Five months ago, I wrote a couple poems on my Tumblr account. I mine as well put them here too.
Of the short stories so far, this is the one I will guard the most and offer the least number of rights for readers to make their own adaptations of. I wrote this a few months ago, and while doing so I had to edit out a lot of ideas so as to decrease the length; it might be fully fleshed out by me and turned into a novel someday.
“Our Boy, or From the Mind of”
By Isaac Summers
His world ends because of the push and pull of emotions traveling in the universe through the forces of nature. Every sound is a chord of music, with music being the articulation of emotion. When there is no sound, and even where there is some, matter moves across space and time, and, every once in a while, in and out of it. Even the presence of matter causes emotion, for the movement of matter is itself music. Granted, some music is harsh…and so are people. Every word you make or attempt to form is a sound. Words are music. What music says and tries to express can only matter if it is a form of coherent language. I am about to tell you of a boy who was frightened of you. I hesitate to make known to you that it is what you represent that ailed him. For doing so would not be entirely accurate. He struggled with your language, with how you articulate emotion, and how it is that language, both verbal and physical, is accomplished so easily by you. You and other people. What I am to say to you it will come naturally for you to deny. No, it won’t make you cry, and it won’t make you mad. Screw it. You killed him. He is dead because it was too much for him, you did not help, and he did not know how to cry out for it. In order to make you more comfortable, you will be not be a character in this tale. Relax. Life is a jolly hoot.
The boy’s name is not important, for it wasn’t important in life either. He didn’t want it to be, and some others even now don’t think it needed to be. What he wanted was to be able to choose life. He could feel it pulsing all around him, but whenever in his younger years he would reach out, he was zapped and scalded by its wriggling, changing, inconsistent lights; for life has rules that its governed abide by, and he was at a loss to know what they were and what they meant. But life is also shaped by its governed. Some of the governed shape the rules of life, which they and others may over time become blind to the ramifications of. This boy was special if compared to his peers, but hardly different from them in some of the basic needs of life.
These needs he found difficult to fulfill. Sure, he was clothed, he was fed, and he had a roof over his head. But there’s more to life than survival. Imagine a pain in your existence that your body declares to you every day. This pain has a cause, yet no source. Things in your environment set it off; why they pain you remains a mystery. What kind of pain? Well, it’s not the kind you pop a pill or tablet to relieve. It is a psychological pain evidenced by rawness in the body. It is the butterflies in one’s stomach when one is anxious, and it is the bumps that rise on your skin when you are cold or acutely aware of the sinister implications of something that strikes you as odd. It is all of these at once. If it is not settled, it rises in tempo and cuts off your air. You either sink into yourself and become lost in it, develop a determination to fight it as it wages war on your body by attempting to control your mind, or you stretch and extend your claws forward onto the perch before you, let wide the gates in your face, and push the remainder of your air forward in agony.
Those afflicted with this condition individually choose one of these options. Those who sink and those who outwardly attempt to express the turmoil within, however, don’t feel like they have any other option. Their lives are doomed to desiring the answers to questions that the governed gloss over in order to live their lives as they do. This is how the afflicted feel; they struggle with putting it into words and may find it easier to pretend as if those feelings don’t exist. They integrate into society, in their quite moments living their own versions of lives. The boy you killed was one of these.
At a young age he didn’t feel any different from his peers. He tried to identify with them, copying their interests to match his own. The others saw how different he was; they did not regard this as being special, but an identifiable trait of him they accepted in black and white terms, for they could not move into the obscure, only put it down as something else. The boy played their games, talked their talk, and walked their walk.
One day it became official, written down in black ink on formal white papers: this boy was different. He had become a concern of teachers at the elementary school. Nary an hour would go by where he wasn’t asking his teachers for a hug; when he was told ‘no’, he would fall to the ground in hysterics, crying out unintelligible things and drawing the attention of his schoolmates. If he was told to do something, no matter if the person telling him was joking or not, he would follow through with the request. There were even times where he would chase after girls on the playground, asking them to marry him, as the other boys made it sound like this was a normal thing to do.
When the revelation of “how” and “why” he was different was made known to the boy’s teachers, they had a clearer idea of what they thought needed to change, for they had been before the diagnosis hesitant to act on affairs. Many of his multiple odd behaviors were prohibited and then punished to condition him not to repeat them. He could no longer run up the stairs on all fours; and he could no longer tell all the lunch ladies when he walked through the lunch line they looked pretty after he apologized for bringing his own food; and he could no longer stay at the school building door holding it open for others if class was about to start. Heck, he wasn’t even allowed to read books from the library that were above his grade level. The other students noticed he was being treated differently, even sent to the principal’s office on special occasions, and so with this special notice they came to view him as someone apart from themselves. This change was felt by the boy whenever he played dodgeball in gym, or when he sat down at lunch, or when he asked others to come to his birthday party at the local pizza joint. They didn’t mock him, but they avoided him. No warmth to his differences was offered to make him feel special. He was not told how to communicate his emotions in a proper way, only taught that the way he did things was wrong. The boy looked inward to himself to see what kept causing him to do wrong. All he could find was a thick vat of hurt emotions and strong impulses. No thought was given by others to his thoughts, so he did not ponder on the way he processed the world around him. To him, these emotions and impulses led him to do things that weren’t right, that led him to be punished day in and day out, both at school and at home. Life was so thickly, with so much stress saying no. So he stored his thoughts and emotions away, sealed himself tight so others couldn’t look at him and find fault. Only by suppressing who he was could he be accepted. But then he had nothing to say or no way of saying it, no knowledge of how to get positive attention. This is how he came to avoid others as well. This is how his world ends.
Perhaps you know the threat of silence. If you don’t, it is because you are so used to the cacophony of the music of life that you have come to associate rest with peace. “Rest in peace” is what can be read on traditional gravestones. This is as tradition would have it for those of little significance to others. For the living, resting in peace is a form of relaxation. When they are done resting, they resume their duties and initiate wars of weapons, wars of words that force others to retreat to or rest in peace. Some rest and gather strength to fight back, but they are not at peace. Others are struck from a force sent by others, made to rest peacefully with gravestones dangling over their decaying heads, or burn in fires meant to discredit their humanity. Others can only find peace in the grave, so they gravely lay themselves to rest, appealing to the silence weighing in on them to let them go, hoping instead to find respite in it, for the great cold gap surrounding to be full of warm earth and dirt in deep silence’s place.
Our boy—for now the subject of our discussion becomes our object through it—our boy came to know silence intimately. When he was by himself, space between him and others wherever he was or wherever he went, his bubble of silence stood out from the commotion of language around him. When people passed by, he would worry that someone would drop food on him, but when girls passed by his stomach went aflutter and he looked quickly down to his meal brought from home to get a grip on his sequacious emotions. He would distract himself from the silence by listening in to the conversations of those around him, as he had very good hearing, or more often instinctively having his mind drift away and focus on imaginings that would make sense only to him. This, one day on the playground, is how he became receptive to hearing and understanding the voice of the wind.
Our boy was standing by the school wall as per usual, watching the boys send the projectile kickballs either flying high into the air to come down a distance away with a thud or booming as a skid above the ground and inching its way rapidly up at an acute angle, so as to make sure that no more would hit him in the head, or worse, in the face. His mind was gradually drifting off when the rustle of leaves on the ground caught his attention. Some were floating in the air, twirling and traveling the arc of a large step in one direction, while others skimmed the ground in a pattern below, the latter moving slower to form a thin, heterogeneous carpet extending itself from the acrobatic twirls to lay at our boy’s feet. It took him a moment to realize that the leaves were not alive, but were being moved by the wind. When the twirling mass of leaves would rise, our boy’s spirit would lift and be delighted as some came ambling back. It was as if…as if they were reaching for him. Next, he noticed the cold current caressing his cheeks and playing with his hair. It was then he realized that the leaves were moved by the wind; the wind was addressing him; the movement of the leaves was irregular, a rhyme without rhythm, or maybe a rhythm without rhyme. The twirling leaves were gestures; the rustling was a voice. The wind was talking to him. At first our boy was upset because he couldn’t understand what was being said. But the wind didn’t mind; it just wanted somebody to pay attention to and respect it was all, was what he gleamed from the way the wind touched his face. When he first tried to speak he hesitated, not knowing what to say. His processing was interrupted by a ball to the head. He fell to the ground, his glasses knocked off to somewhere he didn’t know. The shock had his breath stuck in an inheld position; tears eased from the corners of his eyes. He heard a voice shout out to him. Was it the wind? An awareness of his body allowed him to breathe, and in that state the voice took on meaning: Chicken Little! Look out! The sky is falling!
From then on, he would spend every recess talking with the wind. Others thought he had gone cuckoo and was talking to himself. Though he tried to explain to his parents, they saw it simply as a child’s imagination conjuring up an imaginary friend. They were fine with it. As long as he wasn’t getting himself into any sort of trouble, then it must be okay, and they left it at that, carrying about their daily life of chores and watching televised sports and the evening news. The wind told our boy of its travels, of the sights it had seen and the marvels it had witnessed. It told him that it would always be there for him, no matter what; and our boy listened, and by degrees he came to be more aware of what love is.
