Unless We, There Is No We (Tidbit Thursday 3/29/14)

Unless We, There Is No We

Scenes of houses, suns, stars, families, animals of all types and sizes, and flowers, drawn in shades of pastel chalk covered four blocks of sidewalk. The pictures followed a logical progression. Unfortunately it was a logic that belonged solely to the artist. The viewer could only guess, or bypass the interpretation phase completely and simply absorb the scribbles on a base level.

The drawings converged on a child. He was sitting in front of a lovely prefabricated house. The way the dwelling appeared to be a pile of boxes assembled together over decades, with no real plan, made it appear out of place in the suburb.  The designers called it French Provincial, as if evoking Europe was enough to mend the “sore thumb” effect the house had.

The young one’s fingers pressed against a piece of green chalk. The residue deposited on his skin, covering old layers of pink, purple and blue.  He took his time looking at what he had already drawn, absorbing the image, placing it in the proper spot in his mind, before violently scribbling again when a change was necessary. The scraping of the chalk against the concrete gave the silent neighborhood life, the only source it seemed.

“What are you drawing there?” She asked the child.

“A picture.”

“Of what?”

“A lady.”

It was true. The street sidewalk flowed into a sizeable walkway to the house’s front door. The young boy had almost filled the walkway with the image of a woman. There weren’t many details. A triangular dress, more symbolic than representative, hair of yellow, red and dull brown, and green eyes. Large oversized pink lips showed no sign of a smile or a frown. They were emotionless, focused lips, set on a mission, with no time for expression.

“Daddy’s inside.” The boy said.

“Why do you think I’m here for your dad?”

“People don’t come here that much no more. But the ones that do, want to see daddy. It’s his day off, he’ll be in his office.”

Revelation was a dubious thing. The woman knew immediately that she had arrived where she needed to be. It was much easier this time around. The child wasn’t there before, maybe this meant that she had finally gotten the pieces in the right order and he was the confirmation.

“Your dad doesn’t see you very much, does he?”

“He’s busy. He buys me a lot of toys though, I wish they talked.”

She prayed that it would be painless for him. She hoped that when everything was over he wouldn’t realize that he ever existed. She didn’t know exactly how it would happen, if there’d be some great sundering of the world, or if it would just snap back in the eons it takes for a blink to start and stop. It had to be the latter, in order for her to put an end to the journey, she couldn’t believe that the child would suffer.

“I’m sorry.” She said.

“Me too.”

“For what?”

“All the people that went away. I know it’s my fault. Or it will be.”

“How could you know that?”

“Rhys told me.”

“What?”

“I’ve heard daddy talking about Uncle Rhys a lot. I think he misses him. My last birthday I wished he’d come back and he did, but only for a little bit. He told me that I had to be really good at school, and learn a lot then he’d come back for good. I tried to tell daddy about it, but he didn’t believe me.”

There were many things that didn’t make complete sense to the woman. Everytime she found herself in a new place, with a new name, a new identity and a whole new set of people to use and manipulate, the amount of unexplainable occurrences grew. But there was always one piece that never seemed to make sense. The brother.

His disappearance was in a way, the genesis of the whole mess. Yet, she had met him. He existed, his mind not how it should, but he existed. In fact, now that she thought about it, he was the only piece that doubled back. Sure, there were people who were misplaced, there were people who suspected the world had become something it shouldn’t have. But no one other than Peter and herself had seemed able to retain the knowledge of the places they had been to. She had her theories about why they had this ability while no one else did, but the theory had no explanation for the brother.

“Did he tell you anything else?”

“He was kind of weird. He said that when I got older I’d think it was a dream. He said that I would remember his name, but not why. I don’t get it. Do you?”

“No, but I think I’m starting too.”

“Do you want to draw with me?”

She absolutely did. She kneeled down next to the child. She looked in his ice cream pail and pulled out a darker blue piece of chalk. Next to the woman the boy had drawn, she began to draw a smaller person. The lines were a little more sophisticated than his, but the newly drawn child managed to fit regardless, especially after she drew one single lined arm reaching out to the chalk woman.

“Is that me?”

“Yep.”

The woman then rose and moved to the other side of the boy’s drawing. She pulled out another blue piece of chalk and repeated her previous drawing. Her two pieces of artwork were mirror images of each other.

“Who’s that?”

“That’s you too.”

“Why is there two of me?”

“I wish I knew.”

The woman stood up and brushed away the dust on her hands. She wanted to say goodbye to the boy. But, as she watched him add various pieces of flourish to the drawings, more stars and flowers, she couldn’t bring herself to pull him away for another second. She moved away slowly, making sure that he didn’t raise his eyes up from his joy.

She had made it to the front door before. The last time she arrived with a heart full of curiosity and a determined mind. Now she carried only reluctance and spite for the man waiting for her. He had placed the blame on the right person, but made sure that the punishment fell on another. She hated him for having that ability, the foresight to see that conclusion.

She looked back, one last time. As she suspected, no one was there. Her theories had changed and for once she was seeing evidence that suggested she was finally right. There was something else walking the path with her, there always had been. She couldn’t believe that she once thought that she was invisible during all of her actions.

Her knuckles struck the door firmly. She knew exactly how long she’d have to wait for it to open. Her mind ran down the seconds like the pages of a calendar falling away.

“I know you’re there now and I’m sorry about all of this. When the time comes though, please don’t pretend you don’t know me. We’ve all come too far, it’s ending soon but I want to talk to you, again.” She said to the sky.

The door opened.

