I don’t know what possessed me to travel to this world. I was already in a parallel universe and should have stayed or travelled back to my own world but a friend had become trapped here, a crucial lever, ha, what part isn’t important, anyway a lever to his machine had been destroyed and only he can rebuild a new one. Can’t save him or do anything constructive other than keep him company but that in itself helps when you’re not completely alone, there’s someone close you can complain to, and he can complain back. Misery and company, what a pair. After the time I’d spent in the last universe, I thought this place would be a relief and even if it’s colors would bleed through temporary peace is welcome. Ah, but I did begin with don’t know what possessed me to travel to this world so that’s already happened…
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“Is it really like that when you die?”
We were watching the Book Of Life. In the land of the dead there is more life and celebration than when people are alive especially on the Day Of The Dead.
“I don’t know sweetie.”
I was going to say that no one has ever come back to tell anyone about what happens at the same time flashing back to when I saw my grandfather after he’d passed. Was it a dream? Certainly wasn’t what my definition of a vision was in those days. I walked into a luncheonette and he was sitting at a booth. I almost walked past suddenly recognizing him. He had his head down chuckling like he did when he was playing a joke. I got excited and teary never expecting to see him again overwhelmed he’d come to see me and he frowned as if I were being absurd. I guess I was. He loved me. Should I ever have doubted it? He looked good, young and healthy. I think I hugged him. The same thing happened with my grandmother. She was on a sidewalk on a street like we lived in Yonkers, residential homes in a row shaded by trees. She was in a dress like she’d worn when she was younger wearing a pair of shoes with stacked heels. How could I have known? I was no more than an infant if that. I might not have even been a thought yet. She walked briskly, looked so healthy and in great shape. There were other relatives. They all looked good completely free of pain. Not in any of that had anyone talked about what happens or where they’d been hanging out these days. No tunnels, no lights, no voices calling, besides, I was still alive.
He spoke before I could offer an explanation, as if, or an insight.
“Well when you die you’ll have to take your iPad.”
“Do you want me to send you pictures?”
He became quiet watching all that went on.
“Your iPad will have to die too.”
“So I can send a message then?”
“Yes you can tell me.”
Finally relaxing at a genuine bakery with a New York staple buttered roll! What took her so long to find this place especially after all the times she’d walked by it over the past couple of years! It said bakery in the name. Didn’t it click? Thank goodness the light finally came on. She had to laugh remembering all those days pining for something she thought no café offered, not no way, not no how, nowhere in town, wishing, wishing…wishing leading to exasperation, that burst of energy leaving your body though annoyance keeps its grip around your shoulders. “Where does that energy go? Huh… living energy… anyway…” All their sweet junk, gooey iced scones – blasphemers! Of course the cappuccino was American size, which meant a small soup bowl-mug with too much milk, but it was good enough not to need sugar sprinkled over the top not that sugar on the froth was a bad thing. What Ruth could taste of the coffee wasn’t bad at all, not bitter at least like other places served, nothing to bring a tear to your eye. It sure wasn’t New York but it’d do until that cataclysmic event when all would change … Leave it to a significant event, an apocalypse to mess up being able to stop for a buttered roll. “Maybe it could miss the bakery like tornadoes do, changing the path and leaving the place alone? Asking too much? At least they’ll keep making them for now. Real butter, mmm, good stuff.”
Que lunged straight up in bed. “Mom! Mom!” Nuriye came running, well more like staggered hurriedly into his room. It was, after all, 3:47 a.m. She’d been working very late and had brought her 12-year old son with her, first so he wouldn’t be left alone, second to see the volcano that he’d developed a study-passion for. Maybe he’d follow in mom’s footsteps. She’d dressed him in a protective suit though he still watched from a safe distance, very safe in fact but not safe enough for him as his mom and her co-scientist-friend scurried during an unexpected tremor. He wasn’t sure about that and felt his love betrayed. That was his mom after all. Alarmed he’d scowled and shouted at the growling mountain and the mountain stilled. Coincidence?
