Shattered Dreams

Hello and this time we have a piece that falls heavily on a concept that, truthfully, is not entirely mine. Although, I will argue that most concepts are not entirely ours, but it would be a crime not to mention just how inspired I was with this piece from a short film from Wong Fu Productions (A YouTube channel of Asian-American filmmakers) called Left On Shing Wong. In essence, it is about an eternal being who collects lost memories and thoughts. Which when reading, would seem pretty similar to what I have here. Apart from this, the central themes are different, where they ask the question of: Where does inspiration come from? I ask: Do we need to have a goal or dream to live a fulfilled life? And somewhere along it I ask: Is reality based on our perceptions of our future goals? Either way, it was a fun little concept of an eternal character that I wanted to explore. Here you go, “Shattered Dreams”.

I collect shattered dreams. In my room, I hold a jar where every shattered dream I find in the world is stored. Every day, I walk out of my door and into a street in the world. I walk down the trodden path, and when I see that a dream has been lost I collect it so that it won’t be forgotten. One day, those who have had their dreams shattered and dropped into the world, will remember them. They may choose to relive their dreams again, hoping that one day they may achieve something great. Or they’ll just take their shattered dreams and live a life knowing that their dreams had not come to fruition.

Dreams come in many shapes. Sometimes they are very easy to spot. And once I do, they’re mine to hold. I know that many dreams are lost between my fingers, and many dreams remain trotting around in the arid world for anyone to take. For those dreams, I pray, and I hope that they are where they belong. But for other dreams, I hold them dear in my jar, waiting for their owner to pick them up.

On odd days, I can interact with those in the world of the living. I usually cannot be seen by people, or heard, or felt. I collect dreams in my own world, and I hold onto them because I want to. I don’t expect any kind of appreciation for holding onto their shattered dreams, but sometimes, it happens.

“Hey?” Jordy asked. Jordy noticed me picking up odds and ends on the side walk and approached me. Today was an odd day. Jordy had light cinnamon hair, and hazelnut eyes. She had tanned smooth skin and soft cheeks. She had small hands and long fingers. Her nails were subtle.

“Hello,” I responded. She wasn’t carrying anything, and just simply came up to me. I had a jar in my left hand, and a marble in my right. It was a shattered dream. It was the dream of a little girl who wanted to go on the moon. Except, the moon was very far away, and the stars were in her way. She was a tiny girl with a big heart, and wanted everything to get a picture of the moon for her dying father, so that he would be able to live his dreams.

“You seem to be lost. New here?” Jordy asked. I wasn’t. And I was. I’ve been to every place in the world, and yet, every time I step out of my door, it’s always somewhere I have no recollection of. I shook my head and showed her my jar.

“I’m collecting odds and ends.” I pressed the marble against my fingers and brought it up to the sun, watching the rays gleam off of it in an array of beautiful reflections. Then, I placed the marble in my jar, and smiled at her, “What about you?” She looked at me with wide eyes, her mouth open and then closed. She smiled, “Just finding my way.”

I got up and then held my jar tight to my sides and began walking, “Let’s walk together.” She didn’t move at first, but then, her right foot moved up, and her left, and in a rhythmic pattern, she began following me.

“I’m Jordy. I lived here for about all my life.” I nodded. I had no name, but, did not want to make her feel stringent.

“I’m Summer. I’ve been just about everywhere.” She laughed at that, said it was silly and didn’t know what I was saying. Jordy was a bright girl. She loved talking to people, but I wouldn’t call her gregarious. She was just curious. As we walked I picked up discarded dreams along the way. There were many interesting people in this world. Some just wanted a home to themselves. Some just wanted to prove everyone else wrong. And some just wanted everything to end. I’ve always felt the pain and suffering of each dream I pick up. And, in eventuality, the heartbreak, and the realization that those dreams have become shattered.

“What do you do with your jar?” Jordy asked. I picked up my jar, and brought it to the sun, and watched as all the strange ornaments glittered in the prevailing rays.

“I collect them so that I can one day give them back.”

“You mean like a lost-and-found?” I brought my jar back down, and then smiled.

“Yeah. Just like that.” We walked among trees, on the grass, and on the pavement. We hopped over construction signs, deep into piles of cinder blocks and bags of cement. We walked into the town, into the alley ways in-between stores, under the bus benches, and on top of stop signs. The sun was beating down against our faces, the wind on our hair, and the scurrying of cats beneath our feet.

“How long have you been doing this?” Jordy asked. I looked at her, watched her eyes as they locked with mines, as her hands stiffened, and as her posture stood stone.

“For as long as I can remember.”

“Do you like doing this?” I never once thought about it in terms of my own volition. I always thought that it was the duty I was born with. To consider my own feelings in such a time was something that never crossed my mind. I found great grief, anger, sadness, and malevolence in these times. And sometimes, I would even find joy. These emotions were ethereal with the shattered dreams that wept them.

“How about you? Are you happy?” I flipped the question onto Jordy. It wasn’t something I wanted to do, but I had no answer for her.

“Happy? That’s a nice word. It rolls off the tongue, and it’s something everyone wants.” I could see in her down cast eyes, her slowed gait, and her hidden arms that she was anything but.

“It’s something, no one deserves–” She stopped then and sighed. She brushed some hair out of her eyes and then looked into the clouds.

“After all. We’re all selfish creatures at the end of the day. Nothing more, nothing less.”

“Selfish?” That was a feeling that I had never felt before. Not a single one of these shattered dreams had exuded anything vain.

“Yeah. We’re all selfish. No matter how altruistic you think you are, it all boils down to some kind of self validation.”

“Do you truly believe that?” It took her no time to respond.

“Yes.” And then, it dropped. Something fell out of her hands. It wasn’t something that she was grabbing onto originally. It was a shattered dream. They fall out of people unknowingly at any time. I had hardly witnessed any myself, but that day was an odd day. The shattering of dreams happens over a prolonged time, permeating itself within one’s heart, and then subjugating their being. Then, when it’s over it leaves the body and is left for the world to chew.