Then came winter. The leaves were buried under feet of snow, leaving the harsh wind that blew against our boy’s face to have a call indecipherable to his mind. At home, he would stare out the window at the barren tree branches that would waver in the breeze or gale. It was impossible to tell if the wind was depressed that its means of communication were gone or if it was trying to express the inner turmoil its friend felt through that long season when he had noone to talk to, being kept inside by his parents for fear of freezing. For months he sat in silence, save for the moaning of the wind. The wind haunted him that season, reminding him of himself; crying but not being able to be understood; cursed by those who would rather live in sunshine than in cold or rain; he and it in public avoided by those who misunderstood them, bringing truth to how fragile and trivial people’s lives really were. Wind was the moan of death rapping at the door of those who were secure and jolly; the rattling of chains could be heard in our boy’s mouth as he clacked his teeth together in frustration when he was refused to be heard. Crystal flowers mingled in the air as the wind pulled them; them soundless, all unique and special, mixing together upon landing until the unique were lost in growing banks of broken and deformed bodies. Our boy could see from the dimly-lit doorway his family—mother, father, brother, sisters—gathered across from the fireplace, sharing smiles and exchanging comments; their voices ringing out like bells, sending out warmth and light, so wasted in the glow of the fire when they could rescue others who were less fortunate than them, those others to have been lost in the gray death knell of winter darkness. The fortunate had words to hear and hold dear; the merriment would die in time for harsher weather, and their bearers’ call to life would resuscitate them if threatened of drowning in the melting of deeper waters that follow. Unable to cry for pain of all he held in, he turned away and felt the wind’s call draw him back up the stairs into his small and stagnant chamber, the call his life preserver in the sea of icy desolation.
The voiceless tread water in their places, unable to make their own music to swim unless if done through the vocal music of song; hoping for a tide or wave to bring them into dry land and the warmth and unity of life. It is said they need to first learn how to create their own happiness so that they don’t feed off the happiness of others. This widely-held belief neglects to inform that if the voiceless can’t see the shore they can’t be expected to work to acquire their share of life that comes after stepping over sand. You sicken me with your sense of superiority. What you believe but do not say is that these lost children, yes, I say children, the voiceless all being children regardless of age, need to prove their worth before others can be more accepting of them. You feel they must find the way all on their own with no assistance from others. You spit at me that the voiceless are not real, that they are as much figments of my imagination as the wind was to our boy. He felt the wind just as we felt the wind; we both heard the wind, but only he could make out what we were hearing. You see the voiceless every day, in the world all around you; you can not feel for them, so it wouldn’t matter if you could hear them or not. What you feel is real to you; the feelings of others do not exist as long as you are unable to feel the confinement of their corridors. Their backs can snap to the rhythm of belts, or their hearts can shatter at words used to dog their spirits; no matter how much those with voices strike at them, you can’t change what is there, the truth of what they themselves carry year to year through dejection and fear. They are voiceless only because they are not heard, not because they have no voice to share. You will know the threat of silence before the end.
Spring came and went, and summer followed in near-exact likeness. The wind had departed with the first petals of spring and would not return until the next autumn spun, not having the chance to say goodbye. The land rejoiced for light and life, a spring in the step of the people and a buzz accompanying their tunes from a lower octave. The buzz was the sound of progress and change. What the voiceless think of it is a mystery, and probably differs for each person. I only know what our boy felt about them.
The summer was the precursor to a new school year, and when that school year came around he was forced to travel from elementary school to middle school. There were basic changes that came along with this, such as more independence, harder classes, more homework, and different teachers, a different environment. Students’ social lives also began, and the changes that accompanied this were what the voiceless would feel to be extreme. There were students raised in families that had more money, or had parents with publicly well thought-about jobs that automatically seemed to be worthy of respect or esteem. These students automatically could draw more attention to themselves and make friends with anyone they met, they were so charismatic and outgoing. They were part of a larger group that became intensely involved in extracurricular activities and had ties to people and businesses in the community. Our boy’s family wasn’t well-off, but neither was it struggling to get by. His parents were liked and recognizable to others, but they were not centerpieces, instead standing in the background, being active members of society without sticking out from it. He was like his parents, with the notable exceptions that he was not active, and he could not tell if he was liked or recognized by others.
Through his middle school years, he sat in a corner of his classes wearing the same type of clothes day in and day out: sweat pants, a tight jacket, and rainbow-colored wristbands. They were comfortable constants in the changing environment of day-to-day life. The squeeze of the jacket substituted as a hug from a person, comforting him whenever he became sad or anxious. He did nothing to draw notice from other people, for there was always a chance that the attention would be negative.
Yet our boy wanted to be recognized by other people; but only if he was liked. He had trouble every day being able to tell what people were thinking or feeling. The expressions on their faces were sometimes just as cryptic to him as the things that were left unsaid. If there was anyone more than any other he wanted to like him, it would have to be girls. Like in elementary school, when girls walked by, he felt his stomach flutter. Except now it was worse than before. He could learn to live without having any friends. But when a pretty girl passed by now, it was all our boy could do to keep from following her with his eyes and seeing what became of her beauty. On the rare occasion that one smiled his way or asked how he was doing, he felt like he was going to melt into the ground below. Often, he found that these signs of pleasantry and acceptance were not meant for him, but a friend of hers that at the time was just outside his field of view. He couldn’t help but get his hopes up. What bothered him more than if they hadn’t acknowledged him in the first place was when he got excited that they did and his emotions were found to be unjustified, himself at fault for allowing himself to feel them in the first place. It seemed like everyone now was dating. Couples held hands in the halls, and constituents of such temporary unions would talk with their friends as if the dating was a big deal, getting excited about all parts but the particulars of the actual relationship, and of the person he/she was dating. Even girls who were not as pretty struck our boy with their smiles and their laughs. Maybe if I could find someone who could love me, he would think, I could learn how to change and be worthy of other’s love, too. Something was missing in his life, but he didn’t know what it was. He didn’t feel whole. Whenever he thought of even talking to a girl his body ached and his chest compressed; then he felt like screaming to God to make it stop, as his loneliness closed in on him with a silence that spoke to him that because he was alone he was inadequate. Nothing would have given him greater pleasure than for his silent voice to be heard; nothing caused him greater fear than the thought of how he might be answered.
Recess was no longer available for students to release their pent-up energy. In the place of recess, most of them resorted to impersonating individuals with ADHD. They were constantly energetic and disruptive and relied on each other to take notes and do homework, but they also were seemingly, knowingly abrasive about it. Boys would jump around in classrooms between classes, throwing paper airplanes at each other made from past assignments, shouting out words and phrases that made sense only to them or were strange just for show. Our boy would often arrive early to his classes and would sit silently in his seat in the corner, unable to distract his mind from the show. It was as if they mocked him. He talked to noone, as he could no longer spend time talking to the wind during the day, and he had too much homework at night to even think of something that he might like to do in his free time, let alone talk to the wind, which, given his age, would now concern his parents. These boys were acting worse than he ever did before he got his diagnosis and had to suppress his compulsions and emotions, yet they wouldn’t care like he did if they were scolded for their lapse from accepted standards of normality. He couldn’t join in; he couldn’t slip up, for there could be no telling what sort of thing his behaviors might lead to. Just a few years ago they had looked at him funny when he had acted oddly, when he was just being himself. Now they would act funny because they felt like it, and they would look oddly at him who showed no reaction on his face for what they were doing. During class one day two of them quietly snickered to each other that maybe he didn’t move because he couldn’t move, and maybe he couldn’t move because he had a cork stuck all the way up his butt. The two of them liked to poke fun at how different he was. They found it amusing that during phy-ed he didn’t change with the other boys, but instead behind a curtain in the coach’s office. The two would joke that maybe he was hiding himself because he wasn’t a boy at all. Whenever they would sneak into the coach’s office to see how far back they could push the curtain without seeing the boy, they were always caught by the coach and sent back into the locker room. This day they were going to try something different. After social studies class they walked over to their silent classmate and asked if he would like it if they brought some of their wieners to school for him to try. Our boy became anxious and sweated, as he couldn’t tell if they were being nice to him or making fun of him. Noticing a slight furrow of his eyebrows, they dug in more. They said it was impolite of him not to answer, as that hurt their feelings. He didn’t want to hurt their feelings; he was silent and by himself because he was afraid of upsetting anyone. Now our boy was confused and at a loss. He was already nervous and stammered when he had to talk to other people, for breaking a silence showed an initiative that might at that precise moment not be desired by the person one is having to speak to; and at that current moment, faced with an accusation that he had done something wrong, he was caught in a situation he couldn’t reason his way out of. I didn’t mean—to mean—to upset anyone, he said. That’s alright, one of them told him, we know you didn’t mean to be mean. Sometimes people just can’t help themselves, they’re just so uptight. You know, I think the girls would take more of a liking to you if you showed everyone you can be nice, and tried our wieners, seeing as how we have never seen you with one and all. We know that the girls sure like them. Do you think you would?
