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Crack of Night - Laura Wise

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September 29th, 2010


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07:56 am - Crack of Night
I was thinking this morning about the phrase "the crack of dawn." It is (alas) a cliche now, one where the very specific and very cool visual of sunrise is perhaps no longer evoked. And how interesting it is that we don't think about the opposite...

So, a moment with Principal Morgan Stonewood, where we do.



Young Enrique Monroe sits in the Delinquent's Chair (for so Mr Stonewood is wont to call it, in his joking/not-joking way) and squirms under his principal's cool, amused gaze.

"Could you say that again, please?" Principal Stonewood prompts.

Enrique takes a deep breath before the plunge: "Sorry, sir, it was just that I was up before the crack of dawn 'cos of cross-country, and five miles and all in the cold, and then I was up late because of studying--" A lifted eyebrow from his audience, and Enrique abandons that lie. "Okay, okay, sir, it was actually Lissy Hernandez and a phone call, and midnight, but sir, I didn't mean to fall asleep in English, and I didn't mean to say that, you know, thing to Mrs Chun when she woke me up."

"You didn't seem to mean a great deal of things, but they happened." This is spoken without any amusement at all.

Enrique thinks that Principal Stonewood must have gone somewhere cold and dark in his head: he's not looming, because he's sitting down, but he looks like a man who could do damage, like someone who always means what he says. Enrique swallows hard. "Yes, sir. I have to think more about my actions. I have to mean it."

At that, the kind Principal Stonewood smile flickers back. "Yes, Rick, you do. And I will see you tomorrow morning at first bell to assess whether you get enough sleep tonight."

"Yes, Principal," Enrique says with a chest-to-toe sigh of relief.

Principal Morgan Stonewood walks home after school that evening in twilight. The time change has come, and so night falls before most people are ready.

As he passes an oak or ash tree on his journey, he touches changed leaves, red and gold in the midst of grey, and makes them shimmer just a little in the passing of his breath.

He is remembering a deep forest on a cold day, the world all shadow except the red-gold sunset light. He is remembering his Alice, bound hair and unsheathed sword, standing at his shoulder and gazing at the fall of the sun. He is remembering his own hand held up to that light, the crushed-bone spellmatter burning his palm in readiness to be used.

Alice had turned to him and smiled. "Almost here," she said to him, and inside he felt fire and laughter. "I love you."

"And I love you, my heart," he said, and then the last sliver of sun disappeared from beyond the trees, and then came the crack of night and its teeth.

His hedge-gate flashes up before him, and Morgan shakes himself out of memory. As he puts his hand to the latch, he smiles.

Tonight he'll make lentil soup for his Alice, and break open his best, deepest wine, and bring her fire and laughter. And he will mean it.
....................


Happy Wednesday to all!

(16 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


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From:anne_d
Date:September 29th, 2010 12:25 pm (UTC)
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I love this, I love your Stonewoods, and I thank you for making my Wednesday morning a little brighter, even in the darkness before the dawn.
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From:laurawise
Date:September 29th, 2010 08:53 pm (UTC)
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Thank you thank you, A, for such a lovely comment. Hope your Wednesday's been lovely!
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:September 29th, 2010 08:53 pm (UTC)
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I'm so glad you liked it, C! Thank you thank you, and a good end of Wednesday to you.
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From:paratti
Date:September 29th, 2010 03:31 pm (UTC)
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That was lovely:)

((Hugs))
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From:laurawise
Date:September 29th, 2010 08:52 pm (UTC)
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Thank you thank you, L. [hugs]
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From:headrush100
Date:September 29th, 2010 09:00 pm (UTC)
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LOVE IT. And you're inspiring me to get on with my own writing exercises. Giddy up, A!

*hugs*
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From:laurawise
Date:September 29th, 2010 09:58 pm (UTC)
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Happy writing, A, and thank you thank you!

[hugs]
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From:stevie_carroll
Date:September 30th, 2010 04:52 am (UTC)
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I've missed the Stonewalls. It's always good to read more about them.

Bravo!
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From:laurawise
Date:September 30th, 2010 10:57 am (UTC)
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Thank you thank you, Stevie! Thanks and a good Thursday to you. :-)
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From:stateless82
Date:September 30th, 2010 03:02 pm (UTC)
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Principal Stonewood's a pretty good teacher.

I love your stories.
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From:laurawise
Date:September 30th, 2010 08:59 pm (UTC)
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Your comment is a balm on a sore day. Thank you thank you, and I hope your Thursday evening is a lovely one, Susan.
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From:mobile_alh
Date:October 3rd, 2010 01:22 am (UTC)
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Sometimes it's odd to catch up backwards, but then I find a lovely treat like this one to remind how important it is to check what's been happening.

I do love Morgan and Alice.
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From:laurawise
Date:October 3rd, 2010 10:50 am (UTC)
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I'm so glad you enjoy Morgan and Alice! I love them too. :-) (I probably shouldn't confess that, actually...)

Anyway, thank you thank you! And a happy Sunday, ALH.
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From:janus_74
Date:October 3rd, 2010 02:04 pm (UTC)
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I really like the Stonewoods, glad Morgan is back for a tiny bit.
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From:laurawise
Date:October 3rd, 2010 04:21 pm (UTC)
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You're lovely to say so, and I appreciate it v.v. much. :-) Thank you! Happy Sunday!

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