Out Of The Blue

Out Of The Blue
by Miles Rost

I wanted to see history, and I got more than I bargained for.

One of the biggest problems with schools in this day in age is that you can’t actually see history happen. That’s what happens when you’re being educated on a space station somewhere between Jupiter and Uranus. You can see some things happen, but they’re so miniscule that if you blink, you miss it.

It’s 2115, and I’m sitting in another boring history class. We talk about the 21st century and the 20th century, with theories about how and why everything went wrong. We hear about how our grandparents from Russia, the then United States of America, China, a united Korea, and India, all got together to start colonizing other planets. That was 2020. And in almost 95 years, we’ve been able to expand all the way out here. However, Earth went all wrong. It went sideways, and descended into madness just after people started moving to the Moon.

They never tell you when in history, the precise moment when everything went wrong for the world. They never tell you about the moment when something pinged, and the start of the fall occurred.

That’s why I decided to do something about it. Brilliant little me decided to create the first watch to warp the space-time continuum, to go back and observe periods of time. I don’t know what people are taught, but time isn’t as ball-shaped or timey wimey as people think.

It was October 9th, 2115 when I made the first jump. I programmed it into an important period of time in the 21st century. However, to quote an ancestral singer named Phil Collins, “something happened on the way to Heaven.” It took me farther than I cared to go, and it took me to a scene that I never wanted to see or go to.

I materialized at Park Pier 40, in New York City. It was a beautiful sight, a clear day that I can very much remember. I looked at my watch to see where I ended up.

8:45AM, Tuesday, September 11th, 2001.

I looked up at the sky, to the south, and I heard the great engines of what my teachers called an airplane. Before my eyes, within a minute, I saw the plane slam into a building.

I remember seeing this in news-snippets that they’d show us in class, but I really didn’t understand the impact until I could see it for myself. What I saw shocked me to the core, as seeing it in person is much more sense-based. I stood there for an hour, watching the second plane fly into the other tower, and both of them collapsing.

I suspected, however, that there was more to the story than a terrorist attack. That the reason for Earth’s complete breakdown of civilization was not held in the three buildings and 4 planes that were used to kill thousands of people and start a major factional divide between spheres of influence.

I was about to program my way back home, when I noticed a weird light on my watch. I looked, and before I could press anything, the whole entire landscape that I saw warped around me and twisted into a sort of vertigous mess of colors. I blacked out, as my mind just couldn’t process all the stuff going through it. I woke up sitting in a park, in a very green city, looking at people milling around. It wasn’t New York, I could tell you that much.

I walked around for a few minutes, to get my bearings and see if I could find a newspaper or something with a date on it. As luck would have it, I found what they called a newspaper kiosk at the corner of the park. I walked up and looked at the main newspaper. I apparently landed in Seattle, Washington, on November 25th, 1991. The paper, something once referred to as the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, had for a sideline “Seattle’s Nirvana breaks top 10.”

I mused to myself that a musical band or event would like not be what ends up breaking the Earth 40 years in the future. Still, I looked at the people. Unlike 2001, the people in 1991 were a little jumpy but not really like the 2001 folks. They seemed to have a lot more hope in their eyes, though it seemed like there was a little fade. So, I spent the next 4 hours watching people and enjoying real Earth foods. Coffee was something I liked, but to actually have it brewed right there was a feat of awesomeness that I don’t think I could ever believe.

After the four hours were up, I was walking around when I heard a beep from my watch. I looked down and it was glowing red again. Uh-oh, I guess that coffee was going to come up after all. Again, a major vertigous spin occurred and I felt like a cat inside a washing machine. Until I landed, face first, onto a concrete sidewalk.

I looked up and I noticed that everything was clean. Really clean. The cars were very weird looking, they actually had a boxy definition and were very distinctive. I looked around, and recognized a landmark from where I was standing. I recognized the bright white of the Coit Tower in the distance, realizing that I was in San Francisco.

I looked around the area, and saw a newspaper that was rolled up in front of a storefront. It looked to be around 9AM or so, on a bright day, and so I decided to take a peek. The date landed me on April 17, 1946.

Wait. 1946?!?!

Nothing happened at ALL on this date. I scrambled around the area, looking for some indication that something big was going to happen. I passed a bookstore along the way down the street, but something inside told me to stop. It told me to stop and go back. I went back to take a look at the bookstore I had passed, as my gut was saying “You wanna know? Here ya go.” I looked all throughout the entire window display that was up and I saw a book, seemingly innocent and just sitting there. A small card underneath said “The latest for the home, to take care of the family.”

