Dedication (A Short Story)

radio

Dedication

The medium was on its way out. All the producers knew it, the technicians had foreseen it, the only ones who seemed to ignore the coming death were the disc jockeys and their faithful. It seemed like there was just no room for curation anymore. People wanted to forge their own paths and there were more than enough who couldn’t blame them.

There were a few voices left with the power to captivate. They were the horns calling out to the future, reminding it that there was indeed a past. Ronald Brown still had the numbers to justify a nationally broadcasted show. His listeners knew him as Ronnie Ricochet. He couldn’t remember when he started to hate the pseudonym, by his estimate it was around the time his career transformed from creating music to pushing the notes of others.

It was shaping up to be a passable show. Nothing exploded in the control room and the dead air was kept to a minimum. This wouldn’t have been anything of note had the standards for the night hadn’t been lowered to accommodate the unveiling of the “E-mail request system”.

Ronnie admittedly had been the one holding back the system for so long. He had watched some of the younger staff members use the internet and he wasn’t keen on having that vitriol spill in his studio. Eventually his levee was bypassed completely by the higher-ups and he was forced to prepare for the waters. He was surprised by how plain the first few requests were.

“This is James from Toledo, I’d really like to hear Grandfunk Railroad.”

“Patrick here, It’d be awesome if you could play Van Halen.”

Most of the requests were like that. Ronnie had figured that without the fear of hearing their own voice over the radio, the people would seize on the opportunity to be creative. After a dozen or so of those, he began to pray for the vulgarity, the slurs, the insults he had originally expected.

The final hour of the show had just begun when Ronnie decided to take another look at the screen in front of him.

“I don’t know how long it takes for these to get through, I hope I’m back on the road by then. I’m sitting in a truck stop outside of Cheyenne right now. There’s a waitress here. pouring coffee for the lonely, she hasn’t missed a single one, except herself. She wants out of here, I just know it. Here eyes keep drifting out towards the nearest exit. She wants that road more than anything. I’m afraid she’ll never hear this song, so I must be her ears. For her, please play Born To Run by Bruce Springsteen.”

Ronnie’s slouching eyelids found a new posture. His eyes ran through the request over and over again before he gave them a voice over the air. As the song played on and he prepared the next segment, he realized he knew that waitress. Except she wasn’t in Cheyenne. She tended to the late night travellers at a bar in Albany. She also never cared for Springsteen, Bob Seger was her chauffeur of choice.

A couple nights went by with no requests worthy of being remembered. Ronnie was beginning to fear that he had been struck by lightning that believed too much in old sayings, when another came in.

“First i want to thank you for fulfilling my request. I’m sure that waitress would thank you too if she ever heard it. I’m at a bit of a crossroads right now. I’ve made it to Carson City, and I have no idea where to go next. If I hadn’t forgotten why I started this trip I could probably figure it out. But I’ve seen so many yellow lines and green signs that I can’t remember now. Or I don’t want to. I’d like to think that I was desperate for freedom. That I wanted to capture whatever Kerouac did back then, just a taste. But, I don’t think that’s why I left home. Help me figure it out, please play A Day In The Life by The Beatles. Maybe I too can find a way to piece together everything into something coherent.”

The people at the radio station who didn’t put their voice to the microphone joked about this person’s sanity. On the thinnest shell that most saw, there was a bit of insanity to be seen. Yet Ronnie knew that this person had a perfectly fine grasp on reality. He had been at that intersection himself. His last release didn’t even come close to charting. The critics said he was rehashing everything he had already done. They made claims that he was going to ride out the rest of his life singing the same songs in venues less and less grand with every passing year. That outcome didn’t seem so bad, but the pride to make them all wrong was strong. He never performed again after taking his first radio gig.

The sun was beginning to rise when Ronnie reached his front door. The email request was still spinning around like a 45 set on 33 speed, as he pushed open the door. The royalties from his old career combined with his regular pay for the radio allowed him to live a little better than modest. The furniture was limited and cheap but, the memorabilia from a life in the music industry was vast.