Our boy told me later he couldn’t remember what happened next; the term he used for what happened to him was “blacking out”. This doesn’t mean he lost consciousness. He sunk into himself and found the deeper he went the smaller his vision became. The outside world was a curved screen that became more and more out of focus as the atoms of anxiety flaming inside became still, the black ashes of what the flames burned mixing with coal that could be used to stoke the dormant flames. The piles of dark moved around the edges of the screen and seemed to push it inch by inch farther away, leading to a presence of mind without clear thought, and a mindset detached from reality.
The school contacted his mother and asked for her to bring him home early. Our boy was tucked into bed, his glazed-over eyes still wide open, unmoving. There she let him be, and from that state he eventually found respite in sleep. When he woke in the late afternoon, he heard voices yelling downstairs. If he concentrated hard enough and got beyond the ringing in his ears, he could hear what was being said. Why does he always get special treatment? When I have a stomach ache you still send me to school. He zones out and gets a free ride home! You’re not making sense. Go do your homework. I’m done arguing with you. You’re always arguing with me! ‘Cus you don’t make sense! He’s your special son. Oh, so precious. Let me put little baby boo-boo on my lap and feed him, read him a bedtime story, tell him how special he is. I said that’s enough. Go do your homework, or your father will be called; then you will have someone calling a parent for you. Fat-ass. Fast booming footsteps came pounding up the stairs. As his brother walked past our boy’s door, it was swung open and hit the wall with a giant crack! His brother walked into the room, grabbed a pillow, and then hit him once over the face with it. Wake up! This was typical behavior on the brother’s part. He had insecurities and problems of his own, and if he wasn’t fighting with his mother, our boy was an easy target. He would usually calm down within an hour, though. The negativity that radiated from him permeated the atmosphere of the environment and would affect the mood of any who were unfortunate to live in it. Our boy, though the older of the two brothers, became even more disturbed in mind from this. He was afraid to say a word in his own home or accept any love or attention from his mother, or it would more than likely result in some form of castigation or verbally abusive belittling. After a time, he started hearing his brother’s voice in his head and came to fear that his brother could read his thoughts when they were in the same room together.
When our boy was at school, fear of his brother became a fear of others. The worries got to be so intense that he was afraid to even walk by other people, for even if he did nothing wrong they might still come after him. Group projects started off okay, offering hope for a positive connection with others free from fear, but by the end was an emotional rollercoaster. He was alone, even in the presence of others. His group partners would hardly talk to him, for they thought that someone who is a recluse must not enjoy the company of others; their logic figured that if he didn’t show emotions, he must not be feeling any. This was an open door for the other group members to talk with each other, excluding him except when they needed him to do something for the project. Our boy yearned to let them know that he did have emotions and wanted to be like one of them, people who could freely express themselves and form relationships with those around them.
In 8th grade, there was one month where he was part of a group that felt special to him. The two other members were girls who were friends with each other: one was bubbly and caustically self-referential, the other kind and reserved. The three would have to work on the project together after school, preferring to set up shop at a couple tables in the school library. The two girls would talk with each other when they weren’t busy working and would occasionally ask our boy questions like what his favorite class was and whether he liked any sports. Being able to speak, to say something about himself was fresh and exciting, but these exchanges were always brief, and after they were over he felt worse than he would have if they had never acknowledged his existence.
He felt empty, so devoid of charm or interest to others who would take a passing interest in him. If anyone ever felt any concern for him, he felt they would still be unable to know how to help him or respond to what he had to say. He knew from experience when trying to talk to the school counselor that he was too complicated for her to understand, too difficult a case for advice other than “hang in there.” It bothered him every time he would leave from the counselor’s office and she would greet the next person in line with a warm smile, asking howhe/she was doing and about the different things that were going on in the other person’s life. The mild concern felt for him then felt insincere, as his troubles were not heavy or important enough for the counselor to have difficulty shifting gears when talking with someone else.
While working on the project in class and after school, it became clearer and clearer to our boy that he really liked the girl who was more reserved. She had a gentle beauty about her, and when she talked or smiled it was gentle as well. The restrictions he placed on himself ached and strained whenever he was in her presence. He wanted so much to tell her that he liked her, to shout it out to the world, and to see a smile in return. But no matter how unbearable it became, and how hard it was soon to so much as look at her while they were working, he knew he couldn’t do what it hurt him so much not to do. And she wouldn’t be the one to ask him; boys are the ones who are expected to initiate relationships. He knew so little about her; she could already be with someone else, or she may not even like him. He wasn’t even able to tell if she liked him! Even if she did, putting the pain and sadness he felt every day onto the shoulders of someone he loved would have been too cruel for someone like him to do. The happiness they felt together would be temporary, him becoming a burden that she felt so sad for that it would be hard to let him go. And what if she did? What if she let him go? How could he live with being so rejected, with noone to brighten his day or make him whole again? He would go back to what he was now, but feel more acutely what was missing from his life, see how in his isolation he wasn’t really living. He was already dying with every year that passed, to be lowered into his grave sooner than all the others. The other two became more uncomfortable around him. They continued to be nice to him, sure; but they came to talk less and less when he was with them. Presentation day came, and his hopes rose; he thought he saw her smiling at him as they stood at the front of the room going over what they had accomplished. But he had accomplished nothing. Class came to an end; when the bell rang the two girls walked away. Just like the wind, they left without saying goodbye. He still held onto hope; maybe they had forgotten, or they had to hurry to their next class. Whenever he saw the girl he liked when she passed him in the hallway, he would stop what he was doing and look her way. No exchange was made, no sign was shown that they had for the past month worked together. Like the light, his view of the world narrowing and getting farther away from him when he blacked out, so too did his view of her narrow and disappear as she blended into the snowy throng of people. He wanted to run after her, calling that they knew each other, that he wanted them to know each other again. He wanted to be able to reach out with his hands and touch her, to make sure she existed and wasn’t a figment of his imagination. But he didn’t. She disappeared into the snowy throng, they appearing to be the living dead, indistinguishable from each other as the fall of the snowflakes drowned on. They mixed together and blended until there was nothing else to see but the contrast of white against his world of black. He ran down the passage of his mind, praying that she was not broken and smashed like the rest of the snowflakes, that she was still out there somewhere in the mist of the unknowable, draping shoom. Unable to see, he extended his hands and felt the faces of all the snowflakes he saw, trying to find the snowflake that was different, was the one who was the other part of himself. Doom. Music rang from and around the snowflakes, the echoes reverberating and ringing in his ears. Stopping, he found one song sounded above all the others. Doom. His brother’s voice called out to him in the blizzard of emotions, saying it wasn’t too late for him to come to his senses. Wake up! The voice melted the snow in a flash, the flakes in the air turning into a wave of water that slammed against him like a door. Our boy was floating in the dark sea of icy desolation, struggling to stay afloat as claws of terror dragged him down. The waves of his brother’s voice pounded him on the head, the splashes the frothy feathers of a pillow, pushing him down into the water, his bed of rest. He could not rest; rest was only for all of you, all ye merry gentlemen. Bellows from the deep waters below blew upward into his gasping, screaming face that could not hope to mitigate the burning of his vocal chords that were unable to make a sound. Let nothing you dismay. The heavens sent a bolt of lightning thundering across the sky, illuminating the landless horizon, holding and not flashing away. The depths of the thickening water rose to be the world above. Was there any room for hope in this vast expanse of liquid matter? A swarm of silent bubbles answered by latching onto his head and taking the sound away from his ears as they burned the flesh away. His future failures entered the present, seeping into the past tucked in the folds of his tight jacket. They were no longer what he would be become, for they were already who he was. The sound of silence, they called for him to accept them, for if he didn’t they were all he was going to be. In the silence he faced rejection, his invisibility to others, the forgotten strands of his existence, the unknown stealing from him any hope he might have had of gaining access to life. To save us all from Satan’s pow’r. Then he knew that the silence threatens you as well. So they are why I hurt, he thought. They are why my soul continues to bleed. The silence reminded him of the forgotten nature of the pleas he had sent to God for it all to stop, and told him that he had only himself to blame; for his cries came from the foundation of the base he made for himself, the base of silence that could only bring more silence, as his world stopped, ended, as a response to the nature of his pleas. Please don’t let me be the death of myself, he cried silently in his fetal position. The future: When we were gone astray. If others are not to blame for what has happened to me, can they not help me from my language of silence to turn away? The silence that met this was deeper than before. An orchestra of butterflies suddenly shot down from the darkness to the light below. The music thundered a retort to the bolt of lightning dangling in the sky. It said that you are not to blame for what our boy had become and what he would become to be, but you are still liable for not caring about him and entering your voices into his silence to show the dry sands of the beach will not sting, but love can still emanate from the grainy, homogenous whole and take on the wind-swept carpet form of green. The lightning flashed again, this time disappearing as it struck the water and the threat of silence. Our boy writhed in the water, his face contorting as the tunnel gave away to reality. The lightning refused to let him know the truth from the silence about the sky’s failure of visible compassion. You, those governed by life, have the only acceptable form of communication through music; he, governed by silence, was no match for such a union as your own. Your answer to the threat of silence has always been simple and was felt in the very bones of his character, the very being of our unnamed object, which before was so properly put in bold in this text: No. Oh tidings of comfort and joy.