I bent over and picked up a small teddy bear the size of my finger. When my hand touched it Jordy was able to see what I saw. She stared at it with raised brows, and I smiled.

“This is you.”

“This…Bear?” I held it up to her eyes, and she squinted to see the details.

“This small little bear is everything you’ve ever dreamt. It’s an amalgamation.”

“An amalgamation?” She raised her brows even more this time. But I sustained my smile.

“All our dreams are compiled into objects. We drop these objects once they have run their time.”

“You mean, your lost-and-found?” I nodded. Her expression dropped and her eyes looked blankly in front of us. She looked at me, and held out her hand to touch the fur of the teddy bear.

“So what does this say about me? My lost-and-found?” I sighed. From the moment my hand touched the shattered dream from Jordy I knew what she had lost. It was something that was none of the emotions that I had ever felt before. Her shattered dream, was filled with selflessness.

“It says that you are a very caring person. That you will sacrifice everything in order to see the ones you love move forward.” I smiled. I nodded my head, and then handed her the teddy bear. She turned it in her hands and then asked, “Who are you?”

“I’m–” I got up and then looked ahead, to the road in front of us, “Just a collector of shattered dreams.”

“So you found my dream?”

“Yes. At least, what’s left of it. Everything about you is stored in that object. They come in all shapes and forms.”

“So what do you know about me?” Her eyes were clear, just pure curiosity. The wind swept up, and it blew her hair in her face,  causing her to shift strands of it away from her eyes. I didn’t turn to look at her, but cleared my throat and said, “That you love your daughter very much.” I didn’t need to turn around to hear her whimper. I simply kept walking. I didn’t need to take back the teddy bear. It was my job to store them in my jar so that one day their owners would claim them again. However, there were no rules that prevented me from giving them outright. I didn’t know why I did it, but I felt it was more right to let her have her dreams than to take them away from her. It was an odd day.

After my day was complete, I went back to my room. I opened the door of a store, and entered. Every day I walk back into my room, and into a world all of my own.  I emptied the jar I had into the jar in my room, and watched as the shattered dreams mixed together.  One day, these shattered dreams will find themselves back to their owners. They may choose to relive those dreams, or bear the burden of never having achieved them. Some may not realize when this happens, but for others, it happens right in front of them. All in the blink of an eye, everything comes crashing together. An odd day.

 

 

 

 

Broken Bones

Hello and this time we have something that bends the fabrics of time. Not in the sense of literal space warping, but in the sense that the main character is out of time. And in fact, not very much within a contemporary realm. This much can be cindered out with enough investigation, though that does not constitute much of what this piece is about. This is very much about the contrasting generations as it is about the concept of getting through a disability. Once you have a grasp of the main character and who she represents, It becomes a little clearer what her words represent. It’s not just herself speaking out in helpful counsel, but a mindset of living life to it’s best and not letting the modern stigma affect oneself. In this sense, it’s also about age gap, and the difference of thinking between them. Or it’s about the fragility of life. Here you go, “Broken Bones”. 

I woke up seeing a world filled with white. My eyes adjusted, and then I turned my head forward, and everything filled around me. I was sitting on a white bed, with a wire leading from my hand into a bag beside me. The bag was empty, and so I took the needle out of my arm. I used all the strength I could muster to sit up. In the corner, was a wide rectangular container with glass seemingly centered into it. To my right, a window with the curtains closed, and beside my bedside was a small tabletop with flowers and a strange rectangular contraption. My body seemed all too fine for me to be sleeping in such a place, but I didn’t deny it. I tried to wrap my head around my circumstances, but ended up drawing on blanks. The more I tried to remember, the more my head began throbbing, like an incipient buzzing had been planted into my brain. I sighed, and then got up from my bed. I walked to the door of my room, and slowly turned the knob, expecting a man in a white suit on the other side waiting for me. There was no one.

I walked to the hallway and looked at the colored lines on the floor and walls. It seemed that this was a built in guide. It saved money, time, and headaches. Though for me, I still had issues with all three. I couldn’t tell north from south, my twelve to six, nor my up from down. I wished I had a compass. Though, even that much wasn’t going to do much. A map might have also been well appreciated. I looked at the lines, and in the hall I was in. Just rows of doors, and a pernicious silence. I trusted my instincts and began walking aimlessly, following no line in particular.

Eventually, I made my way to what seemed to be the glass doors to the courtyard. I still hadn’t bumped into anyone yet. No other residents of the hospital, nor staff. Though as I brushed my hand across the walls and opened the glass doors, the thought of it all being a fabrication seemed too implausible.  I stepped onto the grass, and breathed in the air. It all felt much too real for me to be still dreaming, or for me to have long since lived. I took more steps, and felt the weight of my body crush the grass beneath me, and the sun above pressing my face with rays of heat. Every so often, small gusts of wind would wrap around my face, and give me a silent enshroud.  The aroma of the flowers littered among the courtyard threatened to cajole me into a deep sleep, but I pressed on. I had no reason to, but I kept walking forward in the courtyard, towards the towering trees that seemed to hide something from me.

I entered through the trees, and pushed past the branches that clipped my face. It was at this point that I waited for a small search party to jump out of the nearby brushes. It never happened. I walked until I stumbled upon a small clearing. It took my eyes time to adjust again to the new light as I left the trees. In front of me now was a collection of gray slabs jutting out from the earth. I knelt beside the closet one, and looked at the engravings.  Couldn’t read a lick. I wasn’t sure whether it was due to the language being apart from my mother tongue, or if I just forgot how to read. Or maybe, I never could read. My mind began buzzing thinking about it, and so I stopped.

I went to the next slab, and the next, and the next, and on the fourth, I began to realize that this place wasn’t just for decoration. I felt inclined to dig my hand through the earth, but knew very well that doing so would unearth all kinds of ghastly omens. That much wasn’t something I was prepared for.

I got up from the earth, and brushed off the dirt from my white gown. I noticed now that I wore a white gown, and as I looked down, I am reminded of what I am. Not who I am, since my memories were still a charcoal haze, but what I am. I was relatively tall, I think, and my chest slightly strutted out. I brushed my hand behind me, and noticed my hair was flowing behind me, just below my shoulders. It was a nice black.