Concert promotions covered his walls like Americana wallpaper. There was no real order to the way they were laid out. But having the advertisement for Stevie Ray Vaughan’s final show next to one for Woodstock ‘99 suggested he had a morbid streak. The genres and performers depicted spanned the entirety of music. The only one’s missing were his own. In fact, there were no pictures of himself at all in the house, except for one.

He shuffled his way to his bedroom. Next to his bed on the nightstand was a single picture. A polaroid he had framed. It looked silly sitting in there with enough space to add at least two more pictures. The photo depicted himself and his band after a particularly successful show. They were lined up along the counter of a diner. The ecstasy of making teenagers dance and fall in love mixed in their eyes with sleepiness and the wear of a long tour.

For the first time in a number of months Ronnie had lost track of, he grabbed the frame and looked at it’s contents. A small grin crept from the corner of his mouth as he took in his own youthfulness. He stifled a little laugh as he remembered what it was like to wear the clothes they were wearing without any sense of irony. Then his eyes moved to the upper right hand corner of the picture, like they always did.

She had no idea the photo was being taken. She was too wrapped up in pouring a cup of coffee for another unknown addition to the picture. Her hair was pulled back tightly and even though the picture didn’t capture it, Ronnie remembered the lightness of her makeup. Just enough to cover the bags under her eyes, at least to a casual observer.

Ronnie slumped into his chair as he played Baba O’Riley again.  He had memorized every note and break in the song decades before. Sometimes he’d still tell the story of how he jammed with Roger Daltrey and John Entwistle in Milwaukee once. But, he knew that the interns were just as tired of the story as he was of the song.

“Hey Ronnie, there’s another one of those requests from that maniac.” A voice said from behind the glass.

“I met a girl the other day. She wasn’t a waitress, she was a kindergarten teacher. She told me that she loved her job and the kids she taught. That didn’t explain why she was in Durango though. She asked me what had brought me here. I had remembered a few hundred miles ago, but I lied anyways. I told her that I was on vacation. The truth is I’ve never been more restless. I think she knew I wasn’t telling the truth, it might be why she spent the night with me, hoping to get something more out of me. Sorry, I’m rambling again. Can you play “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” By The Rolling Stones?”

Ronnie loaded up the song and prepared to tune out another song he was tired of.

“I finally admitted to why I’m on this trip, I knew I would, I just didn’t think it’d be in Arizona. She said she needed someone who had been farther than the outskirts of town. Someone who could tell stories of places she had never been to. She needed to have her imagination stoked. I never bothered to ask why she didn’t just go herself,or why she would need me to tell her about the world. I just left. There were times when I thought that I had seen enough, that I had more than enough to stoke her fire forever but I just kept going, to be safe. Eventually I guess I just forgot to go back at all. Now, I’m afraid it may be too late. Now I have stories I can’t tell her. I want to go home. I just don’t know if I have enough for her yet. Can you please play “As Long As I Can See The Light” by Creedence Clearwater Revival?”  

The people behind the studio glass shared looks as they listened to Ronnie read the request. Across the country his listeners raised eyebrows and shot glances towards their travelling companions. The casual listeners became active as the mystery man’s words were relayed.

Ronnie’s voice had begun to dip halfway through the request. It even bordered on mumbling through parts of it. He was no longer speaking to his audience but something beyond them. As if the low frequency he was offering could slip past the static of decades, past the progression of technology, past the fleeting moments, and beyond the walls of obligation and duty.

For the remainder of the show, the producers discussed contingency if Ronnie slipped again. A longing DJ, didn’t make for good radio. Their plans never saw the light of day though, he bounced back as if nothing had happened. The rest of the show was carried by his normal inflections and vocal tics.