After a month in a mental health facility, our boy committed suicide. Seeing as how he was so silent and not a threat to others, the employees of the facility had left him alone. He had beaten his head against the walls of his room, finding that when he started he could not stop. But his heart could. The employees found him on the floor, his arms no longer clutched around his jacket, now unzipped and displaying poor character. Oh, I was so right earlier after I told you to relax. You, the people, did relax; life is a jolly hoot.
| | | | El Fin | | | |
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<a rel="license" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/"><img alt="Creative Commons License" style="border-width:0" src="https://i.creativecommons.org/l/by-nc-nd/4.0/88x31.png" /></a><br /><span xmlns:dct="http://purl.org/dc/terms/" property="dct:title">Our Boy, or From the Mind of</span> by <a xmlns:cc="http://creativecommons.org/ns#" href="https://tundrabon.weebly.com/short-stories-and-other-works-128064/our-boy-or-from-the-mind-of" property="cc:attributionName" rel="cc:attributionURL">Isaac Summers</a> is licensed under a <a rel="license" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/">Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License</a>.
Though this may not be the finest written work, it is one of my favorites. In order to condense the story to a stipulated number of words, the pace is a bit off so as to fit the whole tale into the parameters. For most things that are not on display and observed, little hints are giving that allude to the bigger picture. For those not familiar with the Old Testament of the Bible, a Google or Wikipedia search of a few of the names might help.
Some of Creation
By Isaac Summers
He knew the scoundrel by name. He never told me what the name was, though. He would have me ask the bishop so I am forced to fall at the alter. I know better. I will never go back to that alter; even if the rugged doe wants to be held again.
If you wind your way around the top of my tree, through all the knots of branches and spurs, the latter drawn down from mountains for my health benefit, whose jaws laugh at kindled flower fulcrums for their pained moping, you come upon my trap (2). I trust you because of what you forgot you once did for me before, before the mill worker did his job for the clergy and made you lose your memory, so you may hear me tell this now. If you tell others, I won’t fall ill from hurt. The doe already tore at my heart, and there is no healing if one of them breathes into your skin. It is not a situation of protection to disguise the existence of the trap, either. The priest will take note of my absence and find out about the doe before Lady Shroud can come to our aid. The trap will only open upon you if you experience a lapse in judgment and refuse to bark. The bark of the tree identifies instantly with this, and the trap will momentarily cease. You will know the trap by the burning sensation in your lungs. Once you are through, locate the water spout. Go before you lose your sense of self again. I will meet you there.
The boy was left alone. As soon as the King was welcomed into the leaves surrounding, the young one’s strength failed. He could see the falling of his lord from grace, the ruler of papacy proclaiming the sovereign had broken his vows to God and refused to recognize His presence in the kingdom. The fall keeps on going down, down. Have you ever heard the screams belting from the castle’s moats at night’s late token of sky musk (4)? Those are the captive female does crying for the late mate to relieve them. He only takes one mate per new moon. The people know the danger of letting the females loose; the male must have only one mate (1). Children are not told why until they are welcomed into adulthood. Does must always be kept locked in seclusion, for there is the worry if they were all the other days to roam free that one will sneak away every moon as, or before, they are marched to the moats.
The scars on the back of the tot’s head were not yet healed. When the apprentice would ask his master what the voices he heard meant, the master would not know. After a time of this asking, the master requested that he quit it (3). But the voices never went away, except whenever he left the village grounds and approached the forest, where they would all abide in silence. It was never in a tongue he understood, save when they wanted him to, which was rare. This time, as he lay where the King went his way, the ones who spoke were glaring from somewhere. They were not glaring at him, though. Something was taking their attention from a distance. He could not move, the weight of their minds pressing in on him their anger. One noticed him again after quiet reflection, the oldest and faintest of voices. “Raft kra ful.” The wind knew those words better than anyone. The trees moaned and croaked. The boy in the hours spent on the ground had lost a year in age. All he remembered was the voices crawling through his head and raking his brain with their claws. A younger and raspier utterer, “Boy, remember us the Vocals. You are our son, but you have no mother. Chance the spires of the Crematorium, and deliver to us again our box.” The trees moaned again; this held no more meaning to the Crow of Saul, for it had fled from razor passions. “Bring the King his sword so he may note his subjects of its worth without subtext.” The trees nearest buckled and bent in fear as the boy took one’s branches. “There was a command from someone else, I am sure. I am to climb up somewhere.” The claws left his brain and clutched his lungs. “We seek shelter, foolish child. The trees have nothing of worth. Begone with you, ye wretch. WE WILL FOLLOW WITHIN TO DINE ON YOUR FAILURES.” They pushed their way into his mouth and spun down to the soles of his feet. The leaves drowned in the comfort of their parents’ remains of smoke.
The bishop dipped his hands in the baptismal font. They were to perform God’s miracles, and the task of castrating the deer certainly required one. A doe had spread influence under the moon to a sinner, a royal sinner, and he to them. None could mate. They were now tainted by man’s hand, and only a holy man’s might sent from Heaven could purge and nurse the moon back to health.
The fall of the trees of the forest was as if sent by thunder, the King believed to be dead. The tainted doe would know and fight. Magic had failed the kingdom, purity a scarce resource grown in number only by the allowance of God. “The Deer, God’s graces, bring forward, to please, yes, for another direction to deal oughtn’t but mine.” The shackles extending from one weary leg to the other clanked when the possessor was escorted in. A crowd teemed on the steps outside. The bishop slithered past the deer, a healthy elk, to address the onlookers. “A bishop is but a priest, so see me. No more will you fear the secrets of the forbidden tree. This,” gesticulating to the animal, “our filthy health, is but fragile. God is strong, and He will not fail us. The secular rulers of this land relied on the beasts to fill our hearts with love; one such ruler has now broken his ties to God and showered his sin on us from above, obscuring and tainting the light given from on high. He has broken his covenant with God’s people, with his minister, with the Lord divine (8). We are all jackals and FOOLS to listen to his word before our God’s. With this anointing we break all ties to the Devil. May the sun rise again before the Rapture, or our souls will not be given pardon by the Holy Ghost. Close doors!”
Once the portals were shut, men lowered the elk to kneel at the feet of the ordained. A knife surfaced from a concealed scabbard behind the mission’s Cross. Red fire simmered within. “The blood of Jesus rescues you from women’s files.” “Baa!” Done. The priest was efficient, as if he had done this before or God had guided his hand. Disciples called, “Praise be to God! A sound mind delivers us.”
The Crematorium near the graveyard had tiny notches built into the side, which were easy for the boy to ascend. Flames were not spewing, and all he felt was the cold of the world. The top was made of brick and dirt, tiles shooting out and down existing sides and lengths. One such was loose, and below was a tiny box. His hands of their own free will guided it to his mouth, and there at the opening it stopped and held. The boy descended and went on his merry way to the castle, the box emanating from the front of his face. “Lower your arms and part the doors,” they told through the box to the guards. No question or resistance was made to this. Along the halls men gathered to salute this boy of no worth. Up the palace floors he went, arriving in King Saul’s bedchambers. Queen Ahinoam gave up the sword, her heart aflutter.
The people of the castle and the villagers below followed the young apprentice out to the forest, he wading through the remaining leaves to sit where the King’s tree once stood. There was no trap, for the trap had went out and sought after its victim. Saul arose from the dust and stood before the reckoning. The priest had men trailing behind, the ill doe biting and hissing between them to be let go from the net cast over her. “Why have you broken your covenant with God, Saul?” called the bishop. “Why did you pour your heart out to a beast?” Saul said no word. His wife Ahinoam cried to him, “Do you not stand by me in either life? Do you not love me?” Saul’s eyes filled with tears, yet he said no word. The Vocals spoke, “We know you bark as we do, our liege.” Here the boy both curtsied and bowed. “We only ask that you take your sword back from us, as the sword is the only thing that can kill your betrothed, and we would not have you maim her.” The arm of the man met the arm of the boy on the hilt, and here unspoken words passed from young to old. Saul took back his sword and there stood before his kingdom, his subjects.
The gleam of the rising sun fell on the blade, and from this beam notice reached the doe. The men were not able to hold her. She dragged them behind as she ran to her steed, the priest screaming to not let her escape. The Crow descended from the sky and perched on the King’s shoulder, wings extending and moving forward to form a shield made of glass its master’s unarmed arm coursed through the straps of. The sword hid behind the shield just as the doe flung herself upon him. She tore at his flank with her teeth, he combating her with the shield and attempting to keep the sword away. “If you would like my help, call on my name.” Saul trembled under the weight that pressed down on him and managed to gasp out, “My old friend, you saved me from the wrath of the Philistine dragon. I do not know how much more I can ask from you.” “I told you I was a humble servant of God and would follow in His King’s service. As you are of God, so shall I do your bidding.” “My loyal and- and faithful David-” He had no breath left in his body, the final gasp sputtering out, “Help me.” David tore the doe off the King and broke her neck with his tiny but monstrous hands. The King lay sprawled out on the ground, his eyes wide and mouth open, body numb and stiff with shock. David left him there, walking away to the church on the horizon.