“I thought I saw someone here.” I turned towards the voice. And, to my surprise, the person who uttered that voice, was barely a person.

“Broken bones?” I asked.

“Paraplegic.” For some reason, I registered that word without hesitation, almost as if I owned it.

“How about you? Don’t tell me you’re a ghost.” He pointed towards the slabs in front of me, and I smiled. He smiled back, and I nodded, “Could be.”

“If you were, it would explain a lot.” That caught my attention pretty quickly. I tilted my head at him, and I think I gave him a dirty stare.

“How so?”

“Only a ghost would be roaming around a graveyard.” He rolled his wheelchair up to me, and looked at the slabs.

“Relatives? Or you?” I shook my head, “Can’t read.” He looked at me with glaring eyes. But, that was all. I didn’t know whether he actually judged me, but he dismissed the thought pretty quickly.

“You at least know your name?” He asked. It strained me to think of it. I shook my head once again. He rolled away, and began treading the other rows of slabs.

“Okay. Then, do you know why you’re here?” I didn’t want to think about it. So I didn’t.

“Nothing as serious as what you have,” I said, not knowing. He didn’t say anything at this point, but simply went about his way reading the slabs. Once he was done a row, he turned around, and made his way down another lane. He stopped mid way this time, and I walked up to him.

“How about you? Any relatives on here?” I didn’t expect an answer. Just mindless bantering, between two people who just so happened upon this quaint enclave of  history.

“Not yet, at least,” he answered. He turned his wheelchair to face me, and smiled, “Do you know what it feels like to be paralyzed?”

“Strange question. No,” I answered with a slight smile. He chuckled, and then turned his wheel chair back, and began rolling through the rest of his lane. Once he was done, he began on another, and this time, I began to walk behind him, looking at all the slabs he did, unable to read.

“Actually, I don’t know. I can guess,” I shrugged. But he never replied, and so I continued.

“Being paralyzed must feel like the weight of the world is on your back.” I looked up at the sky. It was a clear day. Not a single cloud in sight, and not a single bird flying above to indicate a sign of life. The only thing here was the bodies below. That, and a wheelchair, and I.

“Everything around you starts caving in, and despite you wanting to stop the subjugating masses of reality, you can’t.” He stopped, and looked upon a single slab. His eyes were fixated on it. His hands were restless, tapping on the arm of his chair.

“To me, accepting your paralysis means giving up.” He looked up at me, smiled, and then looked back down with a sigh. He wheeled his way off, and I followed.  We never said anything until he finished looking at each row. When we were done, he stopped at the spot he came from.

“To me, it means not being able to do what I want to do. Because I’m just a disabled, pitied being,” he said with a short wistful air to him.

“And what do you want to do?” I replied as I walked towards him.

“I want to live life. Without broken bones.”

“Why can’t you?” He stopped,  his eyes fixated on the earth below us. I came to, and with the same white gown, that was now browned at the hems, patted him on the shoulder. I shrugged and added, “Nothing wrong with being different. Right?” He looked down, didn’t even bother to shrug me off, and just smiled as he brought his head up, “Yeah. You’re right,” he said. And then, added, “It’s just… It’s hard to think about that. I can’t even begin to imagine living like this. Can you?” I shook my head. I couldn’t. I couldn’t, but I knew that at one point in my life, I could have sympathized. For some reason, it didn’t hurt me to think about it. I was just like him.

We walked back to the hospital, and along the way, I saw a patch of flowers that were beginning to wilt. I stopped him and pointed it out. It was a group of yellow petaled flowers, and one that was oddly blue. I couldn’t discern a name for them, but I knew that the blue flower was special. Yet, no matter how different it was, it still lived a life among the rest.

“Just like you,” I said out loud, “Minus the dying part,” I quickly corrected. We laughed. Once we got back to the hospital, I wheeled him inside, back to where I came out. The hallway was still empty which made me feel oddly comfortable. I followed his direction and brought him to his room.

“I hope you do well. You still have the rest of your life ahead of you,” I said.

“Yeah. I do. I hope you find the rest of your life too. ” With that, we waved, and I was off. I wandered down the hall, with each step echoing in my head. I walked, and followed no particular line, but I found my room. I couldn’t read, nor did I know my name, but I knew it was my room. It drew me in. I opened the door, and stood in front of my bed. It was just like I left it. Messy. Then, it hit me. Hospitals usually have a name plate for their patients in front of the bed. I crouched down, and lowered my eyes to the name plate. Then, I realized I couldn’t read but  maybe I would remember the words anyway. I could still match them visually. As I scanned the plate, I noticed that there were numbers on the plate. Date: 1976. I looked around and went outside my room, looked at what was written on it. The letters were all different. Strange, I thought. I went over to my bed, and then looked at everything around me again. Except, the flowers were wilting, just like the ones outside. It made me want to cry. I crawled into my bed, and then covered myself with the white sheet. I then closed my eyes, and waited for the world around me to stop.

Little Mary Had a Lamb

Hello, and yes, this is based off of the nursery rhyme. The nursery rhyme, in my mind, was originally conceived as a rather lighthearted song. It’s about a little girl named Mary and her lamb. She brings it to school one day and that’s that. Except, I wanted to bring this a step further. Actually, I completely twisted the original rhyme and added a whole different backstory to it. Some of the original lines are still there, and in one sense, the themes are still the same. A story about friendship and love, and for whatever reason I made it also a story about justice. For whatever reason. Here you go, “Little Mary Had a Lamb”.

Little Mary had a little lamb. It’s skin was as white as snow. And everywhere that Little Mary went, the little lamb was sure to go.

Little Mary liked petting her little lamb, because her skin was nice and soft. It was furry yet at the same time, very smooth. Little Mary loved her little lamb very much. She has known her for as long as she can remember, and she knows that her little lamb has always been there for her. Little Mary can never think bad of her little lamb, because her little lamb has always been good to her. No matter what, Little Mary wants to always be with her little lamb.