“Swehthr’t tht’s threh, three times.” She collapsed onto his bead wrapping her arms around him. “But I had the weirdest dream. It felt like it took a week.” “Noh, nt a wk…” Her breathing began to slow. “Mom! You were a lava spirit and came back. You talked about dad – you were worried if you should tell me about him. Who is he?”
Her eyes snapped open though she didn’t move as warmth, oddly enough began creeping through her body from her toes. It would be just like him to seep into Que’s dreams announcing himself. She wouldn’t mind seeing him again. Nuriye had to laugh to herself. She wasn’t even sure who he was.
Refreshed as if doused with ice water, “You know the story. Shhhh. I’ll stay until you fall back to sleep – no worries” but his breathing had become steady and quiet. She realized her entire body was radiating heat.
“Son-of-a-gun… he’s back.”
Agon sat in his basement absorbed in his crossword puzzle. On his wall were those he’d completed making it look like it was a collage instead of concrete. In the background was a bubbling sound. It had taken almost a year for him to set up his network of beakers, pipets, flasks, and cylinders interconnected by more pipets and hoses all suspended above Bunsen burners. He had a pestle and mortar for ambience sake but he might use it, you never know. A glassblower by trade he managed to turn a nice profit anywhere he could set up be it carnival or fair, so it was nothing for him to indulge himself in his instruments expanding on them to his heart’s content until he had an ultimate, elaborate, and functional collection. In the left hand corner of the room was a to-scale likeness of his girlfriend made of glass. Kind of creepy but maybe he liked that better than a photo except she’d broken up with him; most people throw out photos or at least cut themselves out of the picture. The locals say after the breakup she up and disappeared and he was so devastated he couldn’t stand to be in town anymore so he moved. Gave cause to wonder why he kept a life-sized likeness of her in the house.
Agon completed the crossword; he pushed back from his desk studying the wall for the right place to mount it then stepped back in admiration. He walked to the end of his worktable, unclamped a hose and watched the liquid drip as if it were a TV program. He clamped it again, picked up the cylinder and swirled the substance around admiring its clarity and its consistency. There was a large brown spider making its way across the table. “Perfect!” Agon quickly snatched up a dropper and filled it, held it over the spider and covered it completely. The spider slowed, slowed and stopped. He looked up at the clock, counted 20 seconds and carefully put his finger to the spider, tapped it, picked it up and placed it on the palm of his hand. He broke into a big smile; it had been hardened in glass. He put it on a corner hutch among a display of knick-knacks. Grabbing an artist’s brush and the cylinder he walked over to the likeness speaking gently as he touched up some cracked places on her face. “You can never leave me,” he cooed. “We are forever. I’ve met someone like your BFF Sandy was. I’ll make her like you so you won’t be alone anymore.” He put his instruments down, picked up his cell, selected contacts and pressed “Natalie”.
He didn’t see the silent tear trickle over her smooth cheek.
The suitcase lay open as she looked round the room. What to take… what to take. Her thoughts were interrupted by thudding from the trunk at the foot of her bed. For a moment she stared blankly her focus still leaning toward sweaters and should she pack that one pair of jeans she owns. “Oh yeah.” She opened the trunk. “Forgot about him.” He looked up at her partly terrified, mostly angry. “Still haven’t learned” she said aloud. “How do you like being spell-bound? Literally.”
She winked and he woke in the local park being cuffed for nudity.
She decided to leave the jeans.
The prompt today is:
…the suitcase lay open…
I sat back and pushed the word processor arm’s length. Yes, I still have a word processor.Looking at the clock on the wall I grinned.
“She could still be alive then if it’s only one.”
“What could have happened? Somebody jump her? Did she fall somewhere?”
He looked at his friend exasperated. “How would I know but I know where she walks. We walk back that way all the time when we’re doing stuff together. I’ll bet she’s unconscious. That’s why we can feel her so strong here.”
“That almost makes sense except wouldn’t we feel her strongest where she was unconscious and not here? She’d be floating around there. Why would we feel her here?
