OdDmosis will be discontinuing Dec. 11, 2013.
Thanks to those of you who stopped by.
OdDmosis will be discontinuing Dec. 11, 2013.
Thanks to those of you who stopped by.
This kind of weather makes me think of you.
The way you walk with your hands in your pockets
The secrets we told each other
That would freeze in the air
And disappear, like we promised they would.
The last time, we were fighting
You bit me with those glass fangs
And you walked away, no heartstrings attached.
I still don’t know who was hurting more
I guess there’s something to growing pains
The way that wisdom comes with an aching of the mind
The things we thought we knew better than to do,
And the realization that we were right.
But there’s this little sting,
That comes in the phrases I remember you saying
When I hear them slip out with my cold breaths
I have to admit,
I hate thinking of you any other way.
I thought I saw you in the mirror
But I realized that it was only me
Trying so hard to be
And pull you back to me
But they tell me
If you love it, let it go
You’re like lightning
Brightening up these concrete days
If only for a moment
before you disappear
To who knows where,
for who knows how long
And I hold on to the sharp edges of a good memory
To distract me from the aching of the moment
The part I’ve come to that involves letting go
It’s hard to admit
That I might be wrong,
But I’m not strong enough
To do the right thing.
Skateboarding videos have a very clearly defined and somewhat limited audience, usually. But this innovative, low key video from DVS shoes would make any art nerd proud.
I have been pulling a disappearing act!
I have recently moved, begun school and between the both I am working 7 days a week. I found out that this kind of work load requires 12 hours of sleep to propel, therefore…I am not anywhere near as dedicated to hobbies such as the Oddmos.
But I digress.
Today, like some days, was rough. Rough, rough, rough like a dog bark. Bad pun? Oh yes, you’re welcome. The truth is I’m so fried I can’t really think of why I’m posting to begin with. I knew when I started, but didn’t put in a title and now I have no idea.
But I would like to keep the few of you who do come here abreast (go ahead, giggle. I did) of a few things.
For starters, I’ve started another project, and I’m blogging about the very lackadaisical process of it here:
The Fried Liver Attack
If I have free time, which I so seldom do, it’s going to that. Don’t know if that’s an apt use of my time, but we’ll find out, won’t we?
Now, what was I wanting to talk about…?
I’m just wondering how I haven’t stumbled on this adorable little oddball earlier Enjoy, the Numbat!
“They say this used to be a sacred place,” Mallory said as she knelt by the water. The lake stretched in front of us as an undisturbed black mirror, reflecting the tall pine trees in its void. She brushed a lock of cosmetic red hair from her face. “In the beginning, these waters could heal the sick. They say it could even grant wishes.”
I folded my arms against myself and shuddered in the brisk grip of the morning air. “It looks creepy now. Like something out of a horror movie.”
“It kind of is,” she replied with a giggle. Mallory tilted her head and looked back at me with her mischievous green eyes. Eyes like hers were never afraid of anything, not even empty black water. Mallory was my big sister. She stood up and put her hands on her hips, sucking in a deep breath of mountain air. Ever since we’d arrived at the camp site she had been breathing deeply. Mallory looked like a wild animal, with long red hair flowing down her back, always climbing, crawling, running around our little city apartment. She’d been longing to come to Wyoming for years. I didn’t see the appeal. There were bugs everywhere, except on the ebony surface of the water where I had expected them to be. I looked around at the skinny pine trees that towered oppressively above us like guard towers. Mallory grinned at me as I peered around. She crept quietly behind me and jumped, grabbing my shoulders. I shrieked and stumbled forward, tripping and scraping my knee on the sharp rocks that littered the beach.
“OW! What did you do that for?” I wailed. Mallory laughed and trotted up to me, crouching by my side and inspecting my damaged knee.
“Relax, it’s just a scrape,” she said, reaching to her side for her back pack. Mallory unzipped the top and began fishing for a first aid kit while I drew up my knees, rubbing my eye so she couldn’t see my tears. Mallory pulled out the small red bag and began to clean the cut on my knee.
“Maybe we should dip you in the water, they’re supposed to be healing.”
“No, I don’t want to. It’s creepy.”
“Yeah, you’re kinda right about that. They say that a long time ago, back when this place was first being settled, that the pioneers who found this lake learned of its healing magic and took their sick here. But they didn’t respect the rules. They brought their dead to the water in hopes that it would bring them back to life.”