One day, Little Mary brought her little lamb to school. Little Mary did not want to bring her little lamb, but her little lamb followed her. Little Mary knew that the teachers and principal would get angry with her, so she told her little lamb to stay outside.

In class, Little Mary’s classroom was interrupted by a large speaker that buzzed a sound that all the students hated. It told Little Mary’s teacher that Little Mary had to go to the main office, where the principal was waiting. The teacher asked why because Little Mary’s teacher knew that Little Mary was a very good girl. The buzzing sound said that Little Mary had brought her little lamb to school, and once her class heard that, everyone started laughing. They began getting riled up into a frenzy, with kids pushing about and throwing toys at each other. All the children began to laugh and play, and they all wanted to see Little Mary’s little lamb at school. Little Mary thought that everyone was making fun of her since everyone was pointing their fingers and laughing menacingly. Even Little Mary’s teacher began laughing at her, and Little Mary ran out the room and headed to the main office.

“Little Mary. Your little lamb has been eating up all the vegetables in the school garden,” the principal said as Little Mary arrived. Little Mary went outside to the school garden where carrots, lettuce, squash, and egg plants were planted in neat rows for all the kids and parents to eat. But there were no vegetables anymore, only Little Mary’s little lamb, who stood at the base of the garden as she had finished eating all of the vegetables. The principal did not seem very angry at Little Mary, but his voice and his posture all pointed at his new found anathema, Little Mary.

“Little Mary. I know you are too young to understand, but bringing your little lamb to school isn’t a good thing. I know you love her very much, but we need that food. Everyone in the neighbourhood can’t eat their vegetables now.” The principal towered over Little Mary as Little Mary watched her little lamp.

“Because you are a little child Little Mary, we cannot punish you. You may not have told your little lamb to eat all the vegetables, but your little lamb did.” The principal walked over to the garden, and picked up the little lamb, and placed her in front of Little Mary.

“But we  cannot let this go without action. Your little lamb has to be punished.” Little Mary looked up at the principal with teary eyes and said, “But what will you do with my little lamb?” The principal thought long and hard, and finally came to a decision, “For the next neighbourhood feast. We will eat your little lamb.” Little Mary was devastated at the news, and tried her best to fight the principal to change her punishment, but the principal was firm on his decision. The principal walked off that day with a smile on his face, and Little Mary was left in tears. That night, Little Mary held her little lamb until she cried herself to sleep.

On the day of the neighbour feast, Little Mary brought her little lamb to the giant stove that stood in the middle of the neighbourhood. Little Mary was very slow in walking to the neighbourhood feast, which made it even worse for her once she arrived. All the kids were laughing and playing, but as they saw Little Mary arrived, they all began pointing at her, and some even threw small pebbles at Little Mary. None of them wanted to throw stones at her little lamb because they knew that the little lamb would taste better if they didn’t hurt it before it got cooked. Once she had arrived at the pot, Little Mary was told to go back and fetch the residence papers she was given for having her little lamb live with her. As she left, they said they would hold down her little lamb and begin cooking her in the stove.

Unknowing to Little Mary, as she left, and as the parents began trying to force her little lamb into the big stove, the little lamb began fighting back. Little Mary’s little lamb wanted Little Mary to be with her in her final moments, and kept fighting until Little Mary arrived.

Once Little Mary had arrived, Little Mary rushed to her little lamb, who was half beaten to death near the stove, and hugged her. Little Mary cried and cried, but the parents, who thought they finally had her little lamb in their clutches, took the little lamb and tossed it into the stove. They closed the lid before Little Mary could run in, and as the stove began heating up, her little lamb went to the transparent glass door of the stove and rested there as Little Mary touched the glass on the other side, caressing where her little lamb’s face would be. The children and parents watched as this happened, and one of the children asked, “Why does the lamb love Little Mary so?” The teacher who had laughed at Little Mary answered, “Why, Little Mary loves the lamb, you know.”

 

Gregarious Dreams

Hello, and today we have something quite disturbing. The title is a bit of a pun in of itself since the main character is named Greg, and having “dreams” is usually associated with positive aspects. Though that is entirely up to the reader. Greg can be seen as having a nice embrace into the realm of sleep, or it could be a much deeper issue with his mind. A mental issue, in other words. A mental issue, and coping. That was the main theme I tried to convey, how one can develop a mental issue, or use a mental issue to help cope with a stressful event. Having things like Schizophrenia is scary, though having any mental issue is scary. I  wanted to grasp a sense of what it might have to have delusions, and bring some perspective to that topic.  Kind of drags you into the sense of life itself, I mean, whatever we want to be real, will be real as long as our brains play it out in our heads. Reality and fiction has a thin line, and the one to cross it is us. Here you go, “Gregarious Dreams”.

It’s been a few months since the accident. Greg wakes up, and fixes himself a cup of black coffee like he always does. He sets the cup on the table, and then waits ten minutes. Then, the sound of the bathroom door upstairs’ plays in Greg’s ears, and he yells, “Morning!” Silence resides the house, but Greg plays a response, “Morning!” It was the voice of a middle-aged man, scruff and bearded, but, little to none above the eyes. Greg grabs another cup, and pours the black cascading liquid, the sound of the cup filling resounds with Greg and gives him a satisfying smile. He then sets out to find two plates, and places them on the table, resounding a clank throughout the kitchen. He grabs two slices of bread and slots them into the toaster, pressing down the button as he does. Then, another sound, the sound of shuffling feet above plays in Greg’s ears. He recognizes this as scuttling, and the image of a short blonde girl prancing about with her small feet fills the void upstairs. The sound of childish laughter then plays within Greg’s ears, and he smiles as he reaches over to grab a smaller plate. The toast pops up from the toaster, and with his hands, Greg grabs each slice and places them neatly on the two larger plates. He then puts another piece in, and pulls out a pan. Greg reaches over to the refrigerator, and pulls out two eggs, and cracks them onto the pan as he turns it on. The sizzle and churning of the eggs resound within Greg, giving him another satisfying smile. As the eggs finish, he places one on each large plate, and pulls out the toast from the toaster to place on the smaller plate. He then spreads jam on the smaller toast with a silver spreading knife, and butter on the two other pieces of toast with a spreading knife. Greg then pours orange juice from the carton on the table to the small cup next to the jam toast.