The next day though, Ronnie never showed up for work. They still put a show together, piecing together clips from past shows. The day after that was the same and suddenly worry began to spread through the radio studio. Calls were made but were left unanswered. A quick replacement was found to finish up the week. He did surprisingly well.

Ronnie didn’t hear any of it though. He kept his radio off the whole trip to Albany.  

The Final Tidbits (9/3/2014)

I know it’s been a long time since I’ve posted here. Honestly, I’ve had these last stories finished for awhile now. I had some big ideas for them, yet as the days went on and I never could make good on my own plans these have become a burden. So, for the sake of starting fresh and drawing things to a close, here they are. In case this is your first visit here, these stories are the conclusion and epilogue of an ongoing series. The pieces of this tale were part of a feature called Tidbit Thursdays. the first part of this is here.

 

I Couldn’t Listen To It Again

There was no more anger, no more frustration. The questions were gone as well, whatever Peter could reveal just didn’t seem to matter anymore. Everything he knew was tainted by the one piece of information he didn’t have.

She was no longer impressed with the large stone room that led to Peter’s sanctuary. She remembered thinking about how much it looked like a cathedral that had been gutted of all it’s carved images and idols.  But now it was just hollow. Any similarity to something holy or spiritual had been replaced by thoughts of vanity and failure.

A man stood outside the large door that would lead to the person who held her quest within himself. His eyes were heavy, as if he had spent his entire life staring at the opposing entrance, waiting for any sort of visitor. She knew that in his mind, he had done just that. Yet, unlike someone else who had finally found purpose, his expression didn’t change when she approached.

“Hello.” He said.

“Hello.”

“My name is Craig, I imagine you’re here to see Peter.”

She nodded.

He turned and pressed his hands against the door that stretched all the way to the ceiling. She had hoped that just once, like everything else, this scenario would have been set somewhere else. If only to perhaps give Craig an easier portal to open. But this scene played out just like the other ones. She wondered why this room remained, while everything else was in flux.

Beyond the door was another massive room. A set of three stairs that ran the width of the room led up to a plateau. On the platform a solitary desk sat and behind that, another man.

The years, far more than possible, had taken some amount of a toll on his face. It was clear that he had been and in ways, still was, handsome. Sandy hair and a face covered in begging innocence. She felt as if she should apologize to him, as if he deserved it somehow. It was finally clear that this man had a power, a reason why the universe would bend around him. It wasn’t a coincidence or random set of events and decisions. He made it all happen.

“Welcome. I’m glad you’ve made it this far.” Peter said.

“You really have no idea.”

“Oh, I know you’ve come a long way. I also know you have questions for me.”

“Not as many as I used to.”

“Excuse me?”

“Sorry, that’s not true. I actually don’t have any questions for you, only accusations.”

Peter shifted on the old worn couch. His hands fell onto the scratchy flower print fabric. The yellow cord that was interwoven in a brass chain glowed under the light of the faux silver light fixture overhead.

She smiled at this, she hadn’t expected things to happen the way they were. Apparently Rhys had taken notice of the exchange. It wasn’t playing out the way it had before. It was a mistake and like all the other discrepancies he had discovered since Peter’s child created him, he set out to fix it.

Peter was oblivious to time warping around him, the walls shifting, growing, shrinking, and changing.  His movements were strange and uneasy as he attempted to interact with the world around him as if he had always been there. But it was changing too fast.

The couch slipped away into a wooden chair with an excess of lathework. The paneling on the walls twisted into tan swirls of plaster and peeled away wallpaper. The chandelier stretched and grew until it was a primitive piece, nothing but wrought iron and untreated wood, holding open flames.

“You can’t see it Peter. You’re blind to everything. It’s all in flux now and it’s all because of you. Not because your brother disappeared, he never existed in the first place. It’s easy to blame your son’s creation, the A.I. who became so powerful and so confused, but that’s just a byproduct of your failures. It was a response to a child’s loneliness, an eventuality that was forced into existence because the right choice wasn’t made.”