“Did they turn into zombies?”
Mallory shook her head as she carefully bandaged my knee. “Not quite. The lake stole their souls and cursed them, and they turned into mermaids. But not friendly, cartoon show mermaids. These mermaids will devour anything that steps far enough into the water. It ensured that no one would go far enough into the lake ever again to be able to touch the bottom.”
“Why don’t they want that?”
“I’m not sure. But the legends say that if you touch the stone in the middle of this lake, it will still grant your wish, no matter what it is.”
“So you could wish away the mermaids?”
“I guess,” Mallory shrugged as she peeled the adhesive off the bandage and put it over my knee. I winced and rubbed my hand over the dressing after she finished. She smiled at me and shook her head. My big sister put her hand in my dark hair and tousled it furiously.
“Gah! Quit it!”
“You’re such a goob,” she said with a laugh. Mallory sprang to her feet, walking as lightly on the rocks as a wild creature. I saw the dark sand stick between her pale, bare toes. I looked down at my own awkward, geeky tennis shoes, stained forever with brown, ugly sand. I rose to my feet and nearly toppled back over again as my backpack shifted on my shoulders. Mallory kept walking towards the edge of the water. I squinted at her.
“What are you doing?”
She laughed and dipped her big toe in the water.
“Mallory, come on!”
“You think I can swim faster than a mermaid, Ellie?”
“I can’t believe you’d tell me all that stuff and still get in the water!”
“Relax!” Mallory’s ankles sank below the black surface as she edged deeper into the mountain lake. I felt a chill in my spine. I reached for her backpack and tried vainly to lift it on my own.
“Let’s just go back to the RV, okay? Mom and dad are probably looking for us!”
I watched as she went waist deep in the water. She laughed at me. “Come on, Ellie, it’s all just superstition!”
“Please let’s just go!” I whimpered, tugging on the straps of my backpack. Mallory’s face went white and she shrieked, toppling in the water. I screamed and ran forward as she lost her facade, her face breaking into that wild smile. She laughed and turned back towards the black water.
“Don’t be so paranoid. Legends like that are just to explain why the water’s black. It’s actually just the mineral content that makes it so dark.”
“Don’t EVER do that to me again!” I shouted from the shore. I heard the edges of my words bounce off of the looming trees. Mallory waded deeper into the water, and then dove. She paddled out to the middle of the lake. I could only see her head, a pale star in the middle of an empty sky as she treaded water.
“Hey, let’s see if I can touch that stone on the bottom!” She called to me, her voice shaking the trees with her echo. I never knew how she could be so fearless. Then again, I never knew how I could be such a coward. Mallory’s head dipped below the surface. I waited. I saw a white froth bubble up to the surface.
“Stop playing around Mallory!”
I heard my voice, her name, ring out across the trees. A few bigger bubbles struggled up to the surface. I took a step into the water and then froze. Like cracks on the black glass surface, I saw the thin white bodies swarm. They were sleek and ghost like, and I could barely make out the shape of their fins and their thin arms. I could see them, flooding like a white swarm into the water. In the shallows I could see their faces, twisted and screaming below the water. Above the surface, it was all silence. I saw their jagged teeth. I saw the powdery red of what I could only fear was my big sister’s blood. For the first time in my cowardly life, I could not muster a scream. I stood frozen in fear. I shook on the shallow rocks as I watched the slim pale fingers creep towards me. I closed my eyes. I felt bone dry inside. I felt the tips of its fingers brush against my ankle.
