Monday, November 14, 2011

A Taste

Well hell! Another week in the books, and what a week it's been! School work has slowed down a little, and next week is gonna be the holiday break! Whiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii! Creatively, I'm buzzing with all kinds of ideas. Since working on a dark, angry novel in House in the Hills, I have been writing teasers for future stories. It's also been a pretty good week for writing little bits of writing that aren't necessarily stories. Too much of darkness can get anyone down. It's always nice to have a counter balance.

So, I took some time to write a teaser of a fantasy concept that I plan to write sooner rather than later. However, I probably won't get to it until after I'm done with some of my others projects. I suppose this teaser was just as much for me as it was for anyone else. It allows me to keep working on what I'm doing. Anyway, below is the teaser (with a cool title if I might add), and I hope you peeps like it!


The Gift of Infinity

“Winter hides the dead just like summer ends too soon. Springing forth with the new knowing autumn is the tomb. And I will wait for you. Living hides the dead just like suns, and earth, and moon. Waiting for the new knowing flowers need to bloom. And I will wait for you.”

“He just seems like a stranger anymore,” Kathy Brooker said to the therapist, Frank Kirkland. He wore a brown vest over a collared white shirt, a black tie tucked into the vest. Black, thick horn rimmed glasses covered his hazel eyes and his black hair was combed back. He nodded as he looked over to Daniel. The boy sat in a chair away from the other kids who were playing with the cheap toys left in the lobby. His head swiveled like a bobble-head doll and his eyes looked distant. Kathy looked at her son with a frown on her face. She bunched the knitted scarf around her neck, the knuckles of her hands bulging. Her brown eyes were partially concealed by her dark brown wavy hair. She turned back to the therapist.
            “Won’t you see what’s wrong with him?” she asked. Kirkland looked at her with small bewilderment.
            “Ma’am, your son has autism, that doesn’t mean there is something wrong with him.”
            She frowned again, the lines around her mouth doubling. “That’s not what I mean. There’s something else about him. After he had his epileptic fit, I could still see my boy in there, but now, he’s different…” Kirkland opened the manila folder of hospital information Kathy had given him.
            “That’s what caused the brain damage that made him the way he is now correct?” he asked, adjusting his glasses.
            “Yes,” she said, and looked at Daniel again. His head had stopped bobbing. Now it was off to the side as he stared at the dots in the carpet. Kirkland watched Kathy as she studied her son. He produced a pen and notepad from his khaki pants and jotted down a note.
            Potential disconnection between mother and son.
            He replaced the pad and pen before Kathy returned her gaze to him.
            “Can you help him?” she asked.
            Kirkland gave a slight nod. “Let me have a talk with him.”

