Category Archives: fictionation

Hollow World

Sunrise on the highest leaves. Grass, lush and growing, waving in the early morning air. New life sprouting from the soil, reaching for the heavens. An unexplored wilderness to map and conquer, to discover. A million different plants taking root, colors flashing in the sky, and opportunity sailing on the breeze.

All this, and no one to share it with.

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Welcome to the Green House

There’s a rose in the pathway this morning, pink velvet sparkling in sunshine under indigo sky. There’s a whole crowd of them, singing together, dark leaves shadowing dainty petals.

The shade is cool, almost frosty. Breath puffs from people and chimneys, floating silently to heaven, untouched by any breeze. The first leaves of red fire tap-tap-tap, blown across the pavement with dozens of siblings, finally touching down after drinking sunlight all summer long.

There’s a chill in the air.

Pedestrians walk by, looking through windows from well-kept pathways. One building has plants in each frame, every story. Long leaves, broad, wide, tall, every color, every shape, as unique as human beings. Gardeners in the greenhouse, watering with care. It must be warm in there. Uncomfortably warm. No fresh air. Only a lush, humid jungle, miles north of the equator.

Most folks take a glance and walk on by. Some tap on the windows, let themselves in, and someday wear a gardener’s hat of their own. Someday they’ll be looking out at a world of crystal ice from their patch of Amazon soil, hear a knock on the glass, and open the door.

Lonely Open Country

Cool glass presses against the side of my forehead. There are so many stars out there in the North, all around us. We’re driving along a ridge between rolling hills and valleys. The land is dark. Headlights are the only artificial light I can see, ghosting off reflectors on the sides of the road. I stiffen my neck, try to change position so that my head doesn’t wallop the window. Little success, but no matter. I’m determined to watch the stars and the empty landscape pass.

It’s a chilly Autumn night, and it’s so alone out here. It feels that way after leaving the dance, but it’s a pleasant, full feeling. The dark woods and the memories of whirling skirts and smiling faces remind me of past times I never knew.

Enter the barn in the twilight, yellow Christmas lights strung up under the eaves. Farm folks and others, but mostly farm folks, have gathered from miles around to this barn in the middle of nowhere. They’re gussied up in their overalls and old-fashioned dresses. Everyone’s talking, and slowly, everyone finds a partner. That’s the hardest part. Once paired, we walk out onto the cement dance floor. It’s an open-sided barn with yesteryear’s hay still scattered around in clumps. The dancers wait for music, some patiently, some impatiently. Finally, the MC grabs the mic. The band is tuned up and ready. The music begins, and boy is it lively.

My flats slip on the concrete as I skip around the outside of the square. I nearly fall a couple times that night. Dumb shoes. It’s great fun. After a few dances my feet hurt from pounding the concrete floor, but I never sit out if I can help it. I came here to dance, and dance I shall.

Music echoes in my head on the ride home, head bumping against the glass, riding through lonely open country.

Questions

Who are you, really?

The question comes when you don’t expect it. It’s asked of every hero, every villain. And there’s always a choice.

Do you want to know who you are, really?

Some of us would rather not. Some of us would rather keep on living like we’ve been. Floating through without stopping to look.

Can you handle who you are, really?

It can’t be answered until you know. You won’t know until the first question’s been asked and you either want to know or the answer’s been forced on you. Some people avoid the question altogether.

Or at least for a while.

Stranger World

How do you prepare for the scariest thing that’s ever happened to you?

You wait. You wonder. You cry. You push it away.

You’re “fine” once you’ve pushed it away. You’re so good you hardly know you’ve done it.

Till something makes you remember, and you feel the jolt, it’s closer now. It’s gaining on you. And it’s going to catch you, no matter how fast you run.

How do you prepare to be caught?

You can think about the other side. You can think of the last time this happened to you, remember that the scariest things turn into the best things. But that doesn’t help until you’re on the flip side.

Really all you can do is know that you made the right choice. It won’t seem like the right choice. It’s going to be hard. It’s going to hurt. It’s going to be sad. And you’ll be alone.

Know you made the right choice when it’s about to catch you. Know the price you pay is directly related to the prize you glean. Know pain counts for something. Know it will be worth it, one way or another.

Welcome to the world, stranger.

Guitar Monster

It’s a monster!

Two legs, three arms, at least one head, and it’s making noise! What is that thing? We can’t tell. We don’t know. We’re running away!

Chickens are scared of guitars. They’re not too smart.

Wait, what’s that chattery sound? What’s that jar? The monster has corn! Oh! Oh! What do we do? How do we get the corn?

Chickens are crazy about corn. Even when it’s near a guitar.

Eek, run, the monster’s close! It’s opening the door! Quick, scoot out when it’s not looking. There. Wait, it’s throwing corn! GET THE CORN! This has got to be a safe distance, right? Now that it’s giving us corn…

Corn trumps guitar monster.