 

 

Become Our End (Tidbit Thursday 3/6/14)

Become Our End

A breaking point had to come. It was a tragic surprise that things lasted as long as they did. A breaking point had to come though,. It was a shame there wouldn’t be more people there to witness it.

“Sir, we really need to go.” Craig pleaded. Continue reading

The Things We Created (Tidbit Thursday 2/27/13)

The Things We Created 

This one might actually last. Sandra could always tell the ones who were just there for a paycheck. Then there were those looking to truly support something, whether it was a lifestyle or a family. This girl had that look to her. The directness in her gait, the way she was taking everything in, the obedience in the way her hands moved all said that she was focused on succeeding. Sandra could respect that. Continue reading

This Is Why We Need To Act (Tidbit Thursday 2/20/14)

This Is Why We Need To Act

Dear…

I’m sorry, I never knew your name. It would ease the difficulty of this task greatly. At the least I’d feel as if I was making this request to a friend, rather than a stranger I’ve known all life. Unfortunately, that’s what you are to me and I have no one else I can ask to save us all. The true strangeness of this all is that while I know of you and know the extent of our relationship, you do not, you haven’t lived it yet.
Before I venture into that statement more, I must address the things you should be aware of. First of which is that you don’t belong here. You feel as if you know the world around you, but there’s something in the back of your mind, telling you that this is all recent knowledge. I fought with this sense myself for a long time. Everyday new technologies, or the absence of them would be presented to me. For all intent it shouldn’t have spawned anything within me, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that everything I thought I understood about the world was physically shoved into my brain, pushing other things away. I believe you can relate.

The second thing I must force myself to trust is that you feel there’s something wrong with the place you are in. People have been disappearing, regardless of the time you perceive yourself to be in, the rumors of missing souls is constant. I must warn you though, the conspiracies you’re creating to explain it all, they’re not the truth you hope for. The true cause is something much more abnormal, fantastical and wholly outside comprehension. I suppose I always knew the source, but that’s my burden. You’ll be subjected to the facts soon enough, just don’t forget, nothing about the stolen people is coincidence.
The final aspect of your thoughts I have to address is the guilt. This is something that is unique to you and I. Anyone else may have doubts. Feelings of unease, but the guilt is something you and I share alone. It’s an unending lead blanket. It’s suffocating and unlike some variations, justified this time. I’m sorry to have to tell you that. There’s a tragic villain out there and it’s life can be cataloged by our choices.

The things I’ve written so far are things I believe to be true. But, for this to be fair I must also lay out some assumptions. After you read this, you may wonder how these words found you in the first place. This I cannot fully explain. Words travel. It’s a phenomenon that I only recently discovered. Somehow, through time, the cosmos, heaven and hell words that carry importance, find the place they need to be. There is most likely a science to this, a new science that didn’t exist before, but I don’t know that for sure. Until I do know though, it’s easiest to say that the power that allows these sentences to pass through unseen realms is tied to will. Basically, I’m willing this letter to find you.

I made mention of a request earlier in this message. You must find me. That is the easy part, the difficulty is that I have no clue as to where it is you’ll find me. I do not know how long it will take you to reach a place where we can meet as we are. But, for this to happen you must keep your eyes open, find the signs that I myself do not know. This is a vague quest. It’s a quest that we need you to take up.

Once we meet, I will be able to tell you more. There will be more for you to do. There’s always more to be done if we are to change the things that weren’t accomplished the first time around.
I wholeheartedly wish that this correspondence wasn’t so concerned with what I know and believe. Once your work begins these facts and thoughts will change. Even though these words are permanent, the hand that wrote them will change. It just dawned on me that I may not be the original author. This universe has become confused. You need to set it back.

Sincerely,

Peter

P.S. I didn’t love green eyes until after you.

***

Hello everyone,  Jonathan here, who else would it be? So I feel like with this Tidbit, some of the mystery of the last five Tidbits has been taken away. For those of you who have followed this blog for awhile know that the original batch of Tidbits were truly independent pieces. This time around though, I wanted to do something more. Perhaps I bit off more than I can chew, but the idea was to make a series of small stories that were interesting enough on their own but could be tied together as well. My personal jury is still out on whether or not I believe I’ve accomplished this.

Now, this shouldn’t be held as a concrete truth, but I feel as if I’ve reached the halfway mark. Which I feel is the right time to explain myself. Let me know your thoughts on this particular project so far. You can do so either with the comments below, or as always my Twitter and Google+

The Proud Students (random write)

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I suppose I could have made this a Tidbit on Thursday, but I didn’t feel like it really fit the feel of those. This was born from a conversation I heard on Kevin Smith’s Smodcast ep.287. Basically they pitched a fairly grown-up variation on the Harry Potter franchise. I thought it was a fun idea, so I decided to give it a shot. So without further ado.  Continue reading

If You Read This, Stay Positive

I am a liar. For years I’ve told a certain story, the events of which are all true. The lie exists in the tone. I’ve always made this tale out to be something good; a nugget of life that I look back on fondly. But the truth is that in the seconds and minutes that this event is comprised of, beyond the false inflections, my heart was broken.

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None Of Us Did Enough (Tidbit Thursday 2/6/14)

None Of Us Did Enough

Sometimes intention is all that’s needed. Plans are for sensible acts and sensible people. When insanity is the goal, flying by the swirling winds of a Spring storm is the only acceptable approach.

“Rodney! What are you doing?” The boy asked.

It was a wonder he could even form a question at that time. Rodney always figured a gun pressed against a person’s head would leave them mostly speechless. If things went right, maybe this kid was destined for big things.

Continue reading