Charles Pendelton
      © 2008 Marty Langdon
Chapter 03

          Weed Island to the Raven

I soon imagined a faraway island, and began to thrive on it. There were two
hemp plants growing in the midst of a rainforest
by a soothing waterfall. In that
moist tropical setting, four sugar gliders leap from the tallest of trees to reconnect
with each other like trapeze artists on distant branches. Around a stagnant swamp,
sticky black frogs with bright yellow blotches communicate with each other by
bloating in tune. A small walk down one of the scenic paths leads to a gathering
of families who have arisen. They will partake of their morning duties in an
orderly fashion and there will be no discord for they are the perfect society.

The water rushing downstream is quickly collected by the water carriers of
the village. It will be used for drinking, bathing, and cooking, so many trips
to the stream must be made. Each earthen vessel is crafted by hand and
composed of clay. When the effect of the sun's rays dry and harden it,
its composition becomes almost weightless. The insects are noninvasive,
and everyone is happy to be a part of one big family. A family that loves
and cares for one other.

A family that trades clothes for food has no need of money.
They know not what it is

In the center of this region stood a dormant volcano that rose to the
sky like an exquisite breast. Between straw huts in lush surroundings
and rows
of unending palm trees, a winding path led to the isle's core.

Apart from an innocent altercation by a strange and unassuming animal, the
town flourished. Everyone helped each other and problems were minimal.

From time to time the indigenous people of the land would adorn masks
and perform an elaborate ceremony called, Kuro. The act of procuring
a vitriolic substance termed, Sinau for the purpose of curing infections.

Mealtime was never an issue, for the townspeople held the wooden
talisman in high regard. So long as they gave offerings, they never had
to worry about food. The slapping on the rudimentary crafted drum by
a small native boy was like a hypnotic pulse that began to draw out
the wild. Ever so slowly did they make their presence known.

Just then a twig snapped beneath the tiger's heavy paw.

                       Without warning, a small tremor caused the earth to shake,
                                                  and the volcano erupted.

Molten rock oozed down the slopes of its incline in a steady and
continuous motion, yet for some strange reason did not appear to be
hot. Neither did it really seem to go anywhere. Like electric fireplace
logs that sparkle and pop without emitting any heat to the touch.

Abruptly, the Goddess of the volcano emerged causing the heavens to quake.

As the sky became black, the sun, silhouetted behind the belt of Orion made 
the ocean tide rise. The crackle of thunder was so loud, the inhabitants of
Palateca still tremble today. As the rain came forth to soak the land, the
volcano queen dispersed herself into the air to become the morning dew.

Soon, the favillous mound of extruded waste became nothing more than
a mask of hardened lava. Transparent and colorless like a piece of wood

done burning, as it turns into a hollow lighted shell of white ash. When the
igneous formation of the earth's magma settled down with a thud into a pillow
of powdered charcoal, it disappeared as though it had never happened.

Because of this, every tree in the jungle gave birth to a sweet sticky
commonly recognized as pommaretes, which fell to the soft earth
and broke
open on their own. As three tiny green ants with little red faces
decide to
investigate the matter, their antennas begin firing pods into the
air. This brings
them all out into the scorching sun. While a colony of ants
were pouring over
the speckle-colored fruit, a lady dressed in nothing but
a shawl made of butterfly
wings, peered out from behind a tree. So curious
was this mysterious woman
in trying to ascertain why the ants had been
drawn to such a substance.

She also noticed the atmosphere was changing. As their abdomens
swelled, they crawled deep down into the spongy earth and died.
All at once, the area was overpopulated by the green seedlings.

Weed Island had formed, and its occupants were most delighted.

                                           The Petards - Misty Island

The beautiful land of tiki dolls and magical beasts would unknowingly
play a Pied Piper’s flute unto its citizens, who had now come forward
to pay homage to this wonderful plant, whose toxins are the lifeline
of an impoverished dream. Castaways from neighboring islands wash
ashore on primitive rafts made of wood and twine. . . They are griff.

                                                                              Pg 9

             Hula girls in grass skirts wearing their traditional leis
conjure images
of a life which could only be told
                   through the words of the world's purest novel.