A falcon’s shriek pierce the air and my eyes flew open. I looked up. In the sky was a black bird circling. It dove down towards the water like a bullet. The birds talon’s grazed the surface and the white hand withdrew from me. The strange shapes in the water withdrew like ivory snakes slinking into shadows. I didn’t need a second chance. I tumbled forward across the rocky shore, tearing the bandage Mallory had put on me barely minutes earlier. I ran back into the forest, my breath puncturing the cool air as I tumbled, shaking and afraid, through the unfamiliar woods. I don’t know how far I ran before I gave up. I had no idea where I was, how close or far my parents were. I sniffed and wiped my eyes, looking around at the dark, limbless trees as they stretched high above me. The sky was pale and dead behind them. I heard twigs snap nearby. I whipped around, half expecting to see the ghostly hand of one of the mermaids from over the branches. There were the scattered calls of birds, then silence. I waited, muscles tensed to run. I heard a rustling in the bushes. I curled into a ball, shaking. The rustling came closer. I could feel something nearby. I waited for something to grab me, to eat me alive or tear me to pieces or something my imagination refused to conjure. As the moments passed and the only sound I could hear was my racing heart, I braved a look. Sitting in front of me was the same falcon that had scratched the lake earlier. It sat calmly in front of me. I watched it nervously. “That was you…”
The bird tilted its head. It opened up its wings, and as it did, I saw the tips of its feathers turn to fingers, its wings stretch into arms. The creature in front of me twisted, feathers falling to the ground until in front of me stood a boy, not much older than myself, dressed in plain black garb. He looked like he couldn’t be older than seventeen, but something in his eyes made me feel that he was somehow much older, perhaps from a different time. He had fierce dark eyes and jet black hair, and his skin was the color of nutmeg. His hair was long, tied back with a long braid that wrapped along the length of it. His clothes were completely unfamiliar, they vaguely resembled outfits I’d seen in books about Native Americans, but nothing I could identify clearly, especially not in black. He raised his hands up, taking a step towards me. I looked at him in wonder. “What are you?”
“My name is Ahu.” He walked a few steps closer toward me and knelt in front of me. “I am a friend…”
I nodded. “You saved me from those mermaids.”
He looked down. “I only wish I had been faster to save your sister.”
“You saw Mallory?” I asked. I felt like he’d punched me with those words. Ahu nodded without looking up.
“She was proud…she went too far into the water. I could not help her once she went that deep.”
I felt the heat of tears as my vision blurred. I kept wiping my eyes but the tears kept pouring. “She’s so stupid…I can’t believe she teased me…what am I going to do without her?”
Ahu put his hands on my shoulders, a genuine softness of concern in his eyes. “Don’t cry.”
“Those things…the mermaids….they took my sister Mallory!” My voice cracked and I couldn’t even see him any more through my tears.
“They are called Shakko…the stolen spirits of the dead.”
I sniffed and looked back at him, rubbing my surplus of salty water from my face. “Stolen?”
Ahu nodded solemnly. I could see in his eyes that he was reaching back in his memory. “It is an ancient story, to your people. In my culture it was common knowledge. The lake you and your sister visited used to be called the blue eye of Malago. Malago was a great spirit that watched over my people. He was very kind, and healed the sick or dying who were brought to his waters.”
“And then the settlers came…?” I asked, remember what Mallory had told me. Ahu nodded.
“At the bottom of that lake is Malago’s golden heart. If you touched his heart, it is said that he would grant your greatest desire. When the strangers came, and they saw the magic of the water, their greed enticed them to steal Malago’s heart and keep it captive.”
He stopped, and I could see in his eyes he was searching his memory, calling on faces he had not seen for more years than I could know. “Malago’s heart hardened, and the waters turned black to hide it. But it pained him to be so cruel, that his heart shrank to fit in the palm of a human’s hand…so for those willing to look, he will still grant a wish.”
Ahu paused reflectively before looking back to me. “You could save her, if you want…”
He looked at me with sincere concern. I wiped snot off my nose and looked away. I didn’t really care how gross my crying was. My life was in pieces, my big sister, my idol was gone. Ahu touched my shoulder gently. “You can ask Malago. His heart still beats at the bottom of the lake..”
“He’s the whole reason she’s gone in the first place. Him and those stupid mermaids…” I wiped my eyes with the back of my hand and stared down at my stupid, dirty shoes. Ahu sighed deeply and brushed my hair from my face.
“You do not understand…Malago did not create the Shakko. They are the remains of those whose selfish wishes kept them from dying…but…you cannot take souls back from Death. Even Malago can not do that. ”
“But those mermaids…the Shakko…wouldn’t Mallory be one of them, if I wished for her to come back?”
“It is hard for me to say. If she is still alive, if she is just among the Shakko, then it is possible that she can be returned to you.”
“So if I ask Malago…Mallory could be saved?”
Ahu nodded. “It is possible, yes.”
I took a deep breath and nodded. “Alright…then how do I get to Malago?”
Ahu pressed his finger tips together. in between the triangular space between his palms formed a small blue ball of light. It floated up in front of my face. I went cross eyed trying to look at it. The blue ball flew into me and my vision turned bright white. I shut my eyes and could still feel the film of light over my eyelids. As the heat slowly faded, I rubbed my eyes and squinted at him. “What was that?”
