Walking Dreams

So, I’ve been slacking a little on the blog.  My goal has been to post something once a week and I’ve already blown that by two weeks.  What can I say?  It’s been busy lately.  I haven’t written as much as I should have either, but I haven’t been totally unproductive.  I’ve been adding small pieces to both the novels I’ve been working on and even started a new short story.

I’ll take what I can get.

To make up for my absence I put together a little story for your perusal.  It is composed of 1/3 memory and 2/3 story.  A few of the lines below are direct quotes that have been said to me.  It is a story for the dreamers, those that often fall in a glorious momentary lapse where we check out, but are far from lost.

Walking dreams  

          The heavens shook and crackled as the heavy wedge of a metal and death streaked scarlet light through the inky black.  Smaller scrappier spacecraft weaved and dodged through the deadly rain of lasers and peppered it with blasts of their own.  The daring star pilots, their jaws set in grim determination to destroy the war machine before it takes over the entire galaxy.  In one of the dagger shaped fighters was a young man, so full of promise, was destined to save the day.  But all he could do at the moment was concentrate on the swarm of smaller ships the massive destroyer vomited out.

            Each time his thumb hit the button another one of this enemies disappeared in a quick and bright ball of fire.  Making a quick dive to narrowly evade a flurry of lasers, he swung up and aimed for the underbelly of the giant ship.  All he needed was a series of carefully placed shots and he could free the galaxy from tyranny.  He used on his focus and readies to make his shot….

            “Ricky?  Ricky, lunch is ready.” His mom called from the front door.  “What are you doing out here just staring at the sky?”  Ricky looked back up and instead of the black of space, he saw the flawless azure spring afternoon.

            “Nothing.” He said and stood up to get his lunch. 

            “You are the only eight year old. Who rushes outside just to sit on the front step to look up,” she said affectionately.  As he sat to eat his hotdogs cut length-wise, he was back in the mess hall of the battle ship. Their mission completed and the destroyer obliterated.  But their task was far from over, there were bases and stations littered across various star systems that still housed the evil.

            “I wish I knew where you went off too,” he vaguely heard his mother say. 

___

            Just beyond the dense tree line branches snapped. disturbing the tranquil peace of the forest. An unnerving calm settled amongst the trees as the sound of a horse’s hooves stamped at the underbrush.  The knight-errant patted the horse on its powerful neck to calm it down.  He too was unnerved.  He had chased the evil wizard into these woods but lost him.  There was no choice but to go deeper and deeper in as the sorcerers lair was somewhere close by.  The princess didn’t have much longer before the twisted old man would finish his spell on her, cursing her and the entire kingdom.

          He heard a noise and spun around just in time to see a ball of fire streak towards him.  He had just enough time to raise the battered old shield that was once his father’s.  Jumping off  his horse, he had just enough time to pull out his sword before ducking another fire ball.  Through the trees he could see the gnarled old man.  Quickly he gave chase…..

            “It’s time for class, Rick.” A pretty faced teenager came into his view.  He blinked and the forest had receded to a small copse just beyond the high school campus.  “Did you understand any of the homework for English?”

            “Yeah, kinda.” He answered.

            “Where were you?  You were staring off into nothing,” She asked.

            “Nowhere.”

            “You seem to be nowhere a lot.”

____   

­­­

              The deafening boom shook everything around him.  Looking up he could see the sky begin to darken.  The heavens opened up to reveal the giant meteor as it streaked towards them.  The tail of fire scarred the blue sky.  It was no mistaking where ground zero was going to be; the very place he stood.  Without a second thought he crouched down and in one power leap he streaked towards the flaming doom.  A small wide-eyed boy watched from below as the man sped upwards.

              Within moments he reached it and searched for a place to grab a hold.  If he could guide it towards the ocean, then it could continue its deadly path and harm no one.  Time was of the essence, the amazing speed it was coming down made every second count.  Straining he….

             “Dad?  What are you looking at?”  The wide-eyed boy was now a slightly bemused one that tugged at his sleeve. 

             “Nothing.  Just lost in thought.” He said.  His son just shrugged and trotted off into the house.

            “It’s really unnerving, you know.” His wife said walking up to him.  “It’s like you just check out. Sometime I look in your eyes and no one home.”

            “I’m just lost in thought, that’s all.” He said trying to dismiss it.

            “Then what were you just thinking about?” 

            “Nothing much.”

            “You say that every time.  ‘Lost in thought’ or ‘I’m not thinking about anything’ is all you ever say.  Sometimes I wonder if there is anything in your head at all when you just stare out like that.” As she followed their son into the house, he wasn’t lost on the hint of concern in her voice.

            “Maybe you’re having mini seizures, Rick.” she turned to say.  He just rolled his eyes playfully and followed his family in.

____

            The old man sat in his wheelchair staring out the window.  His gaze was as far away as one person who has lived a lifetime can get.  To his side were two other old men carefully laying out dominoes.  The wheezes of oxygen lines and the creaks of canes and old bones were  lost on him as he continued to unwaveringly be untouched by it all. 

            A nurse was slowly walking towards him, to her side was a young volunteer.  He listened intently as the nurse told him a little bit about each person.  They stopped just short of his wheelchair. 

            “You said that some of the residents here aren’t very responsive.  Is he one?”  the volunteer peered at him. 

            “Not at all.  He’s just a little hard of hearing.” The nurse leaned forward, “Rick!  We have a new volunteer.”

            The man turned around and said kindly. “Hello there.  Always nice to see a fresh face.”  The volunteer smiled and blushed slightly at his mistake.  “Be careful of this one, she’s a taskmaster.” He jerked a thumb at the nurse and winked.  He turned back to the window, his gaze faraway again. 

            “I wonder what he’s thinking.” the volunteer asked as they walked off.

            “Probably memories,” the nurse offered.  Behind the old man’s eyes were memories, but there were also battles, heroes triumphant, heartbreak, galaxy shattering romances, and a million other stories.

                                                                                                                                                        -MRC

Remember kids: stay in school, don’t drink and drive, and watch out where the huskies go and don’t you eat that yellow snow.

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