By order of the bishop, Saul was stripped of all his gallant attire in the marketplace square on a pedestal, the people laughing at his bare body. “Look at you, oh prestigious man of the prized and noble!” they chortled. “Shall we bring you our cattle to make love with too?” “Oh look at that pale ass of his!” called a woman. “I don’t think he has actually raised it from his heady throne a day before now in his miserable old life!” With this, she fell into a bread stand in hysterics, loaves flying out onto the street, for which starving children quickly dove. “His sword was no match compared to the strength of a child!” said another. He let no word out for the remainder of the given five hours that he was given to face for being weak in the sins of the flesh.
Night came, and it was a pleasant night. The people were asleep, as was the King, who was allowed to remain in his position until the Church had reached a decision. Lady Shroud arrived from the water of the river, her body dry as she entered upon shore. With her came three swans, each with a head covered in blue wool. They notified the guards of their presence, and so they woke the King to hold small council with him.
The next day broke, and the bishop went to see the King. Upon entering the bedchamber he found Saul in a pool of blood, his sword skewered through the chest. Ahinoam alone sat nearby on a bench, staring into space. The priest approached and asked her what had happened. She would not answer, so he shook her and pleaded to know. Her head raised to have her eyes meet his, hers glowing with triumph. “He would have David as King.” This is all that would escape from her lips.
Word spread that King Saul had committed suicide, ashamed and afraid of what had become of his life. King David soon was granted the throne, the young boy to have Queen Ahinoam as his wife. The Church approved of his ascension, and all who looked upon him remarked how the Sword of the King seemed to belong to him, his word strong and mighty in the ways of the Lord. The box he had fitted on his face was tucked behind the throne, three swan feathers lying inside. The Vocals were never again heard emanating from his mouth; the does were freed from the moats. The castrated elk was King David’s steed, a sign of the throne’s purity and freedom of sin through God. So his kingdom reigned eternal, he never dying as his subjects withered and passed away. The new moon no longer promises security, never promotes bloodshed. The crows yield to noone, and the forest never grows. The Church and the rule are one, and the people grow restless toward the peace. Is David God made in the flesh? Is he Jesus come again? If you listen to the wind closely enough, you may hear a faint answer from ages past: Raft kra ful; From all to one.
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An assignment was given to come up with something that one would put as the message on the inside of a fortune cookie. Though this entry isn't a story, it is a brief exercise in creative writing that isn't necessarily realistic in what it is trying to say.
As typed by Isaac Summers
Note the crunch of the fortune cookie. If you do not know there is a treasure that lies within, you will possibly soon be surprised to find something sleek protruding out onto your tongue through all the rubble your pink blob has worked through and brought together. The monstrous round oral heirloom has chanced upon a portion of your coming fate revealed to you in a form unfortunately not yet obligatory. I tell you from across the table that I have written something special for you on the glistening treat, which is made of paper. What message have I written on the piece in your fortune cookie, dissimilar from the surrounding mold, and why have I chosen those exact words (if you even feel able to move past the pondering of why I put something in the snack hut in the first place)?
Gandalf: “The board is set, the pieces are moving. We come to it at last.” ‘It’, as used here, is the time decreed to pull back the shades from the still-standing two questions. I have a simple enough message for you: ‘Twiddle your ears. Your elders will be grateful for it.’ I have noticed, while staring at your face while you talk, that a gloom has gradually been creeping out from behind the lobes of the hearing utensils you possess and have, regretfully, ignored for such a long amount of time. I did not want to mention anything before, as I realize it is a difficult subject to breach, and the recipient of one’s advice may take unnecessary and counter-productive offense indeed. Offense was not meant to be laid out, as it never has been in such cases before, so please don’t leave your place to escape without first noticing what I would have us both be beholding to. I beseech you to take note of the size of your ears at this present time and behold what I have run across of. I hold you to the ground of explaining to me, if you admit your ears are a bit larger than what you recall they used to be or what they should exist as when compared to those of others, how they managed to become this way, what the extended reaches they grant are comprised of, and which wherewithal to be used would lead their bulky nature astray if started on this day. But I feel I have shocked you too much with this revelation already. I will explain things for you to give you a break from the figuring and allow the procession of information inwards to be first and foremost in your mind. Sir or madam, whichever sex you are (as I have never really paid attention before now to what you identify as, and wager I won’t going into the future), your ears are plastering. Noone really knows what causes it, but the appearance is always the same, with the applicable treatment almost always being consistent from one person to the next, with a few notable exceptions of which I hope you will not have to be indulged in. If your ears are left untreated, to your elders you will soon be viewed as a basket case. The plaster does not harm your hearing, and you do not feel its weight, but the elderly are the most critical of all persons. No matter what religion they say they are a part of, or if they don’t belong to one, the ceramic nature of a plastered person’s ears is a transgression against either God or humanity. Once one of them takes notice of your disability, the news will spread to other old cranks as sheep before a rogue lawnmower, and they will challenge you over and over again to tell them what good those appendages are for. (Obviously they have never considered the gallbladder, or are afraid if they do so what that would make of them considering their current belief system.) Do not try to hide from them. Running from one’s troubles always leads to death in one way or another. Yet the elderly are also the most loving and forgiving. If you turn from the error of your ways by applying the cure to your ailment, they will accept you no matter how much cranberry juice you steal from them. But oh yes. The cure. As hinted at before with lack of then relevant support, just twiddle them a leetle bit. Think of the lobes as wings and the fingers placed over them as directing strings. If there is no improvement within 10 years...oh dear god. We’ll have to remove all your vital organs and put them back in again.
The conclusion is simple, just like the message inside this particular cookie. Don’t read fortune cookies. They, just like the people who write them, are full of c—p.
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<a rel="license" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/"><img alt="Creative Commons License" style="border-width:0" src="https://i.creativecommons.org/l/by-nc-nd/4.0/88x31.png" /></a><br /><span xmlns:dct="http://purl.org/dc/terms/" property="dct:title">Cookie Unfortunate</span> by <a xmlns:cc="http://creativecommons.org/ns#" href="http://tundrabon.weebly.com/short-stories-128064/cookie-unfortunate" property="cc:attributionName" rel="cc:attributionURL">Isaac Summers</a> is licensed under a <a rel="license" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/">Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License</a>.
This short story was created to fulfill the requirements of an assignment asking for something a bit inappropriate and with a few phrases that are taboo. I don't expect the reader to be able to understand everything that is going on in this tale, or at least not be able to without first making some assumptions. And yep, you can bet the whole thing is weird.
Two Cocks, One Lamb, and a Bell Tone
By. Isaac Summers
“Well hello again. I didn’t know you were going to come back around to these parts. It’s kind of symbolic, isn’t it? The trail is going full circle, and Lou...nah. Let’s not worry about Lou. So how are you?” “That’s what I’ve come to talk about, is Lou. He’s shoehorned his way into the spotlight again. I don’t know how to talk to him anymore.” “You don’t know how to talk, or are you too scared to know what to say?” “I don’t know, Carrie. It all seems the same to me.” “Hmmm…. Come with me this way. Later on you’ll find out how to pay.”
(While descending)… “Did Lou pull a stiff, on a person going off a diving board into the water, again?” “It’s not fair for me to judge what goes on with him anymore. He-” “Then why are you here, Mortimer?” “Cus’ he darn traipsed into my life on his own accord again is why. Mary had gone off like a little lamb one day and found herself to be a feminine rooster to cock-a-doodle-doo in some other joint. Turns out it was Lou. I told him I wasn’t going to get involved in his affairs, wouldn’t tell his daughter, but here he gone did this to me. Whatever should I do?” “You spoke more than three sentences in a row; you know only I am allowed to do that. I’m afraid I can’t help you anymore, excepting for to place this into your quivering hand. Now go back up, go back up! There there. It’s not the end of the world. Up and out, maybe someday you’ll come out. Your cover’s not yet blown. Now git!”
The snow falls, and we look upon Mortimer. Every year he appears to grow shorter, for every night he hunches his back in internal agony, and it has become more than a habit to him, that which has invaded the other hours of his life. They corrode, but when he can’t hide he has no place that is an abode, him being humble with no home to match his composure with. That agony, as a growing tumor, is what drives him to misery. He pretends that none know his secret, but they all know. They don’t care. He performs care, though, maybe to make it his own since noone will give it to him. Lou in the spotlight. Always in the spotlight. Didn’t Mortimer know what he was saying? He already knew the jig was up. He couldn’t love his wife, and so she chose another. He didn’t wish to Mortimer anyone, but that is what he felt he had to do. He felt nothing towards women, but the fear from the past turned, in his mind, the world cold against him. Lou didn’t care. He didn’t care that he had taken away his friend’s security blanket, and now he played underneath that very thing with another man’s wife. Oh Lou. Whatever should Mort do?
