PseudoPod 851: Flash on the Borderlands LXIV: Purification
Candlemas: “February 2, 2023 is Candlemas. I’ve always had a thing for microfiction -tiny, jewel-like figures, acting out their passion play to the chiming of a pocket watch. Repetition seems to polish such tales, not wear them down, till they shine like fairy stories, eternally recommencing in some corner of the mind.”
That so the superstitious find
No one least branch there left behind:
For look, how many leaves there be
Neglected, there (maids, trust to me)
So many goblins you shall see.
by Don Mark Baldridge
In silent, black and white; handcranked, 16 frames per second: A large piece of driftwood washes up on this cold and miserable island. The devout recognize something in it. Believe they can trace, in its gnarled whirls, the figure of the Virgin.
These simple people build a small chapel of rough fieldstone and enshrine it there -an upright, kneeling shape.
A hundred years later, the chapel has fallen into ruin. Crossfade to expired Fuji 16mm color stock, pushed slightly, grainy and handheld: The former fishing village all but abandoned, the sun closing in on the sea.
Two girls, foreign backpackers -long legged in bright shorts: orange, yellow- hike across the island. They barely share a language, communicating, instead, by helpful gestures.
A man in a low cap, driving an unmarked lorry, brakes for them, offering a ride. They climb eagerly into the cab.
But he attempts to take them beyond their turning, up into the hills, the coming darkness. He won’t stop to let them out -hardly looks at them- but accelerates up the incline. (Continue Reading…)