Girl01.jpg picture by pemerytx

Loch Raven
The funeral went as jaggedly opposed to life as one might expect.  Shards of guilt and sorrow pierced the collective familial breast, and the few friends that were present, cried more over that than they did over the loss of Loch Raven.  She was a tragic character, so wrong for this world, so profoundly unable to exist easily in it.  She was a beautiful little mermaid, half girl, half fish, made for water, living in the dirt.  That she’d chosen to end her life, “this atrocious absurdity” as she’d referred to it, almost fit, almost but not quite seemed the natural order of things.
Her father, Cormac, was torn asunder, absolutely devastated, but unable to cry.  He sat in silence, his mind like parched, cracked earth, desperately in need of a hard rain of understanding.  But even if torrents of it fell this instant, he wouldn’t be able to absorb but a few drops.  Most of it would run off and be as wasted as his ability to see what Loch Raven had needed all the years of her life with him.  And as impossible as it would have been for him to have provided that, due more in part to her innate defects than to his lack of understanding or ability, any wholehearted attempts might have meant something to Loch Raven.

Cormac’s bride, Serena, sat by his side, just as petrified and ashen-faced as she’d been at their wedding a little over a year ago.  Her mind was almost but not quite as susceptible to the takeover of dark forces as Loch Raven’s had been.  And so Serena was ever fearfully watchful, yet preposterously so, because she really was bereft of any ability to do anything about it, to save herself from even the whims of another person let alone the powerful forces of mental darkness.  Yet it was this very architecture of her helplessly splayed-out soul in conjunction with her striking beauty and intelligence that made people want to rescue her, just as they felt compelled to try to rescue Loch Raven.


Cormac and Serena met in the town library.  And although it was far from love at first sight, they were both in need of companionship so defaulted to seeing each other regularly.  Soon they’d fallen into a convenient pattern that colored over the reality of their situation.  Cormac had begun to think Serena suited him nearly perfectly, although he hadn’t thought to analyze why.  Serena, for her part, thought Cormac’s big, blank love would camouflage all her imperfections and she couldn’t imagine ever wanting to get out from under his undying loyalty.  Naturally, they decided to get married, never mind that it’d only been three months to the day and hour of their meeting at the library.


The wedding had gone as awkwardly as one might expect the joining of two virtual strangers to go.  It took place outside Cormac’s rickety old house with a handful of family members present.  Serena looked her petrified and ashen-faced self and the guests looked bemused.  Only Cormac and Loch Raven looked the kind of joyous one would expect at a wedding.  Loch Raven was positively glowing.  She was perhaps the only one of the three that saw clearly how much she had in common with Serena and therefore why it was that Cormac was marrying her.


Serena had not been as equally enthused.   In Loch Raven she saw every thing in herself that she despised.  She was more in tune with this strange girl than she felt comfortable with and she could feel the sickness that heavily clothed the girl.  It wreaked all too familiarly of the demons that tried to suffocate her own mind from time to time.  And in her opinion, a twenty year old should be out in the world making her own way just like she had been forced to do by her father.  So when Loch Raven had tried to involve Serena in her life, to comment on her artwork, to listen to her music, to help her settle on a career, and that sort of thing, Serena had been genuine and forthcoming but had mostly shied away from interaction.


Serena remembered now how the two had discussed the blankness of Cormac’s love and how it rendered him powerless to be of any help to either of them.  Loch Raven expressed her concern that the falling down house was haunted and was controlling them, trapping them all, and would hold them hostage until they died.  She said she felt that as long as she was under her father’s care here, she would come to ruin.  She’d asked what Serena thought she should do and Serena had recommended what she, too, wanted to do but felt powerless to do under Cormac’s roof.  Serena had held Loch Raven’s shoulders firm, looked deeply into her eyes, and told her to run far away, to just do it, to seek out a community of like-minded people, of artists, of musicians, and to let the common desire of this community fuel her desires to be and to do all the things she wanted to do and be.


Now Serena sat in a sorry, cheap plastic folding chair in front of the closed casket that held Loch Raven’s mutilated body and she understood with perfect, unrelenting clarity why she had killed herself.  She saw everything with perfect clarity now, just a little too late.  She saw that Loch Raven had held up blind faith that she would be a bright spot in her life, that she’d be an inspiration to her.  She’d hoped that since they were both artists and musicians that they would become allies and start something up together.  She’d hoped they’d band together and break free of the spell in their heads, the spell in her father’s house.


