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Author Topic: The Hardyville Ghost - and What Might Yet Be  (Read 1453 times)

cowardly lion

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The Hardyville Ghost - and What Might Yet Be
« on: October 19, 2005, 11:49:32 am »

[alternate ending, with Claire's gracious permission]


And every day now, blow by blow, the flesh continues to fall from her bones. The skull shows through her once robustly handsome face. The hands that once gestured toward the future shrink into boney, birdlike claws. The muscles waste away. Spectral maggots feast on her spectral flesh. And so -- with seemingly nothing with which to feel pain -- her undead and undying agony goes on.

How long can she hold together without collapsing into a pile of unarticulated (but unthinkably, still conscious and suffering) bones?
Yet still she pleads to be let into Hardyville, the only place left that resembles the one where she was born. This lady, who might have been reared in Massachusetts or Virginia or Pennsylvania, now haunts the only place left that feels familiar to her.

And so we were torn. 

Some here (and I will not name names) feared that letting her into Hardyville would open the floodgates to all the evil she bears, that we hold inviolate the last place where Liberty lies sacrosanct, and to let in this foul and corrupted soul would endanger us irreparably.

Others pleaded her case, to allow her a place of refuge from a world gone mad, it seems, with a blood-lust not satisfied and perhaps not satisfiable.  “If her light is extinguished,” they asked, “will we see her like again in our lifetime?”

At some point pity turns the tide against fear, pity, and more, anger, anger at the devils in the world who flay her alive, knowingly and maliciously.

And so the bravest among us (remember, no names in this most private of hells) approached the figure, and laid hand upon the latch.  Looking back only once over her shoulder, she turned to face the gruesome sight and courageously opened the window.


.     .     .     .     .     .     .


I don’t know how to describe the next instant.  I’ve never been fortunate enough to be on the receiving end of a flash-bang assault, so I can’t compare.  I’m not religious-minded, but I am somehow reminded of how Saul must have felt on the road to Damascus.

When I opened my eyes, and I could again focus, we were all flat on our backs.  As we struggled to our feet (and our senses), we became aware of an almost-unearthly glow at the window.

There stood Columbia, blindingly bright and utterly beautiful!  Her smile held thanks and ferocity, life and death, all in one.

And we all felt it, all of us, we felt that powerful glow, that feeling that makes tyrants shake in fear, that makes cowards of bullies, that topples empires.  And we were glad we opened the window to Columbia.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2005, 01:07:54 pm by cowardly lion »
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As much as we may not want to consider it, we must have a mindset that enables us to do instant and devastating violence in defense of self and/or loved ones.   -Dave Champion

It's not unusual to run into folks in the internet that are dense enough to have event horizons.

Remember, remember, the fifth of November . . . .

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Bill St. Clair

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Re: The Hardyville Ghost - and What Might Yet Be
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2005, 12:15:45 pm »

See. All she needs is love and backbone.

Nicely done, lion.
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"The state can only survive as long as a majority is programmed to believe that theft isn't wrong if it's called taxation or asset forfeiture or eminent domain, that assault and kidnapping isn't wrong if it's called arrest, that mass murder isn't wrong if it's called war." -- Bill St. Clair

"Separation of Earth and state!" -- Bill St. Clair
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