            Kirkland’s office was spacious and roomy. Clad with gentle amber lighting that cast orange luminescence against the wood walls. Windows lined the south wall with dark red curtains that had been draped over them, in front sat a large cherry desk with a fat cushioned chair. But it was unoccupied as Kirkland sat down in his black recliner and Daniel sat across from him. His little legs hung in the air, his eyes on the floor. The room was quiet save for a clock ticking on the north wall. Kirkland took out his notepad and pen then looked at Daniel who sat with his hand held up by his face, his index finger slightly stuck out. Kirkland watched as Daniel eyes shifted about, his finger tapping the air.
            “Hello Daniel,” Kirkland began. Daniel didn’t respond. Kirkland watched him for a moment longer then looked to the brown striped carpet. “What are you doing?”
            “Counting,” Daniel said.
            “What are you counting?”
            “The stripes…” Kirkland looked to the floor again, then Daniel.
            “I can’t imagine there are many to count.”
            “Each stripe has stripe crossing,” he said, moving his hand away from his face, making it flat as if he was about to chop something. “Darker, thinner, stripes crossing others.” Daniel never broke his sight from the floor. Kirkland didn’t look, knowing he was right. He wrote in his notepad.
            Excellent visual acuity, likes to count.
            When he looked up, Daniel was looking at the wall behind him. Kirkland raised his eyebrows. “I’m Dr. Frank Kirkland, but you can call me Frank if you like. Your mother has requested that you speak with me for a little while. Are you okay with this?”
            Daniel’s head swiveled, eyes wandering. “Suppose, don’t have choice though did I?”
            Kirkland cocked his head at the question. “Why would you say that?”
            “Mommy don’t love me no more.”
            “That must be very frustrating.”
            Daniel gave a nonchalant shrug. His eyes continued to wander the room. “You have many things to count.”
            “Do you like to count?”
            Daniel nodded.
            “Why do you count?”
            Daniel shrugged again. “Didn’t until last year.”
            “What happened last year Daniel?”
            The boy’s head stopped moving and faced the floor again, cocked to the side. His eyes stared and didn’t move. The room was blanketed in silence. Kirkland scribbled in his notepad.
            Possibly unresponsive to certain questions pertaining to incident. Apprehensive?
            Just as Kirkland was going to write more, Daniel spoke.
            “Liked climb trees.”
            Kirkland looked up. “Do you?”
            Daniel shook his head. “Liked,” he repeated. “I fell.”
            “Is that when you started counting?”
            Daniel shook his head.
            “When did you?”
            Daniel was quiet for a long time, his eyesight dead set on the carpet. Kirkland thought he could burn a hole through it if he wanted.
            “I had dream,” Daniel finally said in a quiet voice.
            Kirkland scribbled in his notebook. “You dream?”
            Daniel nodded emphatically, legs swinging with him.
            “What did you dream?”
            “I saw sun, smelled water, felt grass in toes, liked it.”
            Kirkland furrowed his eyebrows, unsure what to say, so he waited.
            “Sky blue, white cotton floated. I heard them. They flew.”
            Kirkland scribbled more in his notepad.
            “Powerful they are, like great positive.”
            “Positive?” Kirkland asked.
            Daniel pinched his eyes shut for a moment. “Good,” he said, and opened his eyes.
            Kirkland set the pen down. “Does it hurt to carry a conversation?”
            Daniel shook his head. “Words can’t find, can be hard to…” He gestured his hands in a circular motion as he tried to think.
            Kirkland lent a hand. “Think of the right words?”
            Daniel nodded. Kirkland leaned forward.
            “Tell me Daniel, in your dream, who are they?”
            The boy raised his head and looked to the ceiling. “The Mighty.”
            “Who are The Mighty?”
            “What do they protect?”
            Daniel pinched his eyes shut and tried to think. Kirkland waited until the boy’s face slowly turned red.
            “Relax, Daniel, relax, you don’t have to answer.”
            “No…no…no!” Daniel shouted and stood. He walked behind the chair, head cocked to the side, and paced back and forth. Kirkland watched him. Daniel walked in a small circle, mumbling quickly to himself.
            “Daniel,” Kirkland said. The boy continued to mumble incoherently. “Daniel,” Kirkland tried again but the child didn’t respond. Kirkland set his notepad on the table next to the table and began to stand.
            “Land!” Daniel shouted, pointing his finger at the therapist.
            Kirkland froze, half standing, then slowly sat back down.
            “What land?” Kirkland asked.
            “Land,” Daniel said. “I dreamed of land.”
            “Where the sky was blue?”
            Daniel nodded. “Always blue.”
            “These…Mighty, do they—”
            “The Mighty.” Daniel corrected, standing behind the chair and staring down.
            “The Mighty, they occupy the sky?”
            Daniel furrowed his eyebrows in confusion.
            “They fly?”
            The boy nodded.
            “You started counting after your dream?”
            “Yes,” Daniel said, and looked to the wall behind Kirkland. “They help count.”
            “The Mighty?”
            Daniel nodded.
            “Do you see them often?”
            Daniel nodded. Kirkland grabbed his notepad and scribbled in it.
            Possibly disconnected from reality.
            “Do you see them here?” Kirkland asked.
            Daniel furrowed his eyebrows, and walked around the chair and sat down. “Not here, don’t live here, live in land.”
            “The land you dream?”
            Daniel nodded. Kirkland leaned back in his chair and rubbed his smooth chin. He listened to the ticking of the clock.
            “How often do you go to this land, Daniel?”
            “Everyday,” he said.
            “Have you gone today?”
            Daniel frowned and shook his head from side to side. “Mommy don’t like me spending time in room. She say not healthy. Haven’t gone today.”
            “Do you plan to?”
            Daniel didn’t respond. Once again, they sat in silence. Kirkland let his mind process what he had been told. He set the notepad on the table with the pen on top and leaned forward.