“Greg!” Greg perks up from his seat, and walks out of the kitchen towards the second floor stairs. He looks up at nothingness, but a short blonde girl plays in his eyes.

“Rose!” Greg calls out into the woodworks, “What’s wrong?” Rose furrows her brows and frowns at Greg. She pouts, and holds her arms behind her, then she sticks out her tongue and audibly queues her disdain.  The accident was on the highway, no signs of intoxication. Rose then laughs and skips her way down the stairs and past Greg, leaving him dumbfounded by her playful disposition.

“What’s the matter?” The voice from before drags Greg to turn his head back towards the stairs. The image of a middle-aged man plays in Greg’s eyes; the one with scruff and beard.

“Just some childish bantering. You know Rose,” Greg says, seeming to reply to nothingness.

“I’m glad you’re here,” the middle-aged man says as he walks down the stairs slowly. Greg does not play the sounds of the steps.

“You’re glad I’m here? What do you mean?” Greg asks.

“Glad you’re taking care of Rose, and taking care of yourself. All I could ever ask for my child, is that he knows himself more than he knows me.”

“Why the sudden existentialism?”

“Just had a hunch.”

“Early in the morning?” Greg turns his head as his father walks behind him and into the kitchen,  “Something like that.” Greg smiles and walks back into the kitchen as well. He sees Rose with wide eyes and a voracious smile. Greg then turns towards his father, who is also eating away at his toast, reading the newspaper that Greg had left for him on the table. Greg then sits down, and eats his toast. Complete silence befalls him. Just egregious youth.

“Hey Greg!” Rose calls out to Greg, whom looks up at her and smiles. Greg lowers his toast, which comes into contact with the plate and resounds a satisfying thump to Greg.

“What’s up Rose?”

“Want to know something about butterflies?”

“Butterflies? Sure.”

“They flock towards the dead.” Greg blinks, and then notices the plate of bread in front of Rose hadn’t been touched, and the plate of bread in front of his father hadn’t been touched. Greg slams his hands on the wooden table, trying his best not to spill the carton of milk and listens to the resounding slam as it violently rings in his ears.

“And butterflies also eat the corpses!” Rose was unchanging to what Greg had just done, and continues shifting her toast without friction of the plate.

“They also eat a whole bunch of yucky things!” Rose sticks her tongue out and then giggles. Greg slams the table again, resounding a violent ring in his ears.

“Hey! Did you hear about the game tonight?” Greg’s father says as he picks up the toast and brings it to his mouth. The toast visibly shrinks in his father’s hands, but as he lays the toast down, Greg blinks. The toast is now whole again. A father, a daughter, and a son was affected by the car accident, the two in the other vehicle remained completely unharmed.

“Shut up!” Greg yells at his father, at seemingly the air, and his father remains phlegmatic as he reads the newspaper, flipping the pages and playing the sound of reading to Greg.

“It’s going to be exciting Greg!” Greg gets up, and then reaches over to grab the newspaper from his father. Just as his eyes had visibly connected his hands to the newspaper that was being held by his father, he blinked. The accident was tragic, only the son had lived.

“Hey Greg! Greg!” Greg pulls himself back into the kitchen, where Rose jumps frantically in her seat trying to get his attention.

“Look at this!” Rose pulls her arm out, which is covered in butterflies. The flesh of her arm melts away as the butterflies nib away at her skin, causing blood to drip onto the table. Greg’s eyes widen and he screams. Then, he blinks.

The table was clear. Two untouched plates with toast and eggs, and one smaller plate with jam toast. Greg goes to the refrigerator, and pulls out the carton of milk, and places it on the table. Greg blinks. The table is filled with Rose, and his father, and he grabs the glass of milk near his plate and splashes it across the table. Greg blinks, and looks at the carton of milk. He takes it, and pours it into the sink, with the sound of splashing resounding in Greg’s ears. He sighs, and then turns towards the kitchen table. He reaches over to his toast, and grabs it, then takes a bite, smiling at the resounding sound of food being eaten. He blinks. Rose is covered in butterflies, and so is his father. Greg blinks, then, closes his eyes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Farm Out North

Hello, and this one is a bit strange. It was written in the same kind of vein as a fable or fairy tale. But the more likely candidate is a children’s story, plain and simple. It’s a simple story to follow, with a clear beginning and ending. Except, it isn’t that simple. Not with this farm out north. It’s a short story that involves ideas of capitalism and labor. Somewhere among the strange corn fields there is corruption to be had, and the real travesty are the people who blindly buy into this corruption. Though, if all that is hexing, than this is just a twisted story about a boy who works on a corn field, nothing more, nothing less. Here you go, “Farm Out North”.

Once upon a time, there was a farm out north. This farm was very wide and very long. It had rows and rows of corn fields, and rows and rows of farm animals. You can see cows and chickens and sheep, and they would all play together in their pens. Apart from the fields and animals, there was a bright red barn house with a grain silo, and a smaller house where Mr. North lived. Mr. North was a kind old man who lived alone in his farm house out north. Every day he woke up to tend to his corn fields. He would place a corn seed into the hole he dug, then fill it and pat it down with his small spade. Mr. North spent half his day planting corn seeds, and the other half he spent tending to his animals by feeding the cows, grooming the sheep and playing with the chicken.

One day a small boy named Henry walked onto Mr. North’s farm. Henry was out playing and just so happened to stumble on the farm. Mr. North, who was busy working that day, did not notice Henry until the guard dogs starting barking at him. Henry wasn’t afraid of the dogs, and began playing with them, but when Mr. North came to check up on the commotion, Henry froze up and looked at Mr. North like a deer in headlights.