Oww! Why’d you do that?” He cooed as he massaged what might be a bicep someday.
“Floating? Because meathead, she’d come back here, her, I don’t know, her subconscious self to the place she lived… maybe? Who knows how it works but if something happened to me I’d want to let someone know about it. I’d jump out of my body or something. Try to reach someone. I’m like her. She’s not a person who gives up easy.”
They both went out the door and I just stood there. That one boy looked familiar. Actually, so did his friend but there was something about that one. According to them I had a family, well; he was my family. I went out the door. If I followed them I might remember something.
Speaking of food, I’d grabbed a giant-sized sea bass that I’ll prepare. I know I’ve got veggies enough for a salad. Think I’ll make a hot salad – strange the way I can taste but not feel the weather.
Guess I’ll get back to that story after supper. What time is it? Why do I still have electricity? Why do these official-looking people stop by? No one can smell my cooking?
Onward writing I guess.
“She couldn’t breathe. He hadn’t calculated her bringing her knee up as leverage to topple him. He didn’t fall but raised his head and mouth off hers. She grabbed whatever flesh she could of his ‘cheeks’, dug her fingertips in and slammed him into her like she was doing crunches. She slammed him again, again and again. He gulp-moaned as she did it again. She let out a guttural roar and he exploded inside but she didn’t release him instead shoving him in again and one final slam. She was done and let him go. He was completely limp, arms, legs, everything. With her leg still bent up she turned him tumbling him onto the floor leaving a trail of semen on the way down. “What”, he propped himself up with an elbow clutching the side of the bed looking at her as she fondled her breasts talking to herself. “This isn’t good, too soon”, but she moved quickly tumbling onto him. Perfect aim. His protest faded as she moved. He reached for her breast but his arms were too wobbly besides she didn’t want him to have the advantage of pushing her away. As if. She reached feeling him as she moved, he groaned eyes tearing letting his arms fall limp. She tightened her thighs holding him in place to ride the tide, waves reaching up then crashing digging deep, deep, and deeper again until it was time. She deliberately slammed, ground, around, around, slammed, ground, slammed, ground, over and over and over. She stopped. He tried to open his eyes but they rolled back in his head. “Goodnight sweet prince” she said patting him on the cheek, the one on his face.
He woke to the smells of cooking. His testicles…”
No, I don’t want to write that.
“He woke to the smells of cooking. Finding himself on the floor he turned toward the window to see the sun setting. Pulling himself up he staggered to the shower. He made it to the kitchen doorway and watched her breeze around full of life, full of energy. “Thank God” he thought, “I don’t think I could go another round.” “Feel like a movie” she asked as she danced passed him on the way to the fridge. Grabbing the white wine she filled his glass. “Sounds good to me” he smiled. “Have a nice nap?” A thrill pierced him as if he’d been shot with an arrow.”
As I wrote I felt a little twinge of excitement myself. Am I not dead yet or is it so even in death? I sat back to read everything over. Seems I’ve still got passion either way. If I’m not dead yet then where am I? Writing is at least a distraction from my peeling skin. Peeling skin… Where would I be for this to happen? Should I be somehow giving the living a clue? Like the movies should I be wrapping up unfinished business? Maybe a bus is going to pull up honking and the bus driver will say, “OK, it’s time. Did you get everything done you wanted to?” That’d be enough to startle the hell out of you. Instead of shopping maybe I should look around. Maybe I’ll remember something.
I waited until daylight.
As I was about to go out the door someone came in. That was a first. Two young boys stood in the foyer.
“I know she’s not dead. You can feel like someone’s living here. Doesn’t it feel like someone is standing right next to you?” As a matter of fact I was.
“How many days has it been?”
“Only one but she doesn’t leave without saying something. She wasn’t home all night, all yesterday and not here now. For her that’s unusual, real unusual.”
“It’s nice your grandma’s that dependable.”
“She is! She wants to make sure I don’t worry.”
Grandma! I’m his grandma? Only one day? Why do I feel like it’s been years, and those people! Am I seeing into the future? Did they hurt me?