            “I want to play a game Daniel. Do you like games?”
            Daniel nodded.
            “Can you tell me about the land you visit?”
            He shook his head.
            “Why not?”
            The boy made that same circular gesture when he couldn’t get the right words. Kirkland rubbed his chin, then adjusted his glasses.
            “Can you show me?”
            The boy looked at him. Kirkland saw they were deep blue, like wet stones. They carried a presence that made the hair on his arms stand up and a chill run down his spine. He dared not look away, but he felt a twinge of nervousness trickle through his body.
            “You want to see land?”
            Kirkland opened his mouth, closed it, thought for a moment, then nodded. “Yes.” He began to feel off, as if he was asking for something that could happen. But that couldn’t be, he was just humoring the boy. Hoping to show Daniel that the world he thought was real was make-believe. Daniel stood from the chair and approached him. Kirkland sat upright and looked at the boy as he stood before him. His blue eyes did not blink as he held out his little hand. Kirkland looked at it and then the boy.
            “Want to see?” Daniel asked.
            Kirkland nodded. Daniel nodded to his hand. Kirkland reached out his hands to realize they were shaking. The air inside the office suddenly felt cold, as if all the heat had been sucked out of the room. The ticking of the clock stopped. The lamp lights on the walls flickered. Kirkland stopped and observed this. He looked back to the boy, unsure. The boy didn’t move or blink, he stood waiting. Kirkland took the boy’s hand.
            He felt pressure through his mid section and let out a cry of pain. But it was brief as he noticed his surroundings were bending, curving inward, the fabric of reality tearing. The cold air melted as heat flushed over his body. The scent of flowers floated to his nostrils and a warm breeze blew over his face. The world he knew as his office disappeared in a sea of blue, green, and brown. Sparkles glittered in his vision like electrical sparks and he closed his eyes. Loud popping, like fireworks, filled his ears.
            “Daniel!” Kirkland called. But the popping was too loud. Then it stopped. Chirping filled his ears; a scent of some of the freshest air he had ever smelled entered his nose. Light beamed his closed eyes, and he slowly opened them. The sun hung high in the sky, tall grass with flowers blooming stood around his polished shoes. His mouth dropped open as he beheld the sight before him. His glasses adjusted to the sunlight, transitioning to sunglasses. Bugs buzzed before him, the air was soothingly warm. The breeze was so gentle it kissed his face like a lover.
            He stood on a grassy cliff. The sky was a pretty deep blue. A planet tilted to its side with rings surrounding it was visible in the haze of the blue heavens. Below was a giant valley filled with trees that seemed to go on forever. Few clouds rolled by below, casting shadows over the tree tops. A long running river divided the trees and ran into a massive body of water that went to the left and into the valley walls. He saw something flying in the distance. It was small, and hardly noticeable. At first he thought it was a bird. But an echoed call traveled to his ears and he furrowed his eyebrows. It sounded like a whale singing.
            “That’s them,” Daniel said. Kirkland jumped at his voice with a small scream. Daniel looked at him funny then pointed to the small black figure in the far distance. “Do you see it?”
            Kirkland looked at the boy for a moment, noticing something different about him, but unable to put a finger on it. He looked back to the massive valley.
“Yes,” he said. “I see it.”
“That’s one of The Mighty.”
“A protector?” Kirkland asked.
“Actually, they are guardians. They watch over the land. They’re the law keepers, making sure evil stays out and all the villagers are safe.”
            Kirkland slowly turned to the boy and stared. Daniel looked back at him.
            “You, you’re…you’re…”
            “Not handicapped?”
            Kirkland’s mouth hung wide open. He turned to the valley. “This? You made this up?”
            “No,” Daniel said. “I just see it. Then I’m here. It didn’t happen until I hit my head falling out of the tree.”
            “B-b-b-but, you’re autistic,” Kirkland said in a feeble voice.
            “Not here,” he said.
            Kirkland fell to his knees. It was too much, too much to process. He dropped his hands into the lush grass. It was extremely soft, like a freshly washed blanket. He shook his head. He heard the distant call of The Mighty carry to his ears by the calm breeze.
            “This is where I go,” Daniel said. “It’s where I forget the problems of the world I reside, and live in harmony with the villagers here.”
            Kirkland felt as if he could pass out. A gray butterfly danced in his vision, and began flapping its wings. He slapped himself hard across the face. Daniel looked at him.
            “You okay?”
            “Oh, just peachy,” Kirkland replied.
            “Do you want to meet the villagers?”
            Kirkland looked at Daniel and nodded without even knowing how he did. Daniel looked over the valley and the flying figure singing in the distance. He placed his thumb and forefinger in his mouth and let out a long, shrilling whistle. Kirkland winced at the sound. When Daniel stopped, and waited, Kirkland heard a call come back. The therapist raised his head. The flying figure was growing larger as it approached them.
            “What did you do?” He asked the boy.
            “I called him over,” Daniel said with a smile. He gestured to the flying figure coming towards them.
            “The Mighty?”
            Daniel nodded.
            “What are they?”
            “I already to—”
            “No, no. What do The Mighty look like?”
            Daniel smiled, and looked at the approaching figure. Kirkland looked too. The wingspan was massive, at least fifty feet. Its body was thick, the underbelly white while the skin was light blue. Its tail whipped and lashed about in the open air. Its neck was long, spikes lining the back. Two massive horns curved from its head like a ram’s. It let out a roar that shook the ground. Kirkland began to cry in astonishment. This couldn’t be real. This was all a dream. He was sleeping in bed with his wife snuggled next to him. Because only in dreams and children’s books did dragons exist…

1 comment:

  1. Good writing. I like the detail you put into the environment of both the office and the dream world or whatever it might be.