     Behold my fictitious dream is alive and living in another century.

Long before its destruction was its inception. Where virginity was woman's gift
to man, and the man's prize for living was to treasure and adore her. The sincere
smiles are imprinted on the heart and embroidered on the landscape of the soul.
The laying of gifts before alters of stone are commonplace, where sacrifices of
human flesh only appease the gods of temerity.

There are no timepieces on the island for they would serve no purpose
at all. The wristwatch is reserved for the western world, and aside from
that, when the bells of evening toll, the night-time celebration begins.

Here women swivel their hips to enchanting melodies while another
offers the gentlemen upon arrival a refreshing beverage.

         Take her hand as she leads you to the water by the sacred cave to be
         cleansed. As pure as an unclouded lake is the promise of eternal love,
         concealed within eyes overflowing. Allow yourself to be kissed and
         touched, while carefully observing her every move. Gaze up into the
         adytum chiseled in moonstone, where the secrets of time are kept hidden. 

             For every man there is a woman, equally in need of a loving embrace.
One that consoles a hardened heart to uplift even the most apprehensive transgressor.

Yes, the courting ritual was a magical occurrence, and there were more than enough
places erected in the wilderness to procreate. Fanciful lairs for the engaging of love.

How wonderful is the bearer of life.
Sweeter than any given fruit is she,
so be gentle.

How inviting are the eyes that allure me, than the hands and arms that shimmy up
and down their sides like innocent serpents without sin in a garden of earthly delight.

What a calm and peaceful day it is in the valley of the mind. Where sun and
shadow are but a stone's throw away, and latitude and longitude come together
as one in a whole. Together they create hearty portions of dreams fed to small
eager mouths, like the pride of a mother in the caring for her newborn nestlings.

                                             *Thus was the challenge earned*

Near the volcano by the river of Rhees, I climbed aboard a multicolored fish ship.

Pushing the little red button that said home, the roof closed like a convertible and the
motor turned on like a quiet car. We ascended from the ground in a way that only a
helicopter could have, and then fell to the sound of wings flapping. Within minutes,
the mechanical lifting of wings had undergone a transformation of time, proportioning
itself into the sight of a more modern aircraft. I said goodbye to Weed Island and the
towering estate of an animated mushroom city, where love lives continuously, and
there is no need for law and order because today my heart is pure.

As I lay on the bed with my eyes fixed on the drop ceiling tiles, a meditative trance would
dissolve them completely while sending me deeper and deeper in thought. I contemplated
the daily endeavor of traveling to and from the city each day as my stepfather has done for
the past eight years while working as a janitor. He would later serve as handyman before
being made superintendent. The managerial hierarchy he works for has no significance to
anyone apart from those who rent an office or floor in that habitation, or those who strive
to maintain its upkeep. That building whose name I have entrusted is situated in the bustling
heart of midtown, and was a contemporary structure in its heyday. With elaborate festoons
decorating its pilasters of stone, one could almost see the headlines from the New York Herald.

                       A booming city of industry caters to the masses
                     of immigrant workers now arriving at Ellis Island.
                 Here they will find work, and here they will call home.

Upon entering, one would see a dated cartouche above his or her head bearing the year
of completion. Also, an ornate coffered ceiling that I as a child would stare at like a mute
tourist. Nearby stood a fuliginous church whose appearance seemed to mock the inside of
a chimney. Before factories and automobiles, you were surrounded entirely by grass and

trees. The medieval beasts hanging from your facade are left to wither in the rain and
snow. They appear to be somewhat frozen in time, ever watching the passersby enter
and leave the sanctuary, while they themselves seem to have been extricated by celestial
beings poised high above, as the Heavenly Father looks on in the spirited form of a cross. 

                                     Its demeanor could imply a message stating:

                                            “Let your sins be resolved here,
                                               and take them not with you
                                      when you depart from this holy place.”

                                                                              Pg 10

The dawning of the day was now upon me, where I lay elevated. My head propped up
on a comfortable pillow turned sideways. The juxtaposition of the cup and bottle had
not changed, and I found that to be fascinating. Like an indomitable warrior suffering
the setbacks of life, I rose to my feet and calmly drew the curtains. How interesting
are these two awkward legs of mine? Without notion or emotion, they just go...