By the time she finished speaking, the sky had become exposed and flipped through at least twenty cycles. The atmosphere had changed composition just as many times.

“Then…I…must…be…changed.” Peter said, fighting through his rapidly changing consciousness.

“No, that doesn’t work either. I’ve tried. I destroyed lives that had the misfortune of playing rolls, large and small, in your life. It didn’t change anything.” She said.

The land continued to change, going farther than even she had seen. Visions of planes, whose details were without definitions yet would remain deep inside waiting to return to whatever dreamer remained after her final task was complete.

“What…will…you…do?”

“I’m going to give you a choice. One that never existed in your life and hope that you have the ability to choose a better way.  Even though you have proven to me time and again that you will do everything in your power to make this outcome happen, I have faith that you will succeed this one time.”

“Why…tell…me…this.”

She didn’t have an easy answer for Peter’s question. She herself had wondered why she wanted this final confrontation to happen. She couldn’t even convince herself completely that this version of Peter would still exist somewhere out there. Her best guess was vindictiveness. Even if he might not have much longer to exist, she wanted him to know that it was his fault and that he had been wrong so many times. She needed him to realize that his inability to see the faults in the webs he had woven had trapped her into seeing the end of the world play out in front of her in ways she didn’t realize was possible.

“I don’t know. Now, you might understand what it’s like to have your fate decided by someone who doesn’t know.”

She turned away and began to leave. She could hear Peter call out to her, asking more questions, trying to exact some sort of control in his final moments. He still didn’t seem to grasp the truth that he had control the entire time, he just never asserted it when it mattered.

She passed by Craig who seemed to be afflicted by the same shifting reality that Peter had been. As she laid her hands on the door that would lead to whatever world Rhys wanted his demise to occur in, she stopped and turned towards Craig.

“He loved you, I’m sure of it.” She said.

Her hand turned the knob and she walked into the midst of party goers, celebrating at the beach.

***

Epilogue

His Name, Her Choice, Their World

They were happy. The stereotype said that the smiles on their faces should’ve been painted on, but they were genuine. The laughter was full of warmth and used in appropriate quantities for the jokes being told. Other than its place in a series of events it couldn’t possibly know about, the seaside party was a joyful occasion.

As she passed by the attendees, her silver tray steady on her bent hand, she picked up bits of conversation. She wasn’t sure what she expected to hear, but what did reach her ears wasn’t it. There were no talks of corporate maneuvers that would increase profit margin yet destroy so many lives. Yachts, expensive cars, private schools, none of these subjects entered into the dialogue. They spoke of their families. They reminisced about times gone by yet still cherished.

“He’s already up there.” A familiar voice said.

She turned to find a detective, a creation, something artificial.

“Rhys.: She said.

“Did you not think I’d be here for this?”

“I was hoping you wouldn’t.”

“Don’t be afraid. I want you to finish this. The time has come, I tried and I failed.”

“It’s not your fault. You were just doing what you were programed to do. What his child wanted you to do: Fix it all.”

“I suppose you’re right. But I was doomed from the start. I could change realities, shuffle lives around the infinite span of time I just couldn’t change his heart. You can, or more specifically, what will be inside you.”

“So you know my plan. Will it work?”

“Time will tell.”

She turned and began her trek up the hill.

The house was nice. The same walls she had seen before. There were no chalk drawings this time though. Just plain concrete. They would be decorated eventually, hopefully by different images though.

The baby squirmed in her arms as she moved.

“Did you give him a name?” Rhys asked.

“No, why would I?”

“Regardless of the life your son will have after you’re gone, he’s still yours.”

She looked down at the infant. His cheeks pink and full, his eyes a mossy green.

“I’ll have to think about it. It’s hard enough to do this.”  

“Right, I’m sorry.”

