Rated R. Dark as an oubliette.
The fifth of our Halloween features, continuing through October 31.
Colin and Ishmael in the Dark
by William Shunn
In the total darkness, the incessant drip! drip! of limewater on stone was the only sound to be heard. Steady as the beating of a heart, ceaseless as the motion of the stars, that sound filled the darkness, fed the darkness, became the darkness. It stitched the seconds together loosely into minutes, the minutes into long ragged hours, and the hours into great tattered sheets that flapped like ghosts in an unseen wind, leaving behind only gray threads of time to mark their passage as they unraveled. In all of creation there was only dripping water, and beyond the reach of its echoes the world no longer existed.
This changed only twice a day, when metal ground harshly against metal and the bolt sprang back from the rusted lock with the sound of a crossbow quarrel being loosed. This particular
day began like every other–the resonant creak of the hinges, the crushing reverberation as the door slammed shut, the tread of steel-toed boots crossing the damp stone floor and then pausing. “Breakfast, Ishmael,” said a voice worn into a sing-song by the repetitiveness its daily routine.
“Just put it there on the settee, will you?” This dry voice spoke wryly and precisely.
About the Author
William Shunn was born in Los Angeles and raised in Utah, the eldest of eight children in a devout Mormon family. A writer from a young age, he attended the Clarion Writers Workshop at Michigan State University in 1985, when he was 17. As was expected, he departed on a proselytizing mission for the LDS Church at the age of 19. He was assigned to preach in Alberta, Canada, but after six months he was convicted of felony mischief in connection with a false bomb threat and expelled from the country. The complete story is recounted in his memoir The Accidental Terrorist, available November 10, 2015. William Shunn left the Mormon Church in 1995 and developed one of the earliest ex-Mormon web sites. He currently lives in New York City.
About the Narrator
MarBelle has a strange compulsion to watch as many films as he can get his hands on and find jobs that give him a legitimate excuse to drill filmmakers about their work. Directors Notes is the decade long incarnation of this disorder and remains so much cheaper than film school.