“Come one, come all! The worst freaks of nature, all on display for you to roast with your eyes til the display goes up in flames! Hey you, madame! What say you? Want to have a quicky go? Oh, hoe, hoe, hoe! There we go! And you, sir, will you spy on the madame as she spies on the freaks caught that can’t be on the lam?” “I’m not a sham.” “What’s that? Oh jolly good, now! Santa sticks a hoe, hoe, hoe! What fun we’re all going to have! And you over-” “I said I’m not a sham.” “What, eh? You’d like to start things sooner off with a BAM? Good sir, good sir, eager to be pleased, but then how can you please another if there is none to spy on you in turn, you so quick to mount?” “I said I’m not a sham!” “Eh? Then why are you here? Aren’t all lambs soiled rams? Then join the hunt! I’d think you make a good cocker spaniel, well, wouldn’t we all agree?!” “You stand on wood, and puff the same junk to make things sprout. Are you a woodcock, tenaciously spontaneous, good sir? Is that what you’re about?” “Why, I...I never cared enough before to think about it! Just...just maybe I am a woodcock! What is it to you?” “Oh, nothing really, good sir. Resume, resume!” “And you, gracious lady, have you ever seen a sight for sore eyes? By the way this man talks, I’m sure he’ll give you a nasty surprise! I usher you in, don’t fret or I’ll snap! In you go, in you goooo! In with you! Man! WHAT THE BLOODY HELL IS THAT?!” “I RAM YOU THROUGH! YOU ARE THE SHAM! RUN, WOODCOCK, RUN! I ONLY HUNT MAN!”
The carnival is closed. Mary clambers through the foggy entrance lair. She thought she had married a fine man. Old Lou and her had gone to the bank for him to reimburse a check to account for she and her husband’s losses. It turned out that the bank was closed. Mary wanted to surprise Mortimer with Lou’s gift and was afraid that if she saw him before receiving it she would give the secret away; she was not as good at keeping secrets as him. Lou offered her one thing more, a spare room in his apartment for the night, since he lived across from the bank, to make the journey and burden for her less of a chore. She called Mort at home to make an excuse, but the line just kept ringing. Only ringing ensued, a surefire thing, but not necessarily to succeed in the ringer’s purpose, only to emit. Mortimer sat in the restaurant for their anniversary dinner, afraid for her and made bitter by the waiter who over time became shrewd. Mary had been so excited for the gift granted to him from Lou that she forgot the occasion to which the day belonged. Dejected and at a loss, the conflicted man left the scene. The caroling of others led his mind astray. The alleyways threatened to steal his life away, a figure with sleigh bells walking down such one with a cloak garbed over head. The caroling ceased, the truth renewed, the figure following now behind sounded some inner truth. Mortimer fled and ran from insecurity, wondering where his wife did dream. The phantom ringer crawled on the sides of buildings after him, the bells striking the corners of them as it jumped from one to another. The snow stuck on Mortimer’s feet, impressing on him more than he could take. Without her he would be found out! He couldn’t admit to who he was. Each bell let out a moan, each sound pronouncing a silent fear. In the blur of the wind, the world fell away. So did the sky heave mourning, and Mortimer fall on the white down of winter. The phantom disappeared into the night, a trail of vapor fading behind. It was even later when Mortimer called his worries ‘tosh’ and sat up upon the snow. He was outside friend Lou’s, and he desired the use of a loo. When Lou came to the door, Mort smelled Mary’s perfume. It was dated yet subtle; Mort called Lou a buffoon. Needless to say, the former could not powder his nose. This tale then began where the priorly spoken was placed; help was not granted to the hurt, a carnival in passing fanning the flame of hate. Mortimer is held by police, they not understanding the complications of being dead and dwelling among the living. What has he done? The carnival announcer wouldn’t bat for the other side, and in the scuffle Mr. Feral bit the dust.
This is the conversation that followed at the police station. “Well, we know who you are, sir. You mine as well say your name aloud.” “Really? I didn’t know that was a requirement if you already know who I am.” “Yep, yep. It says so in our Employee Manual, or Code of Ethics, or something that can’t be argued against unless we slip on a mental banana peel. Your name?” “I Mortimer everyone. You should know that right away. My wife was my friend, and even if she no longer is, you still can’t have her.” One officer to another: “Was that supposed to be some kind of confession?” Mortimer: “But I’m not Catholic! I’m really not. You know my name, you know of my criminal misconduct, and now I just ask what is next so that I can beg for forgiveness.” “Mr. Mortimer Pastoral, I don’t know how you otherwise changed it upon entering into your head, but you know you’re not gay, don’t you?” “Officer, what are you insinuating?!” “As I said, I’m not insinuating much of anything. Your wife tells us that when you get depressed you imagine that you’re gay and go traipsing around, pretending that jealousy is fear of being found out. She’s your loving wife, sir. You don’t have to be afraid of her leaving you.” “No, no no no no, that’s not right. I- I don’t mean to insinuate anything, either, sir, but...and I hate to put a blemish on her moral character, but I found out she was sleeping at a friend of mine’s this previous night. I don’t know what to do but insinuate.” “It doesn’t concern us any which way, Mr. Pastoral, but for what happened at the carnival. We are trying to understand your motive in case this later goes to court under the banner of you being mistreated due to your sexual orientation. We just want to know: What happened?” “I, Mortimer Pastoral, am not a sham, am not like the embodiment of a twisted tale. No. Drop it.” “Sir, if you don’t cooperate with us, this isn’t going to end well for you. Are you really gay?” “Harassment! You’re damn right this is harassment. You have no right to ask me that!” “Sir, would you please sit down? Sit down, sir!” “Give me that paper! What did he just write about me?!” “Sit DOWN!” Poof. * sigh * “Now, sir, that you are calmed down, would you like to finally tell us what is going on?” Silence. “We could bring your wife into here so that you can talk to her, if you feel that would help.” Silence. “We’re going to keep sitting here until we get an adequate response.” Silence. “Suit yourself.”
Five years pass. Mary visits her husband at the state penitentiary. “Heyyy, Mary.” “Hi.” “How’s Georgie?” “Fine.” “He’s been fined? For what?” “Nothing. He’s okay.” “Well that’s swell! How’s Lou?” “Better than you.” “Even better, then! And may I ask: How are you?” Silence. “Don’t you want to tell me, Mary?” “Do you know why I haven’t visited you for the past six months?” “I don’t-” “Of course you don’t. I shouldn’t have asked. It’s better this way, that you don’t know. We’re done talking about it.” “Okay. Then what do you want to talk about?” “I came here to make a proposal. If you tell me what happened to the man at the carnival I’ll tell you how I’m doing.” “But you already know what happened with him. What more is there to talk about?” “I think there’s plenty to talk about. What was going on inside your head?” “Then we’ll flip the tarots. It’s always nice to play games when you have nothing yourself left to lose. Let my tongue be a token of your depreciation; Lou can less easily love you now. The man at the carnival turned others into his pets, overstating their value while treating them like they were all the same. Everyone was alive to fulfill the purposes of his business, and to him everyone was a freak. He chose me, as to him I belonged to his caravan. I won’t Mortime no more. I am not a freak because you cheated on me; I am a freak because he loved me.” “I didn’t cheat-” “I know you did. Lou even admitted to me, at the door, what he wanted to do.” “Mort-” “You wanted me to answer, and so I am. I am answering for my crimes. If you won’t answer for your transgressions, that makes me the better person. I attacked that man because he thought he was better than me. He loved me, but not in the way I wanted. They say I tried to rape him, when it is he who tried to do so to me. If I am punished for the crimes of others, that is not my doing; all others must work for the Devil, and these walls are my sanctuary given to me by God so that you can’t hurt me anymore.” “That’s it. I’m done here.” To her walking away: “I couldn’t love you, honey! I’m not a bee. I can’t love you even if you were able to love me!” She turns around: “But I did love you!!!” With a smirk: “Yeah, you did. You loved to see me squirm.”
Ten years ago Mary was a little lamb, and Mortimer was a sheep. They had no shepherd to watch over them, so the sheep lost sight of his feet. The lamb loved the sheep as if they were the same; the sheep knew better, and in his sorrow a lion he became. There is still no shepherd, for who to these animals would want to tend? Yet there is a shepherd that comes out when the lion roars, but it is only the lion he will defend.
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<a rel="license" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/"><img alt="Creative Commons License" style="border-width:0" src="https://i.creativecommons.org/l/by-nc-sa/4.0/88x31.png" /></a><br /><span xmlns:dct="http://purl.org/dc/terms/" href="http://purl.org/dc/dcmitype/Text" property="dct:title" rel="dct:type">Two Cocks, One Lamb, and a Bell Tone</span> by <a xmlns:cc="http://creativecommons.org/ns#" href="http://tundrabon.weebly.com/short-stories-128064/two-cocks-one-lamb-and-a-bell-tone" property="cc:attributionName" rel="cc:attributionURL">Isaac Summers</a> is licensed under a <a rel="license" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/">Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License</a>.
Idiotically titled, and with no discernible reason,
Fin Molly Chakra, for Nobody but the Gangsta
By. Isaac Summers
After the young merchants arise from their seats, we will follow them.
Now we stride atop the sidewalk, waiting for a call from the gated community. A siren has sounded, and so this narrative will be on its merry way.