After I saw the title of the book, everything suddenly clicked. The start of the decline of Earth’s civilization didn’t start with a terrorist attack, or a musical interlude. It started with 4 words and 1 name:

It was called “Baby and Child Care”. The author was Dr. Benjamin Spock.

I looked at my watch, after it made a slightly different sound. This time, it glowed green. I knew that my adventure would come to an end, and the answers that I found were going to be unbelievable. However, I happen to think that I will finally be able to get an A on my history paper, and make some people question everything they know.

I just pray that I don’t get stuck somewhere on the way back.

If A Tree Falls – Friday Fictioneers

Don’t forget, everyone, to please go to my last story, Emerald Grace,  and take a look. It’s been a while since the last “big” non-fictioneers story, and there it is. There will be more on the way, now that some things have cleared up. But, until then, here’s the latest fictioneers piece:

 

copyright Madison Woods

If A Tree Falls

Somebody once said the old majestic tree in the park, the one with a skull in it, was not put there by accident.

It’s been said that the tree quickly grew up, enveloping a random goat that happened to try to gnaw on the sapling.

It’s been said that anyone who has harmed the tree, from the random piece of bark falling to a child climbing up it, has gone missing.

And here I am, a simple city worker, tasked with cutting down this tree because it’s supposedly rotting from the inside out.

Screw it, I’m gonna get a beer. They can fire me.

Emerald Grace

Emerald Grace
(aka The Ice Maid’s Change)
by Miles Rost

As night fell, Amy looked into the small bonfire that her friends had set up for the night. She was alone, sitting by herself in awe of the fire. Sayaka and Chieri were off gathering up wood, while Yumi and Michiko were off getting marshmallows and chocolate from a nearby roadside shop.

I don’t understand. Everything I know about life and existence is in my head, but why is my heart feeling empty? She asked herself.

Second by second passed, and as Amy’s clothes absorbed the smoke of the bonfire, Amy pulled out speakers and her iPod from her backpack. After setting her speakers up, she moved her iPod to a song…a medium-paced celtic song that Michiko gave to her called “Emerald Grace.”

She sat for a few seconds, as the first vocal strains of the song started to play, and a thought immediately came to her mind.

Dance.

She looked around for a few seconds more, and the thought came back to her.

Dance.

Only 20 seconds passed before Amy stood up. She looked at the circle around the fire, a ring that was able to hold two people side by side, and looked upward. As the second refrain started, the accompanying sound of cymbals and triangles joined in, and Amy started to sway. She closed her eyes and just let herself go in thought as she swayed to the music.

What good is knowledge without a root to be grounded in? She asked herself, calling up her memories, I used to be grounded in family, and in life. She looked at herself in her memory, and remembered a time a few years ago when she used to dance.

Amy, make sure to let yourself move with the music, her dance instructor told her You have God’s grace, just let the music be your worship.

Amy looked on this memory and smiled.

She was right. I had been fighting against God for so long, I didn’t understand what He was giving me, she thought.

After a few seconds, a flute joined in, and Amy started to move around the fire in a counter-clockwise circle. She moved her hands upward, her arms following, in a smooth motion. Her hands, upon reaching the apex, moved downwards toward her chest, and outward in a T. She twirled and smiled as she danced to the flute and the triangle, getting into the movement and remembering the fun she used to have dancing.

The vocal strains came back for a third time, and as the voices sang, Amy lifted her hands up and continued dancing. As the voices died out, and the drums introduced what Amy called the “Base Plain” of the song, Amy started her prayer in dance.

Father, I understand now what you have been telling me, she thought, The knowledge that I have is a gift, and it needs to be used for you. You have given me a view of my life that I never would have seen with my own devices.

Amy knew that she had a choice to make. To continue the dance of life that she was dancing, or to walk from it. This would be the point of no return for her, and as the drumbeat descended, Amy made her choice.

Iesu, our Father sent you to give me life, a free gift. I have fought you before, but I will no longer fight against you. I love you, Lord, and I ask of you to enter my heart and enter my life. My life is yours, so I ask for you guidance.

The drums ended, and the haunting vocals came back for a fourth and final time. Amy moved her arms to the voices, while her legs stood still. As soon as the drums started, she went back to movement, praying along with.

I am The Ice Maid. I am Amy Kuruyama. And I am your child, Father. Lay your hands on me now as I pray this in Christ’s holy name.

As the final notes of the song played, she went down to her knees and the finals word of her prayer escaped her lips.

“Amen”.

