Hierarchy of the Undead: A Gothic Horror Musical by Dan Watt (Blog 19)
I asked Kaitlyn if I could take some pictures of her as Briana and suggested she be reading an older looking book. Interesting that it was The Girl’s Own Annual edited by Flora Kickmann. Afterwards I was drawn to it and started flipping through the pages. Wrongfully or rightfully a poem by Grace MacGowan Cooke called “Morning Always Comes” jumped out at me. It represents Briana and her desire perfectly. To clarify, I borrowed the poem, I did not write it, Grace MacGowan Cooke is a real person—look her up.
It was hard to know how far she had traveled through the haze of the brown air. A wilted sign told her she was entering Newry. Briana saw a group of ten zombies walk past a library that doubled as a food vendor. The red brick building with tall tinted pentagon shaped windows and a double glass door with steel bars stood between two abandoned shops with apartments above. Once the zombies were far down the street she hurried and knocked on one of the glass doors.
A teenage boy’s face pressed against the window. She heard a click and the teenager opened the door. Inside she could smell lentil soup with a spattering of garlic coming from a large stainless steel pot atop one of the library’s counters. People sat either at the long rectangular tables or the octagon ones scattered between the bookshelves throughout the main floor. China cabinets, buffets, an assortment of chairs and tables from homes peeked out at her from the walls that surrounded the bookcases.
A woman with shaggy blonde hair ladled soup into a bowl for a young man with cracked spectacles. Briana was next in line. “Do you have any information on ginkgo biloba and where it can be found in Ireland?” she asked.
“The tree was banned years ago because of its invasive manner, dear,” the shaggy blonde haired woman said in a soft poignant soprano voice. She pointed down an aisle near a triangular shaped window with a painted glass fresco of a rocky tunnel with a dark blue light within. “Look under herbs or alternative medicine.”
“Thank you,” Briana told her as she paid for a bowl of soup.
She placed her bowl on a buffet with trinkets and walked over to the suggested aisle. She glanced at the titles until she came to an old book made of green cloth with the title: The Herbal or General History of Plants by John Gerard. She was about to take it when she saw another book mistakenly placed beside it. The red cover, the oversize, and the thickness of The Girl’s Own Annual Vol. 39—No. 1.—B. So she brought both books back to the table with her.
Briana ate her soup as she flipped through the pages of The Girl’s Own Annual. When she was finished the soup she handed the empty bowl and spoon to the Shaggy haired woman and dashed back to continue reading.
As she ran her index finger down the pages she hesitated on page twenty-nine and read Grace MacGowan Cooke’s “Morning Always Comes”:
There has never been a night so long
And dark and fearsome but at last it came
To an end. A smiling, laughing sun is for
ever creeping up to the ridge of some hill
to bid a hopeful good morning to a weary-
The surest thing in the world is sunshine.
It rolls away the darkness, dissipates the fog,
and makes crystals of joy
shine in the melting tears of night.
Morning always comes. That is a good
thought for any time, but it is a particularly
consoling thought when your heart
is heavy, and you imagine that you are
carrying more than your share of the burdens of life.
If we would only be as
sure of the other things in life as we are
of the return of the sunshine, it would
make it much easier, especially for those
whose faith in the goodness of things is not
sufficiently strong to enable them to smile.
Morning always comes.
Don’t be down-hearted.
Set your alarum, and get up
and greet it with a smile.
Strength filled her and her resolve to save her sister exploded within her! And if she could she would bring back the sunshine!
With determination she put away The Girl’s Own Annual and started to leaf through The Herbal or General History of Plants by John Gerard.
Dan Watt is the author of Brackish (sci-fi), Queen of Caelum and Sylvia (Children of the Myth Machine series), Lucy and the Snivel Chair (sci-fi/mystery), and Dragon: Emerald of Light (a medieval spoof) All books are available as paperback or e-books through Amazon.com: books.
He is also Co-blogger of twhealthhumor.com with Taylor Norris, RMT