Crankwood chapter 17 The Dawn

Dawn was a feeling for two very different inhabitants of the village. Who were both on remarkably similar if timely, quests.
For Ashes it was the fresh smell of moisture laden vegetation, ripe and fecund. Rich with earthy promise. The promise of the Hedgehog and the Earthworm. Of root snuffling and growth.
Wet grass dampened his feet through old blue canvas shoes. Dampened more, his trousers were wet to the knee. This was uncomfortable but ultimately unavoidable and so pushed to the brink of conciousness. Looking back, he could see his wet pathway from the pub, to his freedom fields, as a line of broken darker grass. He could see the light dusting of seed on his clothing and it was, in the word of Ashes the prophet, good.
The newly risen Sun was already warm and promising later heat. Ashes found himself wishing he had brought a drink. His task therefore would not be restricted by time.
A roseate mist was burning from the water meadow and swirling playfully around pollarded willow. Jackdaws creaked, cawed and created in the early morning air and Ashes found himself revelling in the freshness and vague, strange feeling of cool that wrapped itself around the back of his head and sprinkled playfully down his spine.
Ashes was in fact, hunting, and to this end he had instead of refreshment, brought pencil and paper. He was searching for the tree once more. The dead, hanging tree. Tawny’s tree. The suicide site. This was an uncertain attempt to disbelieve or categorise the madness of the previous hours and to bring a statement of sanity back to his small existence. The drawing materials were to produce a map. In the mistaken view that pinpointing a location was to bring it forcefully and completely into a normal reality.
In time, he made his way down to the river opposite the Leeshi intending to follow the bank up stream and into the wood that gave the village its name.

The other knowing wanderer of the dawn was, of course, the Rev Uriel Simpkins, Dip Theo. For he too was intrigued and refreshed by the sensory banquet placed in front of his horse wide nostrils. He also was captivated with the empty joy of creation. He simply chose to celebrate this in a far different manner to our original inhabitant of the early hours. For the reverend this unused quiet times, were times of simple worship. The dripping trees that nave covered his head, his individual church.
Unlike Ashes, Simpkins truly thought of creation as a construct. Empty of sentience, alive in myriad variety but only in a very limited sense aware and ultimately, not self aware at all.
His pleasure of the morning was tainted, therefore. Polluted with imposed belief that cried foul against ravishing and feral growth.
For the priest holding a ladylike cassock high from the damp the dawn was only pleasurable if held against the pure Platonic ideal of religious fervour.

A red breasted Robin followed, curious and a small orange and white butterfly tip tasted as Simpkins too made his way riverward.

It is therefore a foregone conclusion that these two, at the moment, our equal protagonists will meet as if by felicitous accident. Both are searching for answers, that at the moment seem unprovable. For one, answers that are preternaturally seen as crazy, and for the other, seen as something akin to duplicitous.

As they approach on converging routes they are observed by yet others, equally eager to know and just as keen to remain unknown.

Crankwood chapter 17 The Dawn


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