Cartwaith #2

Behind the trollie the extravagant lady rode atop, bumped and jostled a two wheeled trailer. Cartwaith couldn’t help but watch the woman drive, bumping and bopping all the way down the hill and over the uneven road.

“Whose that?” said little Blith, her raven curls wetted straight.

“Don’t know,” said her father. “But sure is a funny horse she rides, ain’t it?”

“Not a horse,” said Blith. “It’s a trollie, silly.”

“Same function as a horse though, ain’t it–get you from here to there, right?”

Blith turned away from her father for a moment, “Sure. I guess.”

“How’s it then, not a horse?” asked Cartwaith.

The little girl shrugged and her father grabbed her up hugged he close and told her not to try and outsmart her Da, because she’d not do that until she were older. Then he asked, “Where’s Smaeth?”

Blith pointed across the bridge that spanned the gap of the brook and continued along the road that led up the hill–the same one the woman on her trollie was trundling down. Cartwaith could see his son, running along the road toward the trollie with a few of the other children.

“What’s he done?” asked Cartwaith.

From afar and across the brook, he watched his son with the other children cluster around the trollie, and then begin to trot along beside it. It reminded Cartwaith of the honor guard he’d seen when Principal Argyles passed through Vestil last winter. Wasn’t often you got a Principal coming through a small town like Vestil, but Cartwaith supposed when somebody wants to get somewhere easiest way to do is by ways and means well explored and trodden.

“You believe,” said Cartwaith to his daughter, “that out in San Francisco they say they got those trollies like that on every street. H’aint not more horses and carts no more. Just trollies pulling darn near everything.”

“Thought you’d say’d it’s a horse,” said Blith.

“Sa, did,” said Cartwaith, scoffing. “Go ’bouts and grab Smaeth for me and get him away from that trollie. Whatever that red light is from it’s behind can’t be good nobody.”

Blith giggled at the mention of the trollies behind, then sprang up and scampered along the east bank of the brook until she came to the bridge and crossed to meet the trollie and other children. Cartwaith watched he talk to Smaeth, who was two years older, and he could see that the boy spoke back to her. Then the woman in the dark and red dress with the ostentatious hat let one hand go of the stack jutted from the floor in front of her, and pulled a cane where there had been no cane, from beside her on the seat.


Cartwaith was a simple man of little import in the town of Vestil. He spent his time with his two lovely children, Smaeth his son, and Blith his daughter. They wanted for little and thought about the world outside of Vestil not at all. Carwaith’s wife, Nilth, was the elected speaker of Vestil, popular and paid handsomely for her services, as she was known in the region as fair when fairness was required, shrewd when negotiating on behalf of Vestil, and compassionate when understanding the plight of others. That all changed when the stranger came to down.

She came to Vestil on one of those new-powered trollies. The ones that glowed with the red light from the rear end and emitted loud roars when attempting to climb hills, their wheels slipping and kicking up dirt like a horse or mule never could.

Cartwaith Was with Smaeth and Blith near the brook that flowed past the western side of Vestil and down from the hills that were covered in thick forest. Cartwaith wasn’t the only parent playing in the brook with his children that day. A cacophony of laughter, shouts, splashes and whoops filled the air. The day was the first truly hot one they’d had in months and all the children (and many of the parents, too) couldn’t resist to wade into the slow brook and splash each other. Cartwaith was dangling his feet from a rock and into the cool water, watching his children play with their little friends, most of them under the age of 10, when a whining and grunt broke the lazy sound of the flowing brook and the laughter and hoots of children and parents alike. Over the rise to the west and along the road that led from the town the trollie appeared, bucking and jolting, a rosy light gleaming from it’s rear, even in the bright of the sunny day. A top the trollie road a woman with a wide brimmed at, black as night, though ornamented with red stitching, her flowing dress looked a light fabric for hot days, yet was a similarly black and red design. Her hair was cedar and her skin a lush gold that marked her as a resident of the southwestern city, Pulido. It was said all Pulidians took in the color of the land their city was built on and nobody in Vestil was in a position to dispute such rumors.

Freewrite 11/2/20

The TV flickered at the back of the room. The vaulted ceiling overhead was supported by metal struts and in the dim light the TV cast altering shadows about. The sound wasn’t on.
“You shouldn’t have come,” said Cogar.
The man’s face was broad, his upper lip dressed with a mustache, and his bald head shone in the glare from the screen.
Behind Rosie, the big person shifted on their feet and Rosie couldn’t help but be aware of how Busher held that hammer, as though to bring it down on someone’s head without a second thought.
“We had to. You know I wouldn’t have come here if I had another choice,” said Carlos.
Rosie noticed he was standing ridged. There was none of that easy swagger about him, none of that assuredness he’d had when he pointed his strange gun at the monster on the train.
“So, they’ve driven you out of hiding? How?” asked Carlos.
Rosie looked to Carlos who had eyes only for the broad, stout figure before them.
When he spoke again with was slow, as though he weighed every word. The girl was a veil.
“That what?” asked Rosie.
Carlos looked at her. That strange shadow that hung over his eyes twisted about his head, making him hard to read. “You were my veil,” Carlos said. “But they still found me. . . somehow. Some one close to you must be a vessel.”
“What are you talking about.”
A bark echoed through the warehouse suddenly.


The sun beat down on the warehouse roof. The talk came from within.

Inside, Cogar is bashed and bruised. Rosie is raging.

Carlos is nowhere to be seen and Busher tries to hold Rosie back.

Rosie demands to know where her brother is.

Cogar doesn’t know.

Behind him the TV is flickering again, and there is an ariel view of police vehicles parked at a departent store mall in downtown Pittsburgh.

A ticker across the screen reads: BOY TAKES HOSTAGES WITHIN BLOOINGDALES.

Cogar’s eyes slowly turn toward the TV.

He explains how there is almost certainly nothing Rosie can do to save her brother.

She doesn’t care. But she does chill out. Carlos flows out of her as and re-establishes himself next to her. He looks shaken.

Rosie demands to be taken to the mall in order to find her brother.

How do they get INSIDE the mall without the police noticing?

Cogar has a magic door.
Carlos uses a magic coin.
Rosie absorbs the power of something and arrives there.
They drive the bus directly into the entrance of the department store, crashing through the police baricade and into the doors of the building. . . . I actually like this one, thematically.

Rosie pulls Carlos back toward the van they’d stolen. She’s been to this mall before and knows the way, as long as she’s on the free way.

They drive to the mall and crash through the police barrier, the whole time the snipers take shots at them. Rosie is identified as the girl who shot a man on a bus the night before.