At that moment, the bonfire roared and Amy jumped backwards, falling backwards over a log. She fell with a thud, but as she sat up, she felt alright. And she was laughing.

“I bet you anything, Amy,” a voice cried out from the other side of the fire, “that you would not noticed me while you were dancing.”

Amy quickly stood up, nervous and embarrased and looked across the fire. She eased as she saw that it was Sayaka.

“You dance well. Very well. Apparently, there are still some things that we do not know about you…”

Amy just blushed as she quickly sat down, turning off her iPod.

“You don’t have to hide it, Amy. We are friends, and fighters.”

Amy looked up with a smile, when she opened her mouth.

“And now, we’re sisters.”

Sayaka immediately shot her head up from the ground and looked straight into Amy’s eyes.

“You mean…that…”

“Was a dance of prayer. He found me, and I said yes.”

Sayaka squealed in happiness, and gave Amy a big hug.

“This is so unbelievable. It’s like God is putting everything into place.”

 

Broken Stairway – Friday Fictioneers

I’m having a bit of a tough day today, my normal storywriting process has been interrupted. Here’s my contribution to Fictioneers. 

 

copyright Mary Shipman

Broken Stairway

“I cannot believe it,” Harvey said, glumly.

“I know, I didn’t expect it to happen either,” Harvey’s wife, Marina, replied. She was still in shock.

Harvey sat on a stair in the house of his childhood, a house destroyed by a tornado.

“Dad told me that the weather wasn’t going to come this way. He’s a weatherman, he should have known!”

Marina gave him a squeeze on his knee.

“Your dad is human, he didn’t betray you. Tornadoes are erratic, they’ll destroy things not even close by if they so choose.”

“Doesn’t change anything. I feel betrayed, my life is basically over.”

Marina just shook her head, as she walked up the stairs to the now open building.

An Unusual Request – Friday Fictioneers

Here’s another fictioneers entry. Make sure to read my other stories from the week!

copyright Ted Strutz

An Unusual Request

“Good morning, Doctor Cavanaugh!” Harvey chimed, as he walked into the dentist’s office.

“Ah, Harvey! How’s the catching going out there?”

“I think we’re doing alright. Got 5 in one night. Most of them were flailing around.”

“Good. What can I help you with?”

“Well, I am needing some help with something. I need a crown removed. In fact, I need a few of them removed.”

“Oh really? Well, sit in the chair and we’ll take a look at you.”

“Uh…it’s not me. It’s this guy…”

Harvey pulled in a man with three gold teeth, on his hook.

The doctor grinned with sharp razor teeth, as he brushed his gray skin.

“Oh! THAT kind of work! Right away!”

Living A Boy’s Adventure Tale

Living A Boy’s Adventure Tale
by Miles Rost

“It’s coming! It’s coming in! Mama, look! It’s huuuuuge!”

Peter Brislin couldn’t contain his excitement at seeing the beautiful new plane that was pulling off to the side of the terminal. The young 8-year old was so excited to see the brand new DC-10.

“Ain’t that a sight, Petey? Big ol’ plane for my big ol’ boy,” his mother said, grinning all the while.

“Is that what I will be flying on today, Mama?”

“Yes, you’ll be flying on that type of plane. You’ll be going to places that you would have never dreamed of while here.”

Peter looked on with excitement, holding his suitcase with his clothes and toys.

“Will you be going with me, Mama?”

“You’re going ahead of me. I will be on a later flight, as I have to finish things here.”

Peter looked up at his mom and smiled.

“I can’t believe I get to go on that plane!”

After waiting for another hour for their plane to pull up close to the terminal gate, the big DC-10 with the large Northwest Orient Airlines banner across the top.

Peter’s mom walked with her son out to the stairs and slowly helped him up the stairs. After they reached the top, she waited next to one of the stewardesses. Peter waved at his mom as he was led to his seat by another stewardess. He buckled in, and his mom smiled a sad smile as the other people filed through the plane.

“Your son is traveling alone today?” the stewardess asked her.

“Yeah, I’m sending him to his uncle and aunt in Portland.”

“You’re not going with him.”

“He’s going to a…a better home. I can’t provide for him here.”

The stewardess looked at her, and noticed the small bruises on her face, covered by a large floppy hat on her head.

“I understand. I wish you could go with him.”

“I wish I could too. I just can’t, not when I have another little girl to protect from the man I married.”

The mother gave a brown paper envelope to the stewardess.