                                      *Welcome to the land of the stoned*

As I approached the zenith of all conscious plains, I began to envision a sweltering city in
the heart of midday. Air conditioners trembling and horns blaring from impatient motorists
stuck in traffic at a standstill. Jackhammer's pounding away at a wounded street expose the
harsh virtues of an inner city's core. Directly in the middle of Mott Street and Canal was my
precise location. As I transcended upon midtown,
I could now see a composite sketch of a
skyscraper that had air conditioners instead of windows. As color and contrast collided,
it formed an astounding work of art before changing into a colorful jig-saw puzzle. 

The water dripping out of countless air conditioners was like a faucet in need
of a gasket, and before long, the trickle would become like that of an open
water main.
As it flowed from the units, it came to resemble a mini Niagara
that flooded the entire city. Soon there would be nothing left, but a
gurgle of air bubbles rising to the surface on a quiet and desolate sea.

Suddenly, my mind grew dark. There a demon sprouted from
a dead flower.
The face of indescribable horror was now only
inches from mine in a silver mirror
of antiquity, where my
heart palpitated and my eyelids impulsively opened.

It appears that after generating so much energy on a concentrated level, I let my mind drift
away in darkness where I became startled by this aberration. This nefarious dwarf with a
gnarly face, and a pocketful of utter despair. I would have closed my eyes again sooner, but
I honestly thought he might be in hiding. I then realized, I would have to hone in on my basic
skills if I was going to get any resolve. I truly enjoyed the flowing patterns that took me deep
inside my own convoluted realm, but I what I seemed to be lacking was the ability to transform
these mainstream ideas into anything substantial. I would have to meditate through closed eyes,
while searching for the focal point in objects, without allowing the objects to generate
themselves. When this happens, we become nothing more than a representation of madness.

                                                                              Pg 11

                                            Through the eyes of a raven, I watched the city with apprehension.
                                                                                  It is time to go.                                        

I released myself from my perch on high and flew gracefully into midtown on a North
wind breeze. When I saw the towering structure reaching up into the stratosphere,
I realized it was but a thimble to the surrounding monoliths. Its impeccable design
had been well configured to the exact angle in my mind, where the sun hung heavy
on the black tar roof. A slight shadow could now be seen adhering
to the roof's edge,
before gradually beginning to creep down the buildings structure.

When it covered the exterior face, the raven who was I, swooped down to see Ramon who
at ground level near the street sweeping. He whistled a tune like in those silent movies,
and I had absolutely no idea what that tune could be. Several vehicles passed by, before
a dark green waste management truck turned to come up the street. Reminiscent in its
appearance of a sanitation truck, it had a shiny painting of Coney Island Tillie on
its side. That smiling countenance is perceived to be a character of intense joy.

This soot belching monster sounded like it was having a stroke as it lurched forward
before pulling itself into gear. Upon accelerating, fluid spilled out from the rear compactor,
where the hydraulically powered tailgate locks into place, and onto the roadway where
Ramon was standing. This milky liquid created a stench so revolting, it could be smelled
from outer space.
Witnessing this, Ray chases after the truck. Catching his foot in a pothole,
he barrels down the street like Oliver Hardy, and into an arrangement of flowers. Attempting
to stand up, he shakes his fists at the world. Where squiggly lines of exaggerated illustration
highlight the obscenities that spurt from his mouth, like hyped up worms on amphetamines
give credence to yet another filthy
and blemished Robert Crumb comic book.

A gentleman passing by in a neatly pressed gabardine suit and wingtip shoes reaches into
his pocket for change, but in haste lost a dime on the way. Slipping through his fingers, it
bounced, hitting the steel-reinforced curb where it froze in mid-air. It was at this very moment
that I, the raven, locked onto its image, having caught a glimpse of his own reflection in
the still light. The impression on the dime had faded, and the portrait the coin now bore
was that of the raven's own. Time was still moving an hour per second, until the raven
blinked. When this happened, life was given back to the living where gravity reclaimed
the object, pulling it toward earth. As the raven head coin fell, it made its way through a
hole in a sewer cap and plummeted far below street level. Landing like a drop of mercury
in an inkwell, it was gone. Here under the vaulted sidewalk, business was being carried
out in a most proficient way. One that involves large building plans and swaying lanterns.