“Hello,” Mr. North said with a small smile on his face. Henry remained motionless as he saw Mr. North tower over him. The guard dog left Henry and began circling Mr. North, occasionally growling. Mr. North thought about the small boy in front of him, and then said, “Are you lost?” Henry shook his head. Mr. North then asked him, “Would you like something to eat?” Henry was hesitant, knowing that his parents told him to be very wary of strangers, so Henry shook his head.

“Oh you see. I’m a farmer–” Mr. North made a motion to point at his coverall, “I have so much extra food, that if I don’t eat it, it’ll just go in the garbage.” Henry knew that his mom also told him that wasting food was very bad, and that if he were to waste food, she would get angry at him. Henry didn’t want that to happen.

“But I’m just an old man living alone, so I can never finish all the food.”

“I can help you,” Henry said hesitantly with a quiet voice. Mr. North smiled at Henry but then said, “But I can’t trouble you to stay and eat. After all, I still have all this work left to do.” Mr. North pointed at his corn fields, “I can only make food after I’m done all my work. If I had help, I would be done much quicker, and my tired bones would be much better, and my corn fields would be much happier.” Henry, who listened to Mr. North’s story, lit up and thought up of a brilliant plan, “I know! Why don’t I help you with the farm? And then you can finish and we can eat!” Mr. North smiled brightly at Henry and patted him on the head. Mr. North showed Henry exactly what to do on the corn fields, and once Henry had the swing of things, Mr. North said, “I’ll go tend to the animals now.” Henry nodded, and smiled back, and then turned to continue his work.

Mr. North, who was a deceiving man was in fact a misanthrope, and knew very well what he was doing, and how to deal with Henry. Mr. North was very frugal, and once the chance at free labor presented itself to Mr. North, he couldn’t help but latch onto that. Mr. North was a conniving man.

Once all of the work was done, Henry went up to Mr. North, but before Henry could even speak, Mr. North said, “Oh but the fields are not done yet. I cannot make food until all the fields are filled. I’m sorry, but will you help me tomorrow as well? Once all the fields are done, I’ll make you something to eat, okay? Otherwise all my food will go to waste.”

“But Mr. It took me forever just to do all that. How will we ever finish?” Henry asked.

“Why don’t you go home, and bring some friends along? That way, we can finish, and we can make sure none of the food goes to waste.” Henry thought about it, and agreed. Henry went home that day, and told all his friends to come the next day. Mr. North smiled at the kindness that Henry showed, and also smiled at his own nefarious plan.

The next day, Henry came with all his friends to work on the farm. They worked tirelessly planting corn seeds into his corn fields, and without a doubt they had made tremendous progress. Mr. North was also relieved that this amount of kindness was still present in this anathema filled world. Mr. North would use this kindness till the end of his days, the same way he’s always been, and will never give back because he is a man that is deserving of no praise.

The following week, Henry and his friends worked and worked, putting seed after seed of corn until Mr. North could finally rest easy for the next yield. On the day that they were done, Mr. North had told the children to come back for a big feast. He told them he would bake them delicious corn bread, and delicious milk from his cow’s, and delicious eggs from his chicken. All the kids were very hungry because of all the work they did the entire week, and looked forward to coming back to Mr. North’s farm.

As they arrived back at Mr. North’s farm, Mr North’s dogs began barking at them. Mr. North trained his dogs to do that. Mr. North came to check on the commotion, and Henry and his friends all looked at him with high expectations, but Mr. North had ideas otherwise.

“Hello,” Mr. North said with the same smile he used when Henry had stumbled upon his farm the first time.

“We’re here for the big feast!” Henry did not know Mr. North’s name.

“What?” Mr. North said, feigning ignorance.

“You said that after we do all the work, that we would all eat together so you wouldn’t waste food,” Henry explained. Mr. North continued, and grew angry, “You kids think you helped me? I did all the work myself! I have no food for you!” Mr. North then motioned for the dogs to bark wildly at the kids, which scared them all off. Henry, who didn’t know what had happened, began crying as he went home. His parents asked him what was wrong, and Henry explained the whole situation.

“A farmer?” Henry’s mother asked.

“Which one?” Henry’s father asked.

“The one up north,” Henry said with tears in his eyes. Henry’s mother and father both looked at each other with confusion. They had not known of any farmer up north.

 

 

 

 

Back-Alley Deal

Hello, and today we have something that is a bit different from what I would usually tread with. It’s a psychological thriller of sorts, and although I personally don’t find it the best of my works, I do think it’s worth something in of itself. Perhaps the antagonists involved could be part of a much larger whole, and lead a story all on their own, but this small snippet is just a little exploration into a territory of untapped crime. Really, I think that’s the theme, of unexpected crimes and the inane boredom of those who do it. That in a world seemingly moral and right, there is always corruption and people are always dying. And somewhere in the middle of that, is corrupt justice. Here you go, “Back-Alley Deal”.

Misanthropic stares and thoughts of anathema filled the backstreet alley as George was dragged in with a gun to his head. George was simply running an errand that day, to go to the grocery store. However, after taking a wrong turn, still unaccustomed to the city he was living in, George grew lost. He figured it was pernicious of him to panic and thus simply walked mindlessly hoping for a sliver of hope to appear. That sliver did appear though not for George, for his two assailants, Kyle and June.  Kyle spotted an unattended George from afar, and clued June in on the situation.  June nodded her head with alacrity, and beckoned Kyle to move into new positions. Once they had established good hiding spots, they both took out their weapons of choice, a gun for Kyle, and a knife for June, and waited for George to pass by.

George struggled, and just as he was about to yell, Kyle stuffed his mouth with cloth, and tied it around his head. Kyle then pushed George against the wall, and pressed his foot against George’s stomach to stop his belligerent struggling.  Kyle smiled, and brought the gun to face George, such that the barrel would appear like a gleaming steel pipe. Kyle was so engrossed in his own egregious manner that he began laughing hysterically. And without  warning, as if through experience, became an erudite, his face tensed and his laughing subsided, and he scowled at George, “You must be lost.” George began darting his eyes, looking for some semblance of hope, trying to stay sanguine and grasp onto a thread of hope, wherever that may be.  Though, only Kyle and June knew that there was no hope for George, and that whatever happens to him, is only befitting for the likes of them. Kyle even thought his actions to be altruistic, and that thought, made him laugh again.

