The Characters

Walker Evan's Torn Movie Poster

Joshua Bloomfield

Joshua Bloomfield was born in 1899 in some nameless town on the border of New York and Vermont.  His mother said it was in the dead of winter, but later when they lived in the swamps of New Orleans, she claimed he was born at the height of summer – when the world was hot and gold and ill-tempered.  Memories of his early childhood were vague.  He had some sense of Montreal – his mother always following the trail of his father – of a language neither he nor his mother spoke or ever cared to learn – of cold winters and sleeping by the fireplace alone.  When he was seven he remembered an endless train ride all the way down to Louisiana, which for him at the time seemed like the end of the world where one’s feet sank into the marshes and bodies were swept away into that great gulf of water at the end of which he imagined a waterfall cascading into the darkness of empty space.”

Myra Long

Myra lay there so peacefully.  She must’ve collapsed right there on the seat, no bed turned down, still fully clothed with that necklace around her neck.  Her head rested on a pillow and her hands were folded neatly in prayer beneath her cheek, her body resting on its side with her back against the cushion.  The shade on her window had not been drawn and a low hanging moon cast a pale glow across her face and neck and shoulders.  She appeared as a child would, so serene, so confident in its pity.

Bloomfield’s right hand appeared as a claw in shadow form hovering over the sleeping Myra.  As he inched closer, his whole body encroached on the light, and she was bathed in his violent shadow, drowning in his rage.”

The Kydd Family:

Evelyn

Yet there were flickers even in those moments of peace where Evelyn wanted to escape that makeshift family, and like electric currents connecting her to previous memories of wanting to wander, she would be sparked to move.  Sometimes she would get up from her chair on the porch while the others were half asleep, and she would walk through the Long house to the front porch.  She would look out past the front lawn onto the street, dark and quiet, the neighborhood asleep and dreaming…”

Samuel

Samuel liked his steak rare, like she did.  He made her laugh…He did impressions.  He talked elliptically.  He told tall tales of being a stable boy and spending his childhood traveling from racetrack to racetrack.  He had friends and business acquaintances all up and down the east coast from Florida to Maine…Canada even.”

Edison

Edison, shirtless and shivering, splashed in the shallow clear water of the lake and looked out at the sun setting behind the lion’s back.  His feet molded themselves to the still ice-cold rocks.  He felt a solid footing here.  He felt like this was home.  At last.  He brought his arms in close and folded them over his chest where he rubbed his hands up and down his arms, smiling, teeth-chattering.  He turned around and looked back at the others playing on the shore, and it pleased him.  Evelyn saw him in this moment, and she could see he loved the lake.  He loved his sister and brother.  He loved his dog.  He loved Myra.  But he missed his father.  There was that longing and heartbreak in his eyes even as happy as he was right then.”

Sally

Sally had told him when she was ten and three-quarters that the day she turned eleven she would start cussin’ and she bet him that ain’t no one was gonna stop her.  Well, Mom washed her mouth out with soap more than once since her eleventh birthday, but damn it, if she didn’t keep on cussin’ every chance she got…”

Tyrus

All children had their secrets.  Some held them close.  Others revealed them to anyone who would listen.  Tyrus Kydd was no different.  This morning, he thought of his secret and it brought him comfort.  By the end of the day, it would breed in him a deep resentment towards the person he loved the most.”

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Photo at top of this page: Walker Evans’ Torn Movie Poster

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