“It’s a spell. It will help you under water.”
“I have to go under water?!”
Ahu nodded. “Malago’s heart still sleeps the bottom of the lake. In order to ask for your sister’s return, you will have to reach it.”
“But they pulled Mallory into the water in seconds, like piranha!” I looked down at my feet. “Mallory was strong, too. She was a swimmer. I’m not like that…I can barely hold my breath at all, not to mention I can’t swim very well. How am I supposed to get past all those creepy fish people if I can’t even tread water?”
Ahu put his hand on my shoulder again, staring through me with his kind brown eyes.
“The spell will help you under water, but you will have to believe in yourself. If you do not, there is no hope for your sister.”
I felt weak inside when he said that. I looked down and began to cry again. “I can’t believe this is happening…I’m not supposed to be the strong one.”
“I felt the same way, a very long time ago,” Ahu said, lifting my chin to look back at me. “My people had a custom, when a boy lived through fifteen winters, it was his task to climb the mountain and catch a golden sparrow. When he did this, he would learn his destiny. I did not want to go alone, and in my fifteenth year I fled my people. For my cowardice, the witch-woman cursed me into the bird you saw. I will be trapped, unable to die and join my ancestors, unable to live among the humans of today, until in my new form I catch the golden sparrow.”
He pauses reflectively. “That is the reason I found out about Malago. I had hoped to ask him to release me, but I can not go into the water. After so much time…I have begun to understand the true nature of my curse. The golden sparrow was not the true bestower of one’s fate. The courage and trust in oneself, that was the true judge of my future.”
I watched the sadness in his eyes as I thought about what he said. I looked around at the tall, thin trees, their backs against the concrete sky. Finally, I stood up. “Take me back. I want to find Malago.”
He took my hand and we walked back towards Glass Lake.
We arrived to the same calm scene my sister had brought me to. The sky was still grey and empty, touched only by the tops of the dark pine trees that surrounded us.
I walked nervously towards the edge of the black water. I pulled my shoes off with my toes and bent over to remove my socks, stuffing the wadded up fabric into my shoes. I looked over my shoulder at Ahu and bit my lip. I turned back towards the black, still water. There wasn’t so much as a ripple from the touch of a dragonfly on its surface. Hesitantly I stepped into the water, and watched my feet disappear underneath its inky surface. I braced myself but felt nothing. I looked back again to see the falcon, perched on a piece of dead wood. He spread his wings slightly and flapped them once. Funny, even as a predator he still had the same eyes. I took another step forward, proceeding into the water as though I was walking across a tight rope. Still nothing. I let my breath go, maybe I would be safe! It seemed that though just the mere presence of the thought in my mind caused the frail, slippery feeling brush past my ankle. I looked down and felt my heart grow cold with fear. I saw the ghostly, frail white hand in the shallow. I could only see up to its elbow, the face obscured. I turned back to the shore and looked pleadingly at the falcon on the driftwood.”I can’t do this, Ahu, I’m scared!”
He said nothing. I didn’t even know if he could speak as that bird. I thought about what he told me, about finding the golden sparrow. I thought about my sister, and how after how she’d been pushing me all for all these years, it was now my turn to save her. I looked down to the black water, that swallowed my reflection. I took a deep breath and stepped forward. I saw its skeletal, barely human face waiting for me just inches away. Its jaws were pointed and cruel, like I’d seen the mouths on piranhas in documentaries. Its eyes were big and dark, just as black as if they were empty sockets. It stared at me hatefully, reaching forward. I looked at its face and searched for any sign of the human it had been. I didn’t see any sign of the soul trapped inside the Shakko, but I did see, for the first time, how frail it really was. Its thin arms would probably snap if I were to grab hold of it. Its menacing face looked old, and vaguely tired. I tried to imagine it being stuck here, some poor soul that longed to reach the after life and rest, only to be trapped, half alive in this cursed lake. I stepped forward, and I felt safe somehow. The frail creature at my feet reached out again, and I felt it grip my ankle. It tugged at my foot but I remained calm, and my foot stayed planted. The mermaid only had strength, I began to realize, if I panicked. I took a deep breath and thought of the golden sparrow I was going to catch. As I walked deeper. I saw their faces surround me, and I felt their cold clammy hands grabbing at my legs. In a second of panic I felt their grip tighten. I closed my eyes and thought of my sister. I imagined her, cradled at the bottom of the lake, sleeping near Malago’s heart. I let myself have hope, and their hands slipped. I took one last look to the shore line, but the bird was gone. I felt strangely at peace and nodded. I had to do this on my own. I took a deep breath and dove into the water and the cold embrace of the thousands of mermaids.