“So, what shall we do with you?” Kyle said as his demeanor shifted back to his serious anger filled stare. Kyle brought the gun barrel towards his own chest, and took out a small tube from his pocket. He then attached it to the top of the barrel, and twisted it tightly. He smiled, and then looked at the end of the alleyway, where a half broken bottle of wine lay near a garbage can. Kyle took aim, and then fired, the muzzle and sound of the gun being completely ousted, but the bottle breaking into pieces. George saw this unfold before him and broke into a nervous panic, his eyes now dilating with fear, his muffled screams filled the alley, and his body sprang up to run, though Kyle had already thought of that and immediately pressed the trigger on his leg. George’s entire body was planted into the alleyway.

“Sorry kid, that shot was imminent, though, didn’t expect you to run like that.” Kyle circled around George and then pressed his foot against the wounded leg, causing George to cry out in overwhelming agony. George began hyperventilating as his face kissed the ground, and Kyle only exacerbated the problem by adding more weight into his foot. Soon enough, Kyle rolled his eyes and sighed as he picked George up and pressed him against the alley wall. Kyle looked at the beaten leg, and then pressed his gun to it. George shook his head wildly, which prompted Kyle to smile mercurially.

“Alright kid, game’s over. Now I’ll tell you why you’re here,” Kyle said as he lowered his gun and brought out a bottle of alcohol. He poured the alcohol onto the leg, and then wrapped it in bandages as George silently screamed.

“This is real life. We’ve been doing this for a while now, so long that even we forget how long we’ve been doing this.” George was grasping for his life as Kyle began speaking to him.

“To be fair, this is where the fun really starts. You’ll only have one shot at this, and if you can impress us, we’ll let you off, even give you a few bills. If not, then we’ll be sending you straight to hell.” As Kyle said this, June arrived behind him, herding with her one man, and one woman, both blindfolded, with their ears plugged, and their mouths sealed in a similar fashion as his. George stared at the two, and then back at Kyle. Kyle smiled, as June pushed the two further into the alley.

“Looks like everyone is here,” Kyle said as June planted the man and woman into the ground beside George. Kyle took out another pistol from his pocket, and unloaded the magazine before swinging it in front of George.

“Here’s your job. You have one bullet–” June pressed her weight into both the man, and woman’s back to prevent them from getting up, “To either shoot the man, or woman.” Kyle brought the gun to his eyes, and then simulated the firing, bringing back his shoulder and making a “bang” as the gun “fired”.

“I’ll guide your arm, you shoot. That’s all this is.” George didn’t answer, and grew incredulous to the events about to unfold before his eyes. Kyle laughed, and then asked June for her knife, which she reluctantly gave. Kyle brought the knife to George’s arm, and stabbed it, forcing the blade down and twisting it until blood stopped spewing. Kyle then sprang the knife out of his arm, and dragged George up, supporting him, and then placed the gun into his hands, with one finger on the trigger.  June grabbed the knife from Kyle, and then stabbed both the man and woman’s legs before standing up. The alley was stained with crimson red as the two began flopping like oxygen deprived fish. June remained phlegmatic throughout the entire process, and began cleaning her knife as Kyle shuffled George to the two bodies and  forced his arm to point the gun at their heads.

“Man, or woman. Your choice.” George’s arm was completely limp, and if not for Kyle holding it up, George would not be able to lift it. His grip was fully supported by Kyle, and George knew that his arm was not completely out of order, he still had enough strength to pull a trigger.

“Either you die first, or they do. If you make a choice that will impress us, we’ll let you off with a few bills,” June said. George looked at both Kyle and June, and with the cold steel of the gun handle on his hands, he knew that the situation he was in was completely real. There was no escaping it, and he knew he could not stay aplomb if he wanted to retain his sanity. George’s breathing fluctuated, and Kyle, who was holding George, could feel his heart raise. Kyle moved George’s arm to the man, and then back to the woman, as if teasing him. Each motion sent surges of pain to George, and despite his muffled screams, Kyle continued to smile and chuckle.

“Cat’s got your tongue?” June looked at Kyle, and Kyle back at her, making tacit as Kyle removed the cloth from George’s mouth.

“Now don’t scream. If you do, we’ll give you a hell far greater than death,” Kyle whispered into George’s ear with a menacing grin. George couldn’t understand why Kyle had allowed him to talk, but as his eyes wandered to June, who was staring bloodied daggers at him, he spoke instinctively, “Please let me go!” Kyle laughed and answered, “Once you make a decision, we’ll let you go. Either alive, or to hell.”

“You don’t have a choice in the matter, but we will tell you two things,” June said, “The man to your left is a convicted murderer, Alex Leyton.” June took out a driver’s licenses and threw it on the back of the man, allowing George to confirm for himself. George knew that Alex Leyton had been convicted for murder and was on the run, though he did not expect him to be in his city.

“The woman on the right, she’s a tried home wrecker, five time felony.” June tossed three rings on the woman’s body, “You have one choice. To either shoot a woman, or a man. If you impress us, then–”

“I know,” George interrupted. George had made his decision, and both Kyle and June saw it in his eyes. George had one shot, and one shot only to free himself from his situation. It didn’t take him long to think about it, and once he had it in his mind, it was almost satisfying to pull the trigger.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(The Reaper and) Little Mary

Hello once again. This time we have something of the ilk of fairy tales. Though, not exactly influenced by any specific fairy tale, the idea of the ol’ children’s story was used as influence. And, I’m not much a children’s writer, so the plot of this is actually not very pleasant at all. In a simple sense of it, it’s about a girl, Mary, who lives alone since her parents are deceased. She is a kid, from thick and thin, and she does not understand adult concepts, one of which, as explored briefly, is death.  This was a fun little piece that I concocted without much to go from, and as such is just that, a fun little piece. So, here you go, “The Reaper and Little Mary”

Little Mary has lived alone for the bitter half of her life. Whenever Little Mary wakes up, she is greeted by the faces of her dead mother and dead father. They used to call her Little Miss Mary. Since they died, Little Mary ousted the Miss, and became Little Mary. Little Mary liked her named very much, because it was the name her mother and father gave her when she was born. Little Mary loved her parents very much, and wanted to do everything in her power to make them proud. Now, Little Mary can only ever remind herself of her parents when she is lost in reverie.

