired) this week and posted three new chapters. In the last one, he does remember a little more about that book. Not much. But there is more on the Others and a bit of philosophy thrown in as well…

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  2. Pingback: Dreams and Ghosts | Trent's World (the Blog)

  3. Pingback: With the Grubbs | Trent's World (the Blog)

  4. Pingback: Mr. Brown | Trent's World (the Blog)

    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Funny, but most of the true introverts I know really don’t like computers much. They are typically very outdoors type people who love hiking or flat water kayaking or horseback riding or other quiet activities. They love meeting new and interesting people, but it saps energy – the more time they spend with people the harder it is, particularly large groups of noisy people. One on one interaction is fine, and even better if they talk about something with meaning. If it gets overwhelming, they’d rather be at home curled up with a good book. The word “introvert” means (roughly) inwardly focused.

      There are the computer nerds, and many of those are introverts. But the type you describe are most likely also “on the spectrum”. The poor social development is rarely part of the introvert personality.

      The true extrovert, on the other hand, needs to be around people. The might be outside, but they like doing loud things, things with huge amounts of adrenaline. They enjoy being alone and down time, but it saps their energy and they grow bored. They need to talk to someone. If they get bored, they have to talk to someone, anyone, about anything. Do something. The word “extrovert” (roughly) outwardly focused.

      Most people, of course, are somewhere in between. And most have times when they are extremely introverted and times when they are extremely extroverted.

      I’ve read a lot of books and articles about how American business is very Extrovert-centric, even though “true extroverts” (like true introverts) make up maybe 10% of the population. Everyone has to be loud, friendly all of the time, constantly talking, always active in high adrenaline pursuits, etc.

      So the main character here is an introvert that enjoys walking the moors alone, or with others if they are lost in their own world as they walk. He lieks to read and research and discover the world about him. But he also likes to meet different people. And I hope I am making the people he meets very different ;)

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      1. Miriam Hurdle

        You’re right, Trent. My husband is introvert. He had a business working with computer doing data analysis for hospitals. He worked in hospitals as administrator, strategic planner for some years before his business.
        He prefers one on one with guys. He used to ride dirt bikes, flying helicopter, diving, and sailing. Yes, mostly outdoor but not with big crowd.
        I’m in between. I don’t like talking about shopping, fashion or cooking things with women. I like talking with individual women on meaningful things. I also find myself talking to guys with intellectual stuff.
        Well, introvert and extrovert are interesting issues. :-)

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        1. trentpmcd Post author

          It is interesting stuff. As your husband proves, just because American business is a culture of extroversion doesn’t mean an introvert can’t climb to the top. And as you said (or implied) we are all complete individuals that can’t be pigeonholed. That being said, when I read the book “Quiet” I wanted to hunt down the author and ask her how she could spy on me for all of those years without me catching on ;) Reading the book was like looking into a mirror….

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          1. Miriam Hurdle

            I like what you said about reading the book is like looking into a mirror.
            I’m a volunteer counselor, one client had no feelings or couldn’t identify any feelings (suppressed since early childhood. I assigned her a couple books to read and gave her a sheet with a list of feeling words. She gradually identify the hurtful feeling throughout her life. :-)

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I am an American Introvert, and I can verify that observation ;) Of course I spent a big chunk of my career working with Air Traffic Controllers, so my view point on the average person may be a little tainted ;)

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        1. trentpmcd Post author

          lol, I’m sure you have seen it.

          Most ATC are very alpha, type A personalities. One way to look at it is they have to use the force of their personality to tell people who are responsible for multi-million dollar machines and possibly hundreds of lives what to do, and those powerful people, who are themselves usually ultra-alpha types, have to listen. The entire process is vocal – talking. They have to be fast on their feet with their words. When not talking to actual aircraft or other controllers professionally, they are venting steam by teasing the other controllers in the room with them. It is a constant sword fight with words. Most of the time it is for fun, but hard for someone who would rather be reading a book ;) There is no down time, it is at 100% even if there is nothing going on. Not an Introverts job… I don’t work with many controllers directly any more, but I was one for a while and worked with them a lot for many years after that. One or two Introverts in the bunch, but most are by far the most Extroverted people I’ve seen, making the pushy salesman look quiet…

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            1. trentpmcd Post author

              It is pretty intense. Most of the people are actually pretty nice and friendly, so the sparring is more to keep their whits than being mean. And I did not drink enough coffee back then – I started drinking more after I became a computer nerd ;)

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