Mr. Ceasefire at his post as sentry of the Municipal Guarded Sloom would tip his hat up and look at the sun everyday at a quarter past noon. It was not an odd thing for him to do, for though the 15 minutes past the 12 is an odd number, the hour was not, and hours are often regarded with more importance than the minutes that follow within them. Mr. Ceasefire had a fondness for the equal companionship between the hour and the minutes, which is the thing that makes him odd, but not the actual time he chose. All in all, however, the sun was of even more importance at that particular time. The sun claims itself as neither sex, male or female, even to this day. I am sorry, but that is just the way it is. Owing to this disposition toward its own gender, it was possible for the sun to fall in love with whoever it chose, and in this human lifetime it had chosen Mr. Ceasefire. Mr. Ceasefire thought as well that the sun’s gender was of no importance, and since the sun loved him so, showering him constantly in warmth, especially during a quarter-past-noon glow, he felt obliged to fall in love with the fire on high in return. The sun would outlive all its suitors, and so it would be forever alone unless there was another suitor to take the former’s place. The two got along handsomely, and their union was a force that made the world all the brighter when they were together. Mr. Ceasefire would serenade and dance with the rays that came down from the sky as if they were the arms of a slender doll, and the sun would beam with pride in the joy that it brought to this in-the-infinity-of-the-universe young man.
It is said that no matter the season that came and passed, the sun would show back up again at that scheduled time of noon and fifteen, meaning no darkness at Mr. Ceasefire’s post could prevail in taking long-lasting hold. Just the same, the sentry still took his duty as seriously as he could muster when he was not otherwise indulging in his personal, gleeful aforementioned ceremony. The M.G.S. was a small gated community place that housed idiosyncratic homebodies of nearly every type of persuasion. There was the timid Gofblid who had ridden down from the neighboring mountains on a hair follicle-powered locomotive named the Grander Betsy GWR; then there was Ms. Pykes who enjoyed on Sundays to go door-to-door and admit to being of a moiety, her husband living in the same home as she but pretending they didn’t know each other; then there were the caged domplepillyites, placed on the ground beside a wishing well some many years ago, who didn’t mind their condition at all and would scratch and bite if someone tried to pick the lock, though they were pleasant when approached on other matters; then there were the young merchants with nothing left to sell, who still went out everyday in the morning and managed to come back with a small fortune, their black umbrellas, tops unfurled, perched attentively in their right hands; and then there was the Draftfool holed up in his meager mansion, his name being surmised out of superstition that in a former life he had built the M.G.S. and would remain there for eternity unless the land was scalded and impeached of all able possibility of providing anyone the means of being able to live there any longer. All these people Mr. Ceasefire stood for at his post, and more besides who drew not as much attention to themselves.
It was not uncommon for the sun to flare when people passed in and out of the Municipal Guarded Sloom’s walls; this was a sign of boasting, as if the sun itself was the most breathtaking and powerful thing in existence, and here was its one and only friend, now raised as well through this collaboration to a higher rank. It was a show that brought out the most positive excitement from passerby, especially Ms. Pykes, and the ones to who it was directed for, the somewhat calamitous clapping endearing and emboldening the celestial inferno to continue for more applause trice unfolding. The only ones who did not yield were the ones most busy of all, the young merchants with umbrellas half the height as they feet tall. It was not a simple debate to inquire why this trend held up on their end, for their plastered-on grins sent shivers down the spines of those who would at that current moment depend on this actual pondered discussion’s mend to emotions not yet considered to be whole in understanding; those emotions, to us, could be identified as fear and a lugubrious sadness playing high horse to either inspire disgust or pity. With all the merchants’ riches, it was a surprise that their lives were not a party. Their lives were devoted to their business and trade, for whom the sun’s dawning meant more debts to be repaid. A wizened and aged policeman would follow them to and from the marketplace when they and the debts were due and were done, as they (the merchants) had submitted a form for an escort, they believing their lives, due to their fortune, being at all times at an immediate peril. On the form they claimed they had not enough money to hire a personal bodyguard, and that an escort was due due to the hatred their practices had brought about, their black umbrellas only being able to shield them from the tempestuous customers and urchins’ disconcerting and acidic glares. The policeman, who had never been given a name at birth, would go by whichever one a person would like to bestow upon him in an interaction. The young merchants would never address him, so when he was with them as escort he bore no name; which meant little to them, as he meant very little more to them than nothing, them being of possible relation to his parents long since dead in coldness of heart and rigidity of mind. Don’t think this analogy never crossed the elder’s mind; being around them bothered him on some other internal level, but that level was deeply buried and long since forgiven, and to them he had a duty to uphold, just as he had been entrusted to do for the city at large for a great many year.
It was because of this respectability that there proved to be something possible of a most stupendous undoing. An evening sashayed light into night, the silent moon’s glow taking up a fraction of the sun’s domain. The policeman was escorting the grave laddies to the gates of their community when a different light chanced to peek out from behind the moon in the sky; it was the one special night that comes around rarely where the sun and the moon join together in it. Unhappy with the weak nature of the moon, and seeing travelers at the M.G.S. gates when aiming rays at the post to give Mr. Ceasefire an unexpected visit, the sun found the night to be the perfect opportunity to beam bigger and brighter than ever before. Oh, what courage the sun showed! Oh, what gravity and superiority did it impose! All this to another group might have been most exhilarating and fine and dandy, but the merchants were tired from the day, and upon the declaration of the sun, it only appeared that Mr. Ceasefire wanted to play. One of them hollered: “You desert your post for this gim hurray?! Let us through, Mr. Ceasefire, let us through I say!” But Mr. Ceasefire was gone to Never Never Land, his head’s heart and chest’s mind just below the clouds. Then they all talked amongst each other, the policeman a short distance away, “He must let us in! Let us in! We must call it a day!” The leader to the police officer: “Well what are you standing around there for? Get us in, post stat!” The police officer declined his head, it so humble, and muttered to them, “If it wouldn’t be too much trouble.” Walking up to the gates, he threw back his head, and hollered up to Mr. Ceasefire, “Won’t you open up? It’s time for some of us to be getting off to bed!” But Mr. Ceasefire couldn’t hear them, was too far away. “See? See? I knew this connection of theirs could come to no good,” said the leader to his cronies, they nodding as if they had just scolded the entire neighborhood. Then to the officer, “Well, get us in! Call the army if you must.” The officer half laughing, “No, I think that’s a bit much. I can see he’s not quite with it, which is unfortunate, but love can do strange things to people, and then duty might not be enough.” “Then fulfill your duty, now more than ever you must! The sun blisters our senses, and it’s not a quarter past noon. It’s not time for lunch!” Still laughing a little, and cocking back his head, the police officer screamed up, “Hey, Mr. Ceasefire! If this keeps up, would you like breakfast in bed?” While the others rattled the gates quite irately, their leader approached the police officer and shouted, “You nostalgic dunderhead, help me or disclaim me!” This elicited a frown on the officer’s once jovial facade. “I’m sorry, Mr. Trife, what would you have me do?” “Get up there and bring him down! Bring him down! Maybe then he’ll listen better to you.” So the office turned back around and entered Mr. Ceasefire’s station; the high-up room was so bright, that his sight threw a conniption. “Mr. Ceasefire! Eh, Mr. Ceasefire?! Where are you? I’m to bring you down! Eh, Mr. Ceasefire. Ceasefire! Ceasefire? What did I just say? Dear me, I must hold my ground.” At long last he laid hold of Mr. Ceasefire’s form; but on turning him around, he found a disfigured marm. Reeling from this image, the officer called to the sky, “Where’s Mr. Ceasefire, sun?” “He’s dead.” “But why?” “He neglected his duty to me, one noon day. He was helping a young lady with directions, and she became interested in his station, she asking for a tour. His face was aflush and rosy red, my light sees everything, and he offered it to her as if it had been an idea of his own.” “But where is he? Where is he? Only he has the keys to the gates to those homes!” “Patience, man who will one day soon fade away. Though you have little time left, I having to be patient for eons, you have enough time to listen; harm has been done to me even more, I say. She then came back quite often, that teacher and her pecan-colored curls! They formed their own calls to each other, the same things like the time that was first. She asked for directions, and they guided each other to the others heart, and away from my glow. There went my beau! Earlier today I asked him if we were together still to be, and he looked back for a second before she came, said ‘huh?’, and let leave for my grief. When she entered in, she looked up at my sky, she smiled and said, ‘What a day.’, but I couldn’t let it lie. I smote her with my acid burn, the cancer rot and my court did to her try, find her guilty, her body there instead to lie. He and my love was all a lie, this lifespan a pain now to go over, why can’t the end commence?! You look at him, you turn back to the gates with your fake light that flashes in hand, and stare fast at that well. If you look properly, you will see the five digits of a hand.” Quickly the policeman ran down the steps and to the gates of the glen. He pointed the flashlight at the distant well, yet nothing met the tendrils of its faint grasp. The young merchants watched agape as the policeman took their place, he banging on the gates. “What have you done?!” he called to the sky. The sun returned, “He learned to love what he could touch. My touch is never enough for greedy man. He would have had me last the remainder of his lifetime alone-” “WHERE IS HE?!” “-I CURSE YOUR LAND! Only I can offer you enough light to find his body where its gone. Unless you agree to a deal with me, so too shall my world now abandon yours.” With that the sun disappeared from the sky, and the night was only kept glowing by the moon’s dim light.