Little Mary’s day is not very eventful. Every day she brushed her teeth, and every day she made breakfast. Little Mary was a very smart girl, and a very resourceful girl. Little Mary knew not to trust strangers, knew always to lock the door, and knew never to touch the stove when it is hot. Little Mary was a good little Mary.

Today, Little Mary’s day would be very different. Little Mary woke up, brushed her teeth, ate breakfast, and then heard someone knocking on her door. Little Mary, who lived alone, walked past her house, past the wooden walls, past the living room, past the wooden table with the lamp on top, past the paintings of butterflies and rivers, past the red letters on the other side of her hallway, and to the door. Little Mary peeked through the small peep hole on the front of her door, and looked at who was knocking. It was a man who wore a black robe that covered his entire body. Little Mary was too short to see his face, but remained phlegmatic, refusing to shake her hands, her feet, or even her body as she looked at the tall man. The man then knocked again, this time, as Little Mary had pressed her face against the door, the knock boomed throughout Little Mary’s body, causing her to almost vibrate. Little Mary had to repress a giggle, as she didn’t want the tall man to think she was making fun of him and entice an acrimonious punishment. It was something she was far too familiar with.

The knock permeated Little Mary’s pernicious abode, and Little Mary smiled again. Little Mary did not know if the tall man was going to stand there and knock on her door forever,  but soon enough, Little Mary heard the man speak, “Is anyone home?” Little Mary tried her best not to say anything, and thus continued to stare at the tall man through the peep hole. Little Mary was obstinate about opening the door, and wanted the tall man to leave.

After a few more minutes of staring, the tall man left, and Little Mary sighed in relief. She took her face off of her door, her arms and legs relaxing, but just as she was about to turn, something came through the small opening of the door. It was a small note, and Little Mary, being the smart girl she was, knew how to read, and so she picked up the note, and read it. The words were splattered in large black font, and Little Mary read the words aloud, wanting everyone in the house to hear, “I see you.” Little Mary did not understand what the words meant, and thus took the letter and placed it on the nearby table with the lamp.

As Little Mary went to the living room, a tapping on the window alerted her. At first, Little Mary was truncated in her spot, but then Little Mary knew that she couldn’t be scared, and that she had to be brave, so Little Mary puffed out her chest and went to inspect the window. She walked past the living room couch, past the living room fireplace, past the living room dining table, past the living room grandfather clock, and past the human figure hanging with the living room lamp, and to the window. Little Mary pulled back the curtains, and in front of her were big black letters, like the one in the note, that said, “Open up”. Little Mary looked past the letters and out into the dirt road, out into the trees, out into the flowers, but did not see anyone. Little Mary then closed the curtains. Little Mary was not sure what was happening, but went back to the front door, past the red letters, and opened the door. There was no one there.

“Hello,” a voice said, and as Little Mary turned towards that voice, Little Mary saw the tall man in the middle of her hallway. Little Mary looked at the tall man phlegmatically, not shaking her arms, nor her legs, nor her body. Little Mary was strong, and stared at the tall man, and then with her tiny mouth, and with her tiny voice, said, “Hello. I’m Little Mary. Who are you?”

“I am–” Little Mary did not understand the tall man’s name.

“Why are you here?” Little Mary asked.

“I am here on business. A job, you can say.”

“A job?” The tall man hid his face in his black robe’s hood, and Little Mary could not tell what kind of expression he was making, whether he was thinking of an answer, or simply ignoring her question.

“What’s a job?” Little Mary asked again.

“A job is something that grownups have to do.”

“Are you a grownup?” The tall man nodded, which enticed Little Mary to raise her feet, lift her head, and say with as much swagger as she could muster, “I’m a grownup too!” Little Mary held this position for about ten seconds, and then fell on her face, hitting her nose on the wood floor, but quickly recovering. Little Mary rubbed her nose as she got up, but continued to stand tall in the face of the man.

“I’m a grownup too!” Little Mary said to reaffirm herself.

“My job is to make sure your debts are paid,” the tall man said. Little Mary stared at the tall man, unmoving in her reaction and standing firm on her spot.

“You may not understand, but your actions are anything but peccadillo.” The tall man raised his veiled hands out at Little Mary, and opened them. Then, as Little Mary stood staring at the tall man, a gust of wind blew across the hallway, obstructing Little Mary’s view, and as her vision cleared, she noticed that the tall man had disappeared. Little Mary turned behind her, and then noticed that the door was shut. The note was not on the table anymore either. Little Mary made her way to the window, opened the curtains, and saw that the letters were gone. Little Mary didn’t know what had happened, and decided that she was just dreaming.

Little Mary made her way to the kitchen, so that she could make herself something to eat. Little Mary went past the kitchen, past the wooden table counter, past the chairs, past the stove, past the sink, past the jar of reddened bodily matter, and to the freezer. Little Mary stuck her hand in, and moved past the bread, past the eggs, past the meat, past the carrots, past the lettuce, past the jar of honey, past the butter, past the sticking hand, and grabbed a jar of dead duck eggs. As Little Mary brought it out, her hand slipped, and the jar shattered on the wooden floor, leaving shards of glass to spread all over the kitchen floor. One such shard lodged itself into Little Mary’s leg, which caused Little Mary to smile. Little Mary laughed, and then as she lost the nerves in her leg, was forced to bend down.

“I’m sorry, mother, and father. Little Mary is a bad girl after all,” Little Mary said with a deep voice. Her smile never ceased to persist, and as Mary stayed kneeling on that kitchen floor, Mary knew that her final act had yet to be played. Mary was confident, that there was one last person she needed to add into her canvas of anathema.