She smiled at the A.I. she wasn’t sure if he’d understand the sentiment. He had shown the capacity for nuanced emotion, but the extent of his knowledge was unknown to her.

“When did you realize what I was?” Rhys asked.

“Shortly after meeting you at that bar. You showed your hand a little too much. It didn’t match up. It was as if everything was pieced together by something that thought it had a grasp on how to build a world.”

“I did get better at it.” Rhys said.

Rhys walked past her towards the door. It was then she noticed he held a basket in his hands. A basket that wasn’t there when their conversation began.

“You’ll need this.”

It was a woven creation. Just wicker and a few strands of string. Yet, she knew that he was right when he said that his ability to create things had improved.

“Did you ever wonder why you were tasked with this endeavor?” Rhys asked.

“I did at first. Then I decided that I was just some glitch in a spiraling randomness.”

“No, it was because I loved you.”

“What?”

“I have been in this chaos for far longer than you. Far longer than you could possibly comprehend. Don’t feel bad about that, it’s knowledge you wouldn’t want. But as I kept pulling at strings, there was something I noticed. No matter what sort of sky sprawled out above, no matter what events were current, humans found a way to love something. So, I decided that I would love as well.”

“I’m so-”

“Don’t be. It’s better this way. It’s more, romantic I suppose.”

“Rhys, you know this is the end right?”

“Of course. Now go.”

The garden had been planned and constructed. It was still a bit too early for the planting to begin, yet there was a beauty to the brown plots of dirt. She figured that it was possibility that gave the empty soil it’s appeal.

She heard the young woman approach from the base of the hill that led up to the plateau the garden was situated.

“Ms.-”

“Please, class is out, you can call me Lilith.”

“Lilith, um, I was wondering if there was anything I could do over spring break for extra credit.”

“Why? You have almost a perfect grade right now.”

“It’s just, I don’t know, thought maybe I’d get ahead.”

“Go. Have yourself an adventure, Do something crazy. That’s your assignment.”

“I’ve never really been good at crazy.”

“There will always be gardens. A thousand years in the future, something will still grow from the dirt. Which means you have plenty of time to study it. But the amount of time you have to grow that thing inside you that will allow you to make the right decision when the time comes is limited.”

“That, makes sense. Somehow, you must be a good mother.”

:Lilith looked at her student, an eyebrow raised.

“Oh, I’m sorry. I just assumed you had children.”

“It’s okay. Yes, I have a son.”

“What’s his name?”

“Rhys. Now go I think I saw some of your classmates still in your dorm’s parking lot.”

Lilith watched as her student walked away. She was curious if she would take her advice. Although, it most likely didn’t matter. By the next time Spring rolled around there’d be new chances to make the right decision.

Come next Spring.

You Might Not Believe Me, But I Swear Girls Still Drink Warm Beer Barefoot On The Hoods of Dodges.

Image

Someone made love up on that ridge. 

I don’t know this for sure. But all my rock n’ roll albums have told me that’s the type of bend in the road where Midwestern legacies are started and young people go to tease death just a bit. They’re probably still out there, all I’d have to do is ask someone who has just enough lines in their face. But people somehow managed to stay polite in this town, it wouldn’t be right to ask them questions like that. At least not before you asked what kind of beer they drank, right before you paid for it. 

People used to make fun of me when i told them I still played vinyl records when I was alone. I’d try and show them why, but all they’d do is giggle as I struggled to play a single track without any traces of the one before it. Their MP3 players could do it, surely I could harness the metal and moving parts and do the same. I’m only now realizing that I was missing the point completely back then. 

It was never about one song. Or one trip into heaven and then back. It could, if you’re unlucky enough. I don’t want to be that unlucky. I’ll find a way to tell her that, I’ll find the right B-side to show her what I mean. Maybe then, after the needle has been put back to rest, I’ll smile at her and she at me, forming new lines on our forehead. Then, who knows? We’ll take a cruise up on that ridge. 

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+