                                                                              Pg 12

I followed the men in suits through catacombs of darkness, past the incessant echo
of sloshing feet in puddles of murky water. The tunnel soon split apart and the three
men were baffled. They merged to the right, but I went left where the water appeared
to be diminishing. Something scurried past, and I figured it was probably just a rat
scampering about in the ruffled shadows of its own confinement. As I trudged on,
I was overcome with a feeling that I could no longer go back. With every step
I took, the tunnel narrowed behind me, while expanding out in front of me.

Eventually, I reached the end of the wall, with what appeared to resemble a cast
iron nautical valve control wheel to open it. Spinning around, I realized I was
in a huge isolation chamber that went on for miles without any end in sight.

I looked behind me, only to notice the strange
looking wheel
had vanished in the dark.

From a distance, I heard a tremendous roar, beckoning the applause of millions.
As molecules expand, the small concrete tube becomes enlarged and envelops me.
The victor stood alone where the emperor hailed the crowd. I could see the ruins
of the Colosseum assembling all around me, but shook off new thoughts forming,
before realizing, no longer was there an entry point; neither was there an exit.
Upon walking, I came across something up ahead in the distance. An out of place
square on the floor. A phosphorescent shade of red which began flashing in a form
of Morse code, unrecognizable to me. In very little time, it was blinking as fast as
a strobe light. Skating over to it, I looked down. The flashing had stopped and the
concrete tile had turned a bluish grey. Recklessly, I placed both feet down upon the
square and the trap door swiftly snapped open. As if a hinge had suddenly broke.

Faster than the speed of sound, I barreled down the open shaft. Like being hurled
into a well from a catapult before hitting the great expanse of water surrounding the
cliffs like jelly. This embryonic fluid lapped the shore and gave life to whomever
touched it. Those opulent waves carried a reflection of the turquoise sky along
an inspiring course, until at last, the crest reached the banks of the escarpment.

                                *Such a panoramic spectacle to behold*

In a guerite projected from the rocky hillside, a family of Spanish dwellers wave to
me in their contentment. How splendid is this day indeed, I thought to myself loudly.

I then waved back to them from beyond the glass curtain. They laughed and drank while
Margarita de Pembro sprinkled burnt orange rose petals from the smallest of turrets directly
above her Castilian shoreline. Like sparkling seashells, they fell, oh, so weightlessly landing
all around me in this amniotic sea. The ocean looked like it was bleeding, as the glimmering
petals magically dissolved to become one with the briny deep. They then perpetuated
themselves into what appeared to be tiny fish-like creatures. The internal workings of these
aquatic organisms were pulsating as they expanded, and it wasn't long before they adapted
to the heavy water. Although when this happened, they became exceedingly visceral.

                                                                              Pg 13

Eagerly, they swarmed around me to create a current of centrifugal force, until even they had no
control over it. As they vehemently lassoed my ankles
an intense suction was formed, pulling me
under by my heels. "Leave me alone and go about your
way," I said, wriggling in struggle.

They did not listen, for they had nothing to hear with.

Instead, I was yanked to the bottom of the ocean like a lead sinker.

On my way down, I visualized an old wooden ship jutting up from its watery grave.
The figurehead, still
attached to its decaying bow breathed rather gently as I passed it.
Immediately, I
thought of the artisans of the world who gave life unto that which had
none. A block
of wood, a chunk of stone, or a canvas. Even the tattoo artist, per se.
Upon reaching
the vestige of what was once noted to be the continent of Atlantis, my
feet touched
down upon the arc of a flying buttress from some primitive cathedral.

I saw the great shell of Arcadia protruding out from where it had first settled back in the dawn of evolution.
When the mastodon grazed beside the brontosaurus, and the air was so clean, it delighted the senses.

