Friday, July 17, 2009

A story start?

Heres some news dudes!

First, Zinefest was awesome! Thanks for everyone who came by and said hi to me or to see what I was selling. A BIG thanks for Good Minnesotan, who let me share their table! It was really fun and I love the sense of community and sharing that comes from it. Also, I love trades and I was able to get some pretty sweet work that way!

Second, I have some pieces in the show Gallery 13 vrs. Summer Funk. The opening is tomorrow night and you can read more about it HERE. My pieces may be the smallest (and probably the cheapest!) in the show. I was able to look around when I dropped my work off and there is a ton of cool stuff in there. If you can't make the opening then you should try to go and look at the HUGE collection of art there.

Third, here is the start of a story I wrote tonight. Barb would prolly like it, it's based of that one comic I was making for her class that I never finished...My favorite line is: wide hips that made midwifes wet their lips
Really, that has nothing to do with the story. Also. not for children I guess.

This is how we sleep, with daylight creeping in under the wooden doors, the stench of swamp and yesterdays salami filling up the hot humid air. A dirty sheet to cover up our dirty feet.
Sam snores almost instantly, he falls asleep the same way one would fall down a flight of stairs. Tumbling and shifting and moving at first then bam-stillness.
We sleep in the butcher’s cellar, almost far enough away from the main part of the city to sleep undisturbed by its clamor. Every once in awhile I’m woken by the last desperate cry of a cow or chicken above us, or else the hard sound of the butcher’s knife coming into contact with his wooden cutting board.
We wake up at dusk when the noise of shoppers and pedestrians change into cat calls and whistles at the whores. Sam and I yawn, stretch our muscles, stretch our backs, crack our necks, crack our knuckles. We leave the dampness of the cellar, grabbing our salami to eat while walking, and head to the swamp. The swamp is actually called Dustin Ducket’s Swamp-named after some poor nine-year-old who drowned in its depths some hundred years ago, mistaking its black festering waters for a playground.
Sam and I kept a small dinghy hidden in some bushes and chained to a rock just in case. Sam named the boat Caroline, after a hooker he screwed so many times he thought he was in love with her. His fling with the red-haired red-breasted woman lasted a few months before he had enough, then he had more than enough. Caroline cried pregnancy then cried for money then cried no more and Sam moved onto the brothel down the street.
The little boat was a gift from my father, a man so hairy he was often confused for a monster or beast. My mother was the only woman who ever loved him. She was plain and simple (that is to say dumb) and often mistook my father for her childhood teddy bear. She would occasionally call him Raisin after her toy, instead of Randolph. He spent most of his time out in Dustin Ducket’s Swamp fishing for catfish and bottom-feeders. My mother would sell whatever he caught as bait at the market, often being tricked and she lost as much money as she earned.
Sam and I never had the talent to sing fish up to the surface as my father had, we earn our money in less conventional methods. Sam unchains our little boat and we set off into the maze of foliage and leaves. Dustin Ducket’s Swamp is overcrowded, heavy, and always humid. A tangle of baldcyress trees and buttonbushes, elderberry and cabbage palm, poison sumac clings to clumps of dirt, primrose willows block the sun. The water reeks from decomposing plants, strange carcasses float peacefully past the boat. Home sweet home we say.
We drift through the swamp, heading to the east bank. Sam and I are not proud of how we making a living, but at least it’s more decent than cheating anyone, or lying or dealing with whores or gambling or killing. True, it’s the easy way our but it pays alright and allows us to afford meat a couple times a month. The east bank is deserted, no one from the city travels to the east bank by choice. The land comprises of large, rolling hills, each one scattered with graves. A giant graveyard. Up about a mile from the banks is a small church, its white paint peeling.
We pull the dinghy up through the mud, trudging through the sopping reed and grass. Sam picks up the rusted shovel from the bottom of the boat and I grab my canvas bag. We survey the area. We spend most of our time in the graveyard searching for fresh graves. I wish I had some sick sixth sense that let me smell the freshest graves but I possess no such talent. We scavenge.
Eventually, I find one, shiny newly cut gravestone, fresh potted flowers, a pile of dirt, trampled grass. I call Sam over and he starts digging, steady handed, mouth hung slightly open. Sweat trickles from his forehead and by the time he’s finished even his hands are sweaty. When we first started digging up bodies I vomited every time. Sometimes the bodies were children, headless, had some grotesque hint of how they died. Now the smell and dirt-filled wounds are old news, they remain person-less-soulless.
Tonight we find a man, around forty, full-bellied and pale lipped. Together we struggle to lift his limp, feces-smelling body from the dirt. His suit is new, his socks are not. We put him into the canvas bag and carry him between us to the boat. The penalty for messing with graves is death, unburying a body is committing a sin, crossing a dirty line.
We take the bodies we unearth back through the swamp to the west bank, the side of the city where doctor Fredick ____ lives. His house is thin and tall, much like the man himself. It’s a tower of hope, a pillar easily spotted, so people can quickly point and tell the sick to go there. The path to this house is well worn, when accidents happen or babies are being born some poor schmuck will come running down it yelling out the doctors name.
The lanky Dr. _____is less doctor and more scientist. He pays Sam and I a hefty fee to dig up fresh bodies just so he can tear them apart. Piece by piece, removed and documented, his thin fragile tools peeling back the skin so he can sketch and map out the routes of vessels and muscles. Dr. ____ says that by doing such immoral research-which could land him just as dead as us if he were caught-helps him become a better doctor. Sam and I think he just likes tearing things apart.
Dr. ____’s daughter hears Sam and I pulling up to shore and comes out to greet us. I remember when she was a thin, tiny girl, blond hair and all smiles. I lusted after her for awhile, once she hit puberty. Her hair grew longer, her curves mirrored clumps of berries. A chest that would make any corset-wearing prostitute jealous, a long smooth stomach that old women glared at, wide hips that made midwifes wet their lips. Something went wrong though, and when she was sixteen she joined the Cult of Light and cut off her beautiful large breasts and began wearing only white robes. To be honest, the thought of her scarred chest made me want her even more.


SCRuskin said...

Wow, that was some twisted shit. Hella moody. Thumbs up. I dig it.

Made me think of
which, if you haven't seen (and I wouldn't be surprised, it's old and kinda... boring) might be worth checking out before you get too far into this project.

But uh, yeah. Cool.

Anna said...

Oh no! I haven't seen it! I bet the library has it to check out.

Also, thanks for reading! I know it was kinda long...:)

Hannah said...

i always love your writing! your descriptions are really cool.

Anna said...

Thanks for reading Hannah!

And. Are you going upload any sketches soon? EH EH EH?

Coffeeshop sketches perhaps!