I could feel them clawing at me feebly, but they couldn’t seem to hold on to my body. I opened my eyes to see that my body was glowing softly blue, remnant of the spell Ahu had cast to help me. I swam through and gently pushed the mermaids aside. I felt a current in the darkness. Unsure of where else to go, I began to swim with it. The current spiraled downwards, and I felt the mermaids grab onto me, trying to pull me away. I jerked my arm away from them. There was a moaning sound coming from them, like the sound of wind through an old house, the moaning grew louder and soon surrounded a high pitched shrieking as the mermaids began to pull harder at my arms and legs. I shut my eyes and kept jerking away. I kicked one of the creatures in the head as it tried to bite me. I wished I could take another breath. I knew it couldn’t sink its teeth into me as long as I wasn’t afraid of it…right? No! I shook the doubt from my mind and pulled back into the current. It grew strong until I was in the middle of a whirlpool. Instead of getting whipped around in the current, I was floating gently in a bubble. The bubble balanced in the epicenter of the whirlpool around me.
I could see the mermaids circling me, a tornado of their ghastly faces, their white arms all reaching desperately toward me. At the base of the spiral, like a weakening candle, flickered the golden light that Ahu had promised. I took a deep breath and pushed through the bubble, plunging deeper. The water crushed against me like boulders. I felt my lungs tightening, barely able to breathe underneath all this weight, but I pressed on. I struggled towards it, but it was like moving through quicksand. I leaned closer and closer, forcing my way through what felt like a solid atmosphere around me. My hand lurched towards the soft glowing stone. As I got closer, I realized it didn’t look much like a stone at all. It pulsed softly, like a heart. Its surface looked membranous and I could tell inside was something just as soft.
I put my hand on the gently beating yellow surface. I could feel its weak heartbeat. A surge of warmth went through me, followed by a bone chilling power. I could feel the strength of Malago, the strength of a heart that turned Glass Lake into the dark, unforgiving eye.
“What do you desire?” I heard the spirit ask. His voice was like thunder, but even in all its power I could sense it was tired. I looked back to the sharp faces of the mermaids.
I stopped. I thought of what Ahu had told me. I thought about the weak, tired faces of the mermaid at the surface. I looked back to the soft heart of Malago, that had been abused and forced into hiding in this eternal night. “I wish for you to set free the Shakko.”
“I will only grant you one wish, are you certain that is what you want?”
I closed my eyes. I felt my eyes fill with tears but I had no way to know if they escaped. “Yes.”
“Then be it so,” Malago boomed. His pale golden heart turned bright white, and a beam of light shot around me. I felt my self being pushed up towards the surface of the lake. I rocketed out of the water and saw the lake below me. The whole black water was whirling, and I watched the mermaids begin to glow. Their bodies began to crumble away like ashes and left only the bright lights. Then one by one, like shooting stars, they soared into the sky around me. I heard them laughing, a joyous laugh of relief. I felt my heart in my throat as for one brief second, I saw Mallory within the wisp of light, the fire in her eyes just as bright as when she was alive. Just as quick as her face appeared, it lifted past me into the sky, and I heard her laugh. I was trembling. “You better not cause as much trouble in the after life as you did in this one, Mal!”
I took a deep breath and closed my eyes. The wind around me was gentle despite how high it felt I was above the ground. As their voices began to quiet, I opened my eyes.
I saw myself get smaller, withering into what I thought might be nothing, but I was at peace. My hands grew small and my fingers flattened into large, black feathers. I watched as they shaped thinly, feathers growing around my body. My clothes fell back towards the ground, but I was still floating. I flapped my new wings carefully. I caught the air and circled the lake softly. When I looked down I could see it was clear and blue like an angel’s eye. And waiting on a branch of one of those tall, ever reaching trees, I could see Ahu. He spread open his large black wings and flew up into the sky. As I followed him towards the setting sun, I felt the warm glow of Malago’s heart one more time. Maybe he had granted my wish, after all.