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Rusalka Writer

    Speaking to the Civic Rites & Ceremonies…

    I’m sure I don’t know the entire history of the City, but I seem to recall one annual event my Great-grandfather mentioned in his diaries. As I recall it came a few weeks after the breaking of the ice in Spring. After the water warmed, the land warmed– Perhaps it is the lack of open land in the city these days? It has fallen from common knowledge– I am speaking, of course, of the Great Out-Gassing. Apparently it was quite hazardous in the marshier parts of town. Fires erupting here and there– thrilling, but dangerous! Was the gas from natural decay, or from ancient industry of the old city? In any event, my Great-grandfather wrote fondly of dashing through empty lots with a wiener on a stick and the occasional marshmallow, looking for a spurt of flame. Most of the factories would get into the spirit of the thing and run flame from their smoke stacks– how lovely the city looked by firelight!

    Surely someone has noticed whether the phenomenon continues in the Fells? The empty lots? Great-grandfather loved it! Grandfather was on the volunteer fire brigade, so not so much, but the old man was wild for it. There were rumors, of course, that there may have been arson involved, as gasses rising from the ground in Spring would have no reason to catch fire on their own, but this sort of speculation is merely vulgar and not worthy of comment.

    Surely others of a stately age remember the Great Out-Gassing?