Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A Letter to Poe

October, 18, 2016

To: Edgar Allan Poe
From:  Eris Blythe

Dear Mr. Poe, 

I am writing you to review one of your works. I have read your short poem The Cask Of Amontillado
and I must say you have an intriguing style of composition. Although, I admit I was captivated, I found myself disturbed as well. I recognize that this work is critically acclaimed as 'The Best Short Story'  since you mastered the use of multiple types of literary irony. It is difficult to depict well written dramatic, situational and verbal ironies in a one shot story. Every line was ironic in some way.

An example of your genius is the name you chose for the victim in your story. You named him, Fortunado, which means fortunate one yet he is the one to perish in a malevolent scheme. Another ironic instance can be found in the title itself, The Cask Of Amontillado. A cask can mean a large barrel that can be filled with alchoholic beverages but it can also define a casket used for the burial of the deceased. The irony I found most titllating was when Montressor and Fortunado shared a toast between wine glasses and the unsuspecting victim was toasting to his own death.

Your irony goes beyond your books Mr.Poe, for I have found myself taking appreciation to your horrid tale. As a young reader I don't appreciate the tragic topics of revenge and malice but your skillful writing and way with words have earned my attention.


Eris Blythe

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Monster House

       My mom works as a stager for real estate, one day she invited me to come to work with her and I thought it would be a fun experience. The house was vacant and it was going to be an easy days work so why not capitalize on the opportunity to change the schedule up a bit. She enticed me with a pitch about enjoying the home school experience in the great outdoors since the house was a bit of a drive west into the hill country. "You can prop your feet up and hit the books, it'll be nice," she said, "and if there is time to spare you might be able to relax with your favorite book and afterward we can get ice cream."
     We pulled up the directions on Google to find that it was about a forty-five minute drive. We left our house with anticipation of the scenic byways and of a house set in bucolic beauty.  We had driven for the allotted Google drive time estimate but we couldn't find the road we were supposed to turn on to get to the house. We drove back and forth for what seemed like forever when finally we gave up and took what we thought was the right road.
     "Look!" I shouted. We had made it to the right road. The green road sign was placed where one wouldn't naturally install it. This area looked like a toddler paved out the road system with his Tonka truck set. It made sense only to the mind that mastered the illogical path. Relieved, we make a turn onto the street only to realize that the path is scattered with dirt and rocks.  We didn't have the right vehicle for four-wheeling. The car shook and grumbled as it slowly rolled over the gravel sending pebbles flying. Finally, we groaned to a stop and looked up to see that we had made our arrival.
     The house was built in a craftsman style facade and was two stories. The exterior looked decent from the road. We hopped out of the car and started for the door. As my mom fumbled with the lock I stared at the bare, flower beds riddled with weeds the place clearly needed some proper landscaping.  Overgrown, dead, field grass made up what should have been the lawn. The view next door wasn't much better, the footprint for a new house with exposed concrete walls and plumbing lines poured as close to the property line as possible made the lot feel encroached upon. "OK," I thought, "This is why my Mom was here, to help make the place look better," but nothing was going to prepare me for what was behind the front door.

'Monster House'
Photo By: chefrandon
     The lock clicked and the door opened. Mom stepped in and I followed. Upon my entrance I was struck with a tidal wave of stench that was beyond describing. The whole place reeked of sewage and everything was plastered with cat hair. I could tell by my Mom's expression that we both were thinking the same thing. I soon found the origins of the stench matted on the carpeted stairs. I looked the staircase up and down gaping at the moldy barf and old cat scat integrated within the fibers of the carpet. As we approached each new corner and room the horrifying terrors just got worse and worse. I cautiously opened the bathroom door, half expecting a rabid raccoon to pounce on me. I flipped on the light and stared into the bowl of a ferociously stained toilet. I staggered back out and tried to find a chair that was decent to sit on so I could regain my composure and attempt to do what I came on the journey for; to concentrate on my work but there was nothing to sit on, not a chair in the house. It was either sit in a pool of cat fur or sit on the front steps outside. I found myself queasy from the persistent, nauseating fetor so I decided the front steps would be my best option.
     My head was still spinning as I stepped outside I plopped down on the steps and opened my book to my current lesson only to find that I still couldn't concentrate! I was tired and hungry and that awful smell had seeped in and poisoned my brain. I asked my mom how much longer it was going to take and she told me with relief in her eyes that it was almost over and we could leave that rotten, putrid house. I sat on the steps patiently waiting for the moment to come when suddenly my mom announced that she was finished and we were free to go. I lit up and immediately grabbed my stuff and joyfully bolted for the car and my mom quickly followed.
     The wheels of our car slowly mowed over the rock- riddled road once more and then we were off.  Freedom from the house of horrors stretched far behind in the rear view mirror. Halfway home my mom gasped, I asked what was troubling her and she turned to me dramatically with a look of terror on her face and exclaimed "I forgot to look in the garage!" With dismay we had realized that in the rush of the moment we had skipped over the garage. The car made a hasty U-turn and we headed in the direction we came, once more the car stumbled down the unforgiving gravely road, and we were once again standing before the monstrous house. My mom gave me the option of staying in the car, I gratefully nodded and she shut the car door and disappeared into the garage. About ten minutes later she came back out and jumped in the car I looked at her with a straight face and said, "Please tell me you didn't forget anything else!" She assured me that she had everything covered.

      Completely spent, we headed down the road to home again. The experience was so traumatizing we knew we needed retail therapy to get over it. We decided to treat ourselves after our disastrous day at a small but lavish shopping center. We found that food therapy and retail therapy go hand in hand! A delicious pizza place supplied us with garlic knots to soothe our misfortune. After stuffing ourselves we popped into a few stores and boutiques to window shop. The beautifully arranged displays enchanted us and the monster house became a distant memory. Thankfully, the story of the worst house in my Mother's working career ended with a sold sign and new owners who would take tender loving care of the property.