Sunday, July 7, 2013

Bod's Travels Chapter 1: Pointy*

Not too long ago, the boy named Bod packed his bag and left the graveyard.  With money in his pocket, a passport in his hand, the boy called Nobody Owens boarded a train and traveled far into the night. 

The train rumbled across a weathered trestle, down through valleys, and as sun peeped through the widow curtains Bod awoke with a start.  He was hungry.  This was the first morning Bod had ever spent away from the graveyard.  Years of the cool comfort, the dampness, the wizened inhabitants, the old that was the graveyard.

Silas had always provided food for Bod but it had always been packaged food, items with a long shelf life, mechanically wrapped away from the elements.  When Miss Lupescu visited she brought food that she had cooked, but the smell was never pleasant and the taste was even worse.  Foods she called borscht, tripe, and sauerkraut.

But no.  These smells were different from what Bod had ever experienced in his 18 years in the graveyard.  It smelled sharp and pointy.

Can smells be pointy? Bod wondered. 

Eager for an answer, the boy pushed open the door to his sleeper car and stepped into the hallways.  He stumbled a bit for he had yet to adjust to the rhythm and sway of the train.  The sensation of having the ground under your feet fly by as you stood still was new and curious.  Bod wondered how long it would take from him to get the hang of this.

He push forward, shoving aside the accordion door and walked into the adjoining car.  A table ran the length of the wall of the car, piled high with foods he had never seen. Had it not been for the small signs in front of each item, he would have never know what to call these things.

Scrambled eggs. Grilled tomatoes and fried mushrooms. French toast. Bangers and mash, beans and oatcakes. Porridge. Hog's pudding and haggis.

The last item Bod stayed clear of.  He wasn't sure what haggis but it look suspiciously like the black sausage Miss Lupescu had tricked him into eating one time.  When she finally admitted to Bod that it was a sausage made with jellied animals blood, the boy had gotten thoroughly sick.  It wasn't so much the taste that had made Odd gag, but the idea that he had chewed up jellied animal blood.

When one plate was piled high with eggs, tomatoes, and mushrooms the boy grabbed a second plate.  Unaware of the curious stares Bod grabbed half a dozen bangers and enough mash to serve a small family.  

What is that pointy thing I keep smelling, Bod wondered.  He looked about the cart but couldn't locate the source.  Disappointed that he was missing something Bod plunked down in a booth and began his feast. 

Smacking his lips, eating fast as if afraid someone would steal the plate away,Bod couldn't help but make little noises of delight with each bite.


But as he ate, there was one thing that bothered him.  What was the pointy thing and where could he get it?

 My apologies to Neil Gaiman.  He wrote a wonderful story "The Graveyard Book" which Jeremiah and I listened to in the car at least 6 or 7 times.

As Jeremiah is away for the month, I promised him that I would write little stories for him to read each night.  I decided that the story of Bod's journey outside of the graveyard needs to be told. 

So while it cannot compare to the writing of the fantastic Mr. Gaiman, I hope that I picked up some of his voice.

And thank you to Jenny Lawson who introduced me to him.