Alex Crumb

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Candlestick | Entry 6

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Nov 8, 2021 3:03:12 PM



Fio and Rain divorced in 1990. Eriem was 3 years old. Rain moved out of the Rauchfort Ranch to live in a nearby town so as to share custody and maintain visitation rights of Eriem and her older brother, Duncan, who had just turned 10.

Duncan legally emancipated himself from his parents’ custody at age 16. He traveled south to LA and did not communicate with his parents for many years.

Eriem remained at the Ranch. She grew up in fresh air with dirt between her toes and infrequent bathing. Many days ended with a traveler passing through, accepting offers of a warm bed and a decent meal on their way somewhere. Lots had no home. Lots were going south, toward the border. Even more were going north, hoping to pass through Canada and make it to Alaska. It was still wild there. You could be invisible. Truly vanish from record.

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Candlestick | Entry 5

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Nov 5, 2021 12:00:00 PM



Eriem Flint, daughter of Rain and Fio Flint, was born in a northern California town called Rauchfort in 1988. The younger of the two Flint children, Eriem experienced an atypical upbringing at the Rauchfort Ranch, a communal village near the Pacific coast. Six families lived together at the Rauchfort Ranch, counting the Flints, sharing all responsibilities of property maintenance, subsistence farming, and child education and rearing.

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Candlestick | Entry 4

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Nov 4, 2021 12:04:03 PM



The population of Candlestick, Idaho was 1108 at the time of the 2010 census, down from 1337 in 2000. The 2020 census data, affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, has not fully been cataloged. Candlestick’s original base lodge was located at 6001 feet above sea level, with the new base lodge (completed in 2020) situated closer to the town center, resting at an elevation of 5932 feet.

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Candlestick | Entry 3

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Nov 3, 2021 12:00:00 PM



The volunteer ticket-pickers finished their distributions and signaled to Dandridge the selection process was ready. The man at the front reached under the lectern to find a green cage filled with ping pong balls.

“Awful simple,” Eriem noted out loud.

Dandridge made no proclamation. He cranked the bingo cage by its small handle. The wiry hinges squeaked just loud enough on each turn to be audible above the crowd’s murmurs. It was a rumble of curiosity. Eriem noticed a few in the audience whisper to each other, shrugging and unfamiliar with this ritual. An arbitrator was not selected often in the town of Candlestick.

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Candlestick | Entry 2

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Nov 2, 2021 1:39:49 PM



The knob grinded in the cold like clenched teeth. Eriem opened the door.

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Candlestick | Entry 1

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Nov 1, 2021 12:00:00 PM



There was no knowing the thing’s humanity. Now deep among the trees and gone from the moon’s eye, it moved like the monster. That was enough for Eriem. She snatched her jacket. She vaulted the porch rail. The dusting of snow dissipated into a breathable vapor. Fio saw her girl make the move from all the way inside the house; and little else. The woman made a guess. She shouted. Her adult daughter was already in full stride, nearly at the treeline.

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The Sea Comes to Shackleburg - XXI

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Dec 2, 2020 5:00:00 PM



I woke. My mind had been elsewhere. I recognized later that while I had been wide awake and functioning, holding conversation, and going about the morning, that memory eventually went missing. I know for some time, I was asleep—unconscious, perhaps—and at other times, I was wide awake. Neither formed memories. It all went missing, corrupted like a drop of poison into pure water.

The last events I can recall for you, reader, was an anachronistic conversation in the infirmary. I was once again locked in one of the witches cages. Piece by piece, I remembered the students gone missing, the illusive women’s dormitories, and the names I’d heard, but never had the opportunity to meet.

“Hello, Keziah,” I heard a voice say.

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The Sea Comes to Shackleburg - XX

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Dec 1, 2020 5:00:00 PM



What would you ask of me?

Under threat of immediately-familiar pain, under threat of the gong that rings for us when the world falls down, I thrash like a gasping fish in a longshoreman’s deck-rough fingers. What is this? Destruction. In the name of atomic continuation, so, too, must we consider the prospect of our own elemental annihilation. As an inevitability. Yet, in too many catatonic instants, we cannot muster an affirmative or negative response to this repeated, cosmological suggestion.

What is this? Are you here?

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The Sea Comes to Shackleburg - XIX

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Nov 30, 2020 5:00:00 PM



Onward. Each broken stride an aching attack for my own existence—an army of thoughtlessness in the form of footsteps. I gave no credence to the confusion. The impossibility. My body still yearned to continue onward. Clarity was absent within and without. I was walking on water, upside-down, backward, on my hands, yet there remained compulsion, and obliged. I could not believe the sight before me, of a storm reaching out like a god hand, attacking the Earth itself, and there, defenses were raised. Lightning struck back at the assault. The statuary deflected the blows from this sinister attacker. But how could this be? What treasured science did I then behold? A gathered spirit? An unspoken will? A life more total than you or I might ever gather in one journey from womb to tomb?

Francesca leaned on Jordan. I felt Jordan against me. I summoned the will to carry on further from their unerring guile—to walk into the ungodly hurricane descending on any good sense. The archive was there. Horseshoe-shaped and stone. Old, like the Fort and the Clock Tower. I understood then that the archive rested within the statuary, as a mausoleum rests within a cemetery. They were a pair.

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The Sea Comes to Shackleburg - XVIII

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Nov 25, 2020 1:00:00 PM



Someday, years later, I might have possessed the proper vocabulary to present what occurred next. I do not mean this as a boast. I mean this for my own selfish reasons. I hope, in time, I might find the proper words in a desperate attempt to expel the memory of moments past. I care little for the audience at the crux of our story here, and I am sorry for this reader, but for my own continued life, I must shelter my immortal soul first before I consider an outsider’s capacity for comprehension. I want to define what it was I felt. I want the words of man to meet with the sights I beheld and combat the insults inflicted against my other senses.

This, I believe, is how mankind invented God. Faced with phenomena so much larger than a primitive mind, humanity’s brightest minds walk to the line of what is possible, what is knowable, and anything that cannot be given shape by words then available, becomes the realm of the divine. We could not call a thunderstorm anything but the realm of Zeus. We could not call the tempestuous and moody seas anything but the jealousy of mighty Poseidon. Death itself remains definitely beyond our reach, even with every scrap of science we today possess. What we lack in words, and in definition, we compensate for with rhythm and song, so that we might somehow hold a higher sensory posture. We wish to brush against the intriguing possibilities that there are monumental instances beyond our comprehension and beyond the reductive magical powers of an almighty, Himself impossible for a man to capture in His glory.

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