Serena looked up at the portrait of Loch Raven that sat atop the casket and an unforgiving bolt of realization ramrodded her body.  She knew the baton had been passed and that she was next.





Portrait from http://www.umo.com/images/BaggotAudienceGirl01302005fromSH.JPG


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Missalister’s “Diminuendo,” copyright © 2008, was spun off the Sunday Scribblings prompt “#130 – Wedding.”  Click here for more on prompt #130 from other Sunday Scribblings participants


14 responses to “Diminuendo

  1. Welcome BJ! Although I hang toward the dark side, as you’ve no doubt surmised ;-) I took the greatest delight in the brilliant ray of light, the rip-roaring time I had over at your place! Holy smoke! And I do mean smoke. That piece of yours is on fire. So thank you !

    People you’ve got to read this.

  2. Hot-damned masterpiece, Lady A: I can’t say much better than that. Ridiculous to single out favorite lines: just Ctrl + A the whole thing and paste it right here in the box. I suspect that this is my favorite of all my favorites of yours. And, as we all know, that’s some celestial company indeed.

    Funny how we both had ravens in our heads when it came time for scribbling, though mine was a far sight less compelling than yours: absurdly arresting, yes, to my flu-fogged Friday mind, but no more compelling than Woody Allen in his long and addled (and apparently critically unnoticed) decline.

    Now that I think of it, Ms Serena better hop in the first Dodge Ram passes her way, and make it quick.

    This beautiful gem of yours puts me in mind of Van’s (or maybe Sinead’s, or any other worthy at the plate) take on “She Moved Through the Fair.”

    Then she went her way homeward with one star awake,
    As the swan in the evening moves over the lake.

    I couldn’t find Van’s, but here’s the Raven’s:

    Cheers to you, this Sunday morning.

  3. Thanks, Marty E!

    Thanks, too, gautami tripathy. It’s been eons! Weddings and beheadings has stirred my brain cells. I’ll be over to check that out :-)

    Aw, Paschal, I hope you’re feeling better…you “sound“ better… Certainly, as I mentioned on your site, it seems your mojo wasn’t shorted out by the moisture cloud, ‘cuz you waz rippin’ the in and the enza right on up outta that flu!

    I appreciate your celestial favorites vote. Do you think, then, that this might be a good one for “The Sun” if sprinkled, ironed and sprayed with Niagra? Then maybe Ms Serena will get written into red-riding it outta Dodge, past the cornfields where the crows’ raucous caw warns away the swan from the one star gone.

    Thanks, too, for the link…of course Ms O’Connor’s voice pulled me back seven hours and fifteen days 2 nothing compares :-)

    Hi anno! Good chills is good news! I’m so glad you liked it :-)

    It was a piece of wedding cake, BJ! And I look forward to whatever you’re serving up next :-)

  4. Alone on the Isle! I’m so glad you came by. I was hoping you would. I enjoy interacting with writers I admire. So a Manhattan-size welcome to you!

  5. Lady A: I think you’ve got plenty of Sun-worthies at this construction site. Just don’t spray them with Viagra, cher.

    Word up / song up from the magnificent Shirley Horn:

    So here’s to life
    and every joy it brings
    here’s to life
    to dreamers and their dreams

    may all your storms be weathered
    and all that’s good get better
    here’s to life, here’s to love, here’s to you

  6. My question is simple enough: HOW do you do this? How do you enter these people’s lives every week, unapologetically, knowing all there is to know, being completely blunt yet poetic about it?
    I just don’t understand.

    Your comments on my blog really made me laugh, thanks for that. I’m back :)

  7. Welcome, JM! And thanks so much for taking a look here.

    No worries re: the ED meds, Pashcal! LOL!
    Awesome lyrics here. You know I had to read along while listening here. Thank you.

    The incomparable Deeevine Miss M!!! It’s so good to have you back here! I can’t believe I missed you so much… Ahem. The answer to your question: there’s a little or a lot of me in every character I write about, hence the license for irreverence ;-) Glad you liked the comments—I aim to please…most of the time :-D

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