floating lullabies - dominic loise

The moon still hung in the morning sky as the congregation gathered together. The white robed worshippers slowly made their way into the barn singing a hymn in unison. All their heads were cloaked and faces covered in decorated ceramic sheep masks. For now, children wore hand crafted paper mache masks. The young members would be gifted their second faces as they grew in The Ways of The Flock.

The Flock assembled into their places facing the temporary stage made out of lined up bails of hay. Atop this stage, a wooden plank altar was balanced upon three burlap sacks. As their hymn built, a black robed figure entered down the center of the barn to the altar. The congregation steadily chanted, “Bah, Bah, Black Sheep have you any wool?”

The design of the ornate black mask on their leader figure was crafted for her voice to carry over the flock with an echoing, “Yes, Sir! Yes, Sir! Three Bags Full!” The long black robes of The Flock Leader swayed as she pointed to each of the three stuffed sacks of the altar. She decreed, “One For The Master/ One For The Dame/ And One…” An explosion from the remaining section of the altar ended the ceremony.

art: caitlin peck

Spirits of The Flock exited bodies scattered along the field. Amongst the burning shards of the barn, the confused, floating congregation members all looked around at each other’s lifeless bodies and own transparent selves. Then, The Flock all noticed the sky blowing into a brighter blue as they heard festive music over a nearby hill. Over the hill crescent, a striped grey cat in overalls came playing her old beat up fiddle followed by a brown mutt dog in plaid trousers chuckling to himself.

“Come on, you Silly Geese! Mother is waiting,” barked out the dog to the spirits of The Flock as he beckoned them to follow both of them over the hill. The grey cat gracefully bowed to each member of The Flock floating up the hill and over the top welcoming them to Mother’s Realm. The dog and cat skipped along as The Flock drifted down the other end of the hill. At the bottom, a large, anthropomorphic dish and spoon were dancing together to the cat’s lively fiddle music.

“Come, Along! Come, Along! Mother is waiting!” The dish and spoon sang along in unison before running off hand-in-hand beckoning The Flock to follow. The oversized place settings led The Flock right to a gigantic barn like the one whose destruction transported their spirits to this other plane of existence. The massive barn was twice the size of The Flock’s place of worship.The dish and spoon struggled to pushed open the looming, gigantic door for the waiting spirits. As the doors opened, the long neck and head of a giant goose collapsed outside of the barn with the thunder of a tree just uprooted by a storm. The Flock barely had time to float out of the way before being cast to the winds on the impact of the mammoth goose’s body landing.

The scattered congregation of The Flock floated back together around the giant goose head as it slowly opened its eyes. The goose awoke fully with a loud honk, which again scattered The Flock away with her blast. The cat fiddled louder to grab the attention of the drifting away spirits.

art: caitlin peck

“This is the moment your faith has lead you all too!” barked the dog, with a smile as he spread out his arms to the giant goose, “Are you ready to join all your loved ones through Mother.” The dish and the spoon propped open the mouth of the goose as the spirits of The Flock were encouraged to enter by the cat on her fiddle.

Well into twilight, the goose was slowly able to choke down all the spirits. Throughout the forced feeding, the goose kicked its large webbed feet around the barn freeing the cow inside from it’s lone stable. The dish and spoon got The Flock to sing along with the cat’s increased fiddling to covering up the sound of the dog hammering the goose’s feet to the back wall of the barn. The goose burped up honks as it digested the spirits of The Flock.

“I think Mother is finally full!” noticed the dish as it set itself down on the ground.

“Yes,” agreed the spoon,” Mother is finally full!” and it cozied up next to the dish. The cat started fiddling up a final crescendo before her fiddle burst into flames and was thrown into the barn. The dog began to laugh madly as he put on a chefs hat. The cow startled by the horrid honking of the giant goose ablaze took off up the hill. It kept going up and didn’t stop till it made its way over the moon almost knocking into an astronaut along the way.

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