Fire engines were called to the scene and their fighters broke the gates inward. Upon running to the well, the policeman found it had collapsed, and rubble covered the entrance. The only witnesses were the caged domplepillyites, but their language none knew how to unscramble. This left everything uncertain, and so the officer went back to his office at the police station to deliberate. The teacher’s body had been charred at her lover’s post. Where could his body have gone, and how?! There was something else going on here, and he had to find out.
The next day there was no sun in the sky. Everything remained in complete darkness, as the moon had gone with the night. The city lights cast their only lights upon the scene; their shapes were a blessing, but in the dark alleyways more crime was unseen. It was now more imperative than ever that the police officer escort the young merchants with their black umbrellas to the marketplace, as without the light of the sun people’s more deplorable fervors were emboldened. After the confrontations that had passed the night before, it is understandable that his mind was more on edge than he would normally feel okay to express. The merchants’ cold attitudes toward him this day did not sit right with him at all, and so when they went into work, he followed quietly behind. At their unlit stall, there was nothing on display, yet there were customers that still came up, their faces puffed and eyes bloodshot with pain. Some would grovel on their hands and knees after being turned away, and only after they had lay in torture on the ground for a while would there be an expressed change of heart on the part of the stall keepers. A quarter of an hour passed thus before the officer’s curiosity got the better of him; he wound his way through aisles to the back of the lot and poked his head in to see what was hidden on the employee ground. There were pink packets glowing red under the lights cast down from neighboring stalls, but they bore no labels. A second to spy was too long, as a couple of the clan had caught him in their sights. “What are you doing?! Go back outside! We don’t need you just yet. You’re early. Go!”
Later on the officer guided the young merchants back to the fallen gates of their home; upon doing this, he headed back to the closed market, where he got permission from a security guard, after showing his badge, to enter onto the grounds. Going through the back way again, and shining his dim flashlight on the ground, he found there was nothing there. The merchants always only brought back to the M.G.S. with them a few tiny bags of coins, so they couldn’t have brought their merchandise with them. The officer had been around long enough to know that young people watched too many movies, so on a hint of a suspicion he felt around on the musty ground until he felt something out of place. There was a disguised handle, which, pulling up, he found led to a storage area beneath. Descending the stairs with a rapid pace, he reached the bottom, swung his light, looked around and found…nothing. He was in a large room, no entrances or exits out beside from the one he had come from, and there were shelves along the walls with nothing on them. Then he heard the moan. Flipping around, he found the leader of the young merchants was standing behind him, the plastered-on grin present on his face. “Hello, officer. I am surprised to see you here. But it’s a pleasant surprise, nonetheless! How are you?” “It’s late at night, and I know you and your friends don’t like staying up past bedtime. Let’s cut to the chase so you can go on back home. What is it exactly that you sell?” “Why, officer, if that’s all that you were really wanting to know, why couldn’t you have just come to the counter when we were open and found out for yerself?” “Thanks. I might just do that.” When the policeman reached the top of the stairs, he looked back down to the man in black standing below in the light shining from his hand. “Don’t you have anything to light your way, sonny? If so, I have another one of these that I can spare.” The grin on the merchant’s face only grew wider. “No, that’s alright by me officer. You already do enough charity for me and my pals as it is. I would hate to ask for help that an aging man such as yourself might find harder and harder to offer.” At the exit to the marketplace, behind him he heard a magnificent boom. Yet he could see nothing in the darkness, not even the gleam of a pair of eyes that he was sure was looking directly into his soul.
Another day came with no sun. The officer was asked by the sheriff for a full report on what had occurred a couple days prior. Upon hearing what it was that the sun had said near the end, the sheriff leaned forward and asked, “It didn’t say anything more beside that? You didn’t ask what it was that the sun was wanting from you?” “Well...no. I guess not. Should I have?” “No, no. You did the right thing. It’s not an individual officer’s place to go making deals with the criminals that they are attempting to interrogate. You did alright, Jimbob. You did alright.” They shook hands, and the two parted from each other. But the officer couldn’t help but wonder what it was that the sun was offering.
The third day with no sun was the worst of all. The officer had not taken the merchants up on their offer to stop by, and he could feel an energy from them as if they were pleased and silently mocking him as they made their way to the marketplace. Their black umbrellas blew around in their hands under the pressure of a wind. It was from this wind that a smell reached his nose, a smell that he hadn’t come across since his childhood. One of the merchants was looking behind himself at him, the edges of the lips curved a bit. The officer grabbed ahold of his front and pressed him against a building wall. “Where are you keeping it?!” With that plastered-on grin, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” The rest of the group had stopped and turned around to face them. The leader: “What is going on, officer? Has my friend done something to bother you?” “Who are you people?” The leader’s eyebrows moved. “Why, didn’t you already know?” Teeth could now be seen in his smile. “We are from the ranks of the Legion of Sabnock, officer. We’ve been waiting for you to understand so that you may entertain us.” The umbrellas extended from their hands, contorting and spiraling into tendrils, the tops spinning into wings that spun out darkness. The officer ran away from this scene, heading for the police station. A chilly voice echoed over the city to him, which somehow he only was able to hear. “The sun is waiting, officer. It’s not polite to keep people waiting.” The ground fell away before him, cracks extending down into the fiery oblivion rising from below. The world around was fading away as a blur, buildings crashing down around and hydrants and cars exploding, floating in midair for a second before crashing down on the other side of the street from where they originated. “Oh, but can’t you see us, officer? We can see you.” Chains whipped around his body and pulled him toward the opening in the ground. The smell from the past was overpowering. “You know what that smell is now, don’t you?” Telling himself that none of this was real, the chains around him broke free and the elderly police officer went sprinting off again as fast as he could. Time. The smell was of time. The voice was always following just a couple steps behind. “Like us, you humans are confined to this planet and the scar of the smell, aren’t you, officer? You are always afraid of it, but why not embrace it? Why not embrace the power of time and use it to stand outside of the pain love brings, the pain that the material claims in you?” Something was burning into his back, branding a design on his shoulder blades, as if directed from a poker. The cement of the road burst into melting tar in front, and through this pool of agony he kept moving forward. “The sun will fade away, along with all the warmth and light you hold dear. This flame is eternal, is risen from the embers of all your hatred.” The cascades of ire fell over all who walked on the streets, they not seeing what was before them until their skin met with the devastation. “The hangman’s knot is cryyying! Rise as we stand for Cain. Come to ussss, officer. The due date is THROUGH!” The officer turned back around, and there was nothing left to fear. The city was dark again, and everything was in one piece. There was no peace for him, though. Whatever he had just experienced, would come back again. Despite what his superior officer had told him, he would have to talk with the sun.
The officer ascended the stairs of the sentry’s post. It had been sealed off with tape while the investigation was still ongoing. It was the morning of the fourth day, a little past nine. He had spent the rest of the day that had come before sleeping and wishing that this whole thing would turn out to be just a dream. No such luck. Though it was not the sun’s favorite time, it would have to do. There was no more wasting time. He called out to the sun, wondering how it could possibly be able to hear him. There was no response. Though he kept calling, the sun never came back. He wandered over to the crumbled well, but there was nothing changed. Looking down, there was the cage yet again, but… there were no more domplepillyites. Ms. Pykes had just gotten up, and exiting from her home and seeing him looking down at the cage, said in her candy voice, “Mr. Ceasefire had taken an especially nice liking to them things. It was decided by all of us a long time ago that they might as well be officially his. When he left, they left. No longer cared about their cage so much, I guess. Such a strange character he was. But it was always so much fun to see him playing with them through the little cage bars, I couldn’t help but want to join in and clap them on, it was so much fun. If anybody in passing didn’t know any better, they and those cute little things had been hitched together for a long while.” The officer turned to her. “What was that?” “What? Them being hitched? Yeah, he would take the cage up with him up into that miniature tower of his and they would spend all day long together. The birds would come out a quarter past noon, and their song would just delight his little things. Oh well. He took them with him when he moved. Wait, isn’t today Sunday? Guess what, everybody!!! I’m of a moiety! Woohoo!” With that, she went skipping off from door to door to find out if everybody had remembered her telling them this last Sunday, and the Sunday before that, and the Sunday before that…. The officer looked up at the sun, floating and softly shining in the sky. Everything was different now. He had put his demons behind him, time no longer an illusion, the sun, with which he realized he had made a bargain with in his sleep, being his one and true forever love until the day he died.
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<a rel="license" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/"><img alt="Creative Commons License" style="border-width:0" src="https://i.creativecommons.org/l/by-nc-sa/4.0/88x31.png" /></a><br /><span xmlns:dct="http://purl.org/dc/terms/" property="dct:title">Fin Molly Chakra, for Nobody but the Gangsta</span> by <a xmlns:cc="http://creativecommons.org/ns#" href="http://tundrabon.weebly.com/short-stories-128064/fin-molly-chakra-for-nobody-but-the-gangsta" property="cc:attributionName" rel="cc:attributionURL">Isaac Summers</a> is licensed under a <a rel="license" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/">Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License</a>.
The art above is to be attributed to a man by the name of Robert Wayne Luxford.