“There’s a note on the front. That’s for the head stewardess. It tells her what needs to happen, and how he needs to get led to where his aunt and uncle will pick him up at the terminal. It also has important papers that they need to have. Guardianship papers.”

The stewardess took the envelope and put it under her arm.

“I’ll do my best to make sure he gets to his destination safely. I’ll even check with the pilot to see if we can do something special for him.”

The women bantered for a few minutes, solemnly. Once all the passengers were on board, the time came to seal up the plane and get ready for takeoff. His mother walked down the stairs and stood far off to the side, looking for her son in the plane. She saw a small hand waving on the plane, and she waved back, tears now flowing down her face.

It would be the last time she would see him.

On the plane, Peter smiled as the plane started taxiing to the end of the runway. The stewardess that talked to his mother came up to him and smiled.

“You must be Peter.”

“Yes. Mom told me I’m not supposed to talk to strangers. But you’re helping me, and you’re nice, so you’re not a stranger.”

She chuckled at Peter’s insistant declaration.

“Well, Peter, my name is Tanya. I will be helping you and the other people in this plane, and if you need anything at all, let me know by pressing this button over here.”

“Could I have a soda?”

“After we take off, I’ll get you what you want. We’ll get you to Portland safely, too.”

“Okay! Thanks Miss Tanya!”

The stewardess smiled, but as she left Peter’s seat, her face betrayed a sadness that no one else could see. The brown package that she had under her arm was now placed in a secure spot on her seat. She would help get Peter where he needed to go.

Don’t Answer Me

Don’t Answer Me
by Miles Rost

The screech of a car horn right outside the window barely made Daisy flinch.

In the small ground level apartment, she sat on a bed. With her arms around her legs, she sighed with hesitation. She didn’t look up from her pajama-covered legs, focusing only on all the feelings she held inside of her.

All of the feelings she had bubbled up from the reserves that were stuck in her system over the last week. Combine that with a combination of heat, losing people she loved, and a new job that was incredibly laborious, the cocktail of stress caused her to break.

She pulled her legs closer, feeling the weight of her loneliness and isolation. She wanted to go and meet people, but she was in an isolated area of the city, far from the other people like her. The feeling made her turn inward, thinking of what she lost when she left her old location.

As her long, apple-colored hair touched her knees, she saw her cell phone light up on the counter. The telltale sound of her ringtone chimed through the largely empty apartment.

Don’t answer me
Don’t break the silence, Don’t let me win
Don’t answer me
Stay on your island, Don’t let me in
Run away and hide from everyone
Can you change the things we’ve said and done…

It repeated, one of her favorite songs suddenly turning into her biggest tormentor. She felt a tear fall down her face as the words hit her hard. One right after another, like the start of a waterfall as winter becomes spring. She let it ring, as she felt those emotions build up even more with each tear that fell.

The phone rang again, the same lyrics resounding around her head.

Shut up! Shut up! SHUT UP!, she cried in her head, trying to block out the sound. Finally, after the third time the phone rang, she picked it up.

“Hello?” she said, stifling a sniffle.

“Hey! Daisy! It’s Barb. You okay, child?” her friend Barb replied. A southern belle through and through, and her genteel nature was one of the reasons her and Daisy were able to be good friends.

“I’m living.”

“And I can tell that you’re not doing very well. Your sadness is showing. Care to have a friend to talk to here?”

It was no use. Daisy couldn’t hold it in any longer. Through wracked sobs and screams, she relayed everything she felt at that time. She laid out all the fear, the feelings of isolation, the disappointment, and all of the other feelings. For 30 long minutes, she talked to her, putting it out there for one of her long-time friends.

After a few moments of silence and breathing, Daisy gave a long sigh.

“Felt good to get that out, didn’t it, child?”

“Yeah, it felt good. I just don’t have people down here to deal with, that would share experiences with me.”

“Aw, sugah, do you remember when you met me? Remember how you thought I was a bit weird cause I was from the south?”

Daisy put her palm to her forehead, as she remembered the first thing she said to Barb.

“Anyhow, child, remember something. No matter how far we may be from each other, you can always talk to me. And don’t forget your other friends back here, too. The pastor, Jimmy, and even Pele the gardener are always here to talk with ya.”

Daisy smiled, the first smile she had shown to people in a week. As she kept talking, the tears of pain and sadness, hurt and all other feelings, turned to happiness, relief, and joy. She was very thankful for her friend, and she was incredibly grateful that she was there…even if she was going to be going home soon.

(for David Stewart, one of my great friends who has helped me on one of the biggest transitions I’ve had to deal with. Ever.)