Mt. Erie knows secrets, and keeps most of them—dark times from the past grown over with new foliage, twisted vines, ferns, stumps of fallen trees, moss, decay. The entire town did as well. Deception Pass was named because of this tendency towards illusion, mist obscuring the bay’s opening, the roiling tide unleashing a whirling fury of water through the narrow pass, and Deception Pass Bridge became the main tourist stop, linking Fidalgo Island to Whidbey Island. Each year someone slipped from a cliff’s edge into the Puget Sound, or, with more than seasonal melancholy eating away, took his or her own life, leaping from the bridge itself, compelled by inner demons—a sadness, a depression, a feeling of nothingness overwhelming.
Frederick Waltzcrop embraced darkness, huddled, prepared, adding more to the initial drawings on the floor of his protected shelter. He walked this area hundreds of years previously, when only the Sammamish and Swinomish tribes hunted and battled for territory, desires and weaponry changing (the new, modern Casino chuffing and churning on tribal land), before Deception Pass was discovered and the town of Anacortes was incorporated. There were no pathways to the top of the mount then, but the State forestlands had blossomed under a green environmental initiative. In his shelter, now so bloody with Petey’s passing, he dug and the digging invigorated his ancient form. He felt the world’s passing of time as an almost physical manifestation, a strength waning.
Protected from the storm, the rain and wind, he opened the first, the true, book (the pages brittle as his own heart) of The Queen’s Idle Fancy, and stared at the memorialization page. Long ago, someone, some thing, had written Huffins Mackepeace there on the first page as a welcome, an honor, centered in spidery black ink, fading with the centuries.
Who had called him long ago? Who had called to Waltzcrop? Mackepeace now a lost shell, lost to time and hubris, and but a tool. Who had called him to this island? It begins there. Before the months passed into preparation, he had other chores to complete, the process was set in motion, but all the players hadn’t revealed themselves. He’d always been a patient being, methodical, seldom bored. When that happened, he (and Camoustra and Frenalto) moved on.
The shiny object blinked in the muted darkness, a flask, steel, one used for whiskey on a cold day, holding a fisherman’s medicine. It was exactly two feet down, underneath the first kill, buried, and as Waltzcrop loosened the flask from the hole, he wondered, only for a split second, about the person--the mortal--who had gone to so much trouble, who had brought so much curiosity to his doorstep, and he imagined a cold vengeance. In the end this wouldn’t matter so the thought fell back into nothingness, but not before he began to hum, sing parts of, an old song, not so old in the thick of time, a Rolling Stones song he admired, grew an affinity for. You Can’t Always Get What You Want accompanied his actions.