I was then thrust into sand through bony layers of clay in salt erosion.

Past dinosaur fossils in hardened muck to the remains of Adam.
I then bored through a knothole in the plate of time, whereas after this,
I began to fall from the sky.

Upon my descent, I beseeched the Heavens in its glory and became the wind.

Looking down from above, I see Ramon in the same spot sweeping. His appearance
rivals that of an ant moving about and when put in fast motion, he looked like a
fat little spider bouncing around. (I laugh
to myself at this insanity) Following my
movements, a solitary grey cat yawns as I take form
on the ground. Quietly, he gazed
at me from where he was sprawled out below a
double brass standpipe. His tail
shivering like a rattlesnake as he watches a tiny insect
scuttle away. It is too small
to play with and presents no challenge, in the form of carrying
out a swift attack.

Don't let those tired eyes fool you,
they are the main ingredient of
a killing machine.

Ever hunting and always on the prowl, he tantalizes the moon.

                                         The sun is descending rapidly.

Our little city of Gotham is now quiet. The railways and elevated platforms that
have recently witnessed the commotion of the rush hour crowd, have since been
abandoned for the night. The people have gone home, and the streets are now so
barren, you could almost say it’s peaceful. The only sound that can be heard is a
loud metallic boom that seems to come from out of nowhere. An ominous echo
that reverberates for miles, sending a chill up the spine of those walking alone.

Within itself, it carries a grim reminder of the day. . .
A lonely sound, so thought provoking it can almost make a writer sigh.

Now is not the time for wandering.

It is a time to take in and process
the events of the day
with a warm nightcap, or a gentle embrace.

Across the street in the little Chinese restaurant, that no one has ever been to,
the entire staff stands waiting. It's been almost forty years now, without a single
customer. That is because in 1946 young Feng Shi forgot to put the sign up.
Not to worry though, no one would have come anyway, and besides, no one
has cooked in that restaurant in years. Even if someone did walk in, they
would have to wipe away years of dust, for the employees are merely ghosts
trying ever so desperately to be who they once were. Kind of like us in a way.

The scene then changed sporadically and was gone.

The sun now
overshadowed by the earth exploded.
I floated in darkness to the
source of all that shimmers.
A wavering strand eclipsed by an ion
took me away.
Ninety thousand soldiers on a pinpoint through a hole
escorted me to a river of red.

Alas, I found the shore of noses.

To know of this uncertain place where ears make their ascent.
On wings of fashioned hay, a bright light shines.
Up into the atmosphere and away into the night
they reach the geometric pleasure dome of brilliance.

                    The First Impression - All lead back to you

                                                                              Pg 14


Inkpop reviews for chapter 3

Born to blossom; Blom to perish - You have great imagery with great
characters. Your a good writer. You captured my attention at the start
and held it all the way until the end. Good job.

L. C. Candle - Your first paragraph reminds me of the Lord of the Flies. Take
that however you will, lol. And then you kind of just...go off the end with it and
you throw in a sentence that sounds like a three year old wrote it. My visual is
cracked. Your words have lost their vibe that they got in that first paragraph
because of the sentence "Just then a twig snapped beneath the tiger's heavy
paw!" Instead of this mature writing I was introduced to, I'm confused by simple
words. Simple sentences are terrific and commonly used words are great to, but
you always have to stay away from the writing style English teachers taught
you in middle school, it's very distracting and doesn't allow growth in your
writing, either. You have terrific imagery, terrific diction. I'm confused by the
chapter's plot because I've not read the whole thing, so I can't comment on
anything like that. I'd say work on your transitions as well which seem to read
very roughly and occur too quickly. You have good beginnings and such but your
formatting is odd (I.E.; *(The sun is falling rapidly)* ???) that may be something
that was established early on, I'm not sure, but it does look incredibly odd. It
also seems like you switch persons which makes the reading a bit odd. I mean
this is strong literary fiction, yes, but if you're going to write first person, please
try to make that person very visible amongst your imagery, like John Steinbeck
does in the narratives before almost every chapter in East of Eden. Again, good
literary fiction, although it does get confusing. Good job.

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