Sunday, November 27, 2005

Gerald was standing at the corner of Lilbeth’s office, looking over the various designs and layouts they were to use for an upcoming ad campaign when he felt a sudden urge to step towards the closest window and stare outside. The feeling came upon him quite suddenly, wrapping over him without warning like the rising of temperature, and touched him deep within. He looked up from the corner, a number of the printed layouts and color proofs sliding free from his hand by accident, and scanned the room for any possible source of where the emotions had birthed from.

“Lilbeth?’” Gerald inquired as he slowly looked around the corner office. He was not even sure what he was hoping to find as he turned his gaze across the room. It was not as if she would know why he felt the sudden urge come upon him. Not wanting to allow any of the printed paper work to find themselves under the mercy of uncaring shoes, Gerald dropped to all fours and began gathering every sheet that he had accidentally dropped. His mind was preoccupied, however, still dancing with the urge to stand up, walk towards the nearest window, and look outside.

* *

Across the street, the anger that had been brewing was surging more and more intense within Patricia. Glenda Lee was unknowingly fanning the flames to a divine retributive strike with each reprimand and scold that she directed towards her daughter, Hamz. The child was cowering and crying now, tears streaming down her face as she frustratedly struggled to convince her mother of her innocence. Her brother, Jeriel, on the other hand, contentedly continued to play with the computer game they were earlier having fun with. Her struggles seemed to be more icing on the cake as far as Jeriel’s selfish happiness was concerned.

Patricia reached into one of her pockets and reached for her cellular phone. She glanced at the time and swam deep inside her thoughts for a reason or an excuse that would allow her to pull Hamz to her side. Or to get her out of the unfair and unjust situation she was in.

Glenda Lee slapped Hamz on the buttocks once more and literally dragged her daughter from the floor towards one of the rooms. Throwing a barely meant excuse towards Patricia, Glenda Lee slid the door open and yelled at her daughter to stop crying. Patricia knew it was now or never.

* *

Back in Kantong Kuba, Carlo and Juan felt a sudden shifting in the very energies that permitted them ghosts to remain in the world. Having long been entities composed of the ethereal substance that also gave solidity to emotions and feelings, Carlo and Juan stared in mute horror as their hands and bodies began to swirl like the surface of a lake rippling from the winds of a rising storm. Both ghosts were uncertain what could cause such an experience. Fearing the worst, the two quickly made their way through the old house and sought the matron and mother who bound them as a family.

Lola Jocelyn was standing in the old abandoned section of the house where the living room once stood. Within the shadows of the ruined chamber, the matron sat before the no longer functional fireplace (one that was most likely built for mere decorative purposes rather than for any actual use) and held her hands towards the non-existent flame. Juan and Carlo looked at one another worriedly and slowly approached her; Neither knew if it would be all right to interrupt her lucidity. Neither had the courage to speak up and break the silence.

From the ashes and dust that created a small desert looking landscape within the fireplace, a small spiral of wind began to rise and grow in strength. Like a sudden gray shimmering water spout, the dust danced and rose higher and higher until it emerged from the fire place and stood before the matron’s prostrated form. Juan and Carlo, fearing the thing to be some apparition or phantom from hell or some similar purgatory, ran to their mother and brought their hands up in time with their screams, ready for battle. The matron grabbed their shoulders both and held them close as a brilliant and vibrant light surged from the form that stood before them.

“Look!” she gasped at the two as the dazzling and blinding light exploded outwards from the very humanoid seeming form before them.

* *


Gerald shot up from the ground and once again accidentally drops the sheets of paper. With the color proofs and the many storyboard sheets twirling away from him, Gerald watched in a mixed of confusion and awe as a great light exploded from the building across the street. Part of him was yelling at him to run, to find a safe place to duck behind, or (perhaps brought about by the terribly tragic events that have transpired in New York City on the eleventh day of September) to quickly leave the building and get out. But fear seemed to find less purchase to hold on to him and take him as its prisoner when Gerald’s keen vision pierced through the blinding light and saw what he last expected to see.

Within the heart of the brilliant and dazzling light, a shattered window framed the image of someone whom had been dancing in his thoughts the whole evening at work.

* *

Patricia turned to face Hamz and Glenda Lee and held her cellular phone up in her hands. She bit on her lower lip, feeling a moment of uncertainty, then dropped the device from her grasp. Glenda Lee and Hamz bought yelped in surprise, even as confusion slid between the fringes of their thoughts, and watched as the phone hit the carpeted floor with a muffled thud. A few tiny pieces flew from the floor as Patricia focused on that very moment to give voice to her anger. To her frustration.
“Look!” she yelled and somehow, she felt the world around her screaming. She felt the walls groan. She felt the ceiling shrudder as the windows behind her suddenly exploded outwards in her minds eye. She focused her imagination and visualized the very room being blown wide open, the windows shattering outwards and the thousand brilliant shards of glass falling outwards as she stepped forwards towards Glenda Lee and her poor daughter and forced them to confront truth. It was all in her head of course. It was all a visualization that she had used to focus her thoughts and her intentions. It was all in her mind.

She used her special gifts and imagined the room to be swept open by a magnificent force of light and wind. She imagined the air that surged past her, out the window, and carried the discomfort, the confusion and the misplaced anger out of the room.

She used her understanding of what magic was. Of what her gifts were. She used them in her imagination, in her visualization, to cleanse the room of all that made it the mess it currently was. She purged the room of all the misplaced anger and pain.

“You have to stop doing that,” Patricia continued and planted her hands on her waist. She ignored the fact she had just thrown her phone to the ground. She knew to reach them she needed to spark their attention somehow. To provide some catalyst to force them to leg go, even for but a brief moment, their defensive shields and self-doubt. Without doing so, she would have had just as much an effect as one would have talking to a brick wall. “You have to stop siding with one child whom you love more and force all the blame on the other. You have to stop that. They both love you and they both need you to constantly remind them that you love them.”

“What?” Glenda Lee replied, caught off guard.

“Stop making them hate one another,” Patricia continued and tried to keep her own voice from shaking. She felt her knees buckle. She forced herself to focus. To keep talking. She should not show them she was uncertain. “Don’t you see what is happening here? Hamz and Jeriel… their rivalry is not the kind of rivalry you would normally expect of siblings any more. It has grown up into something far more destructive.”

Glenda Lee cocked her face towards Patricia, not comprehending what Patricia was saying. The words were still not sinking in.

“Wake up and see what you have been making them believe,” Patricia pleaded to Glenda Lee, “Open your eyes Glenda Lee. You have been making your children think the only way they can see you love them is if they make you hate the other.”

* *

In Kantong Kuba, Lola Jocelyn, Juan and Carlo watched the dust figure begin to mimic the events that were occurring across the city in the building where Patricia was. They listened with rapt attention as Patricia spoke the truth that Glenda Lee had long feared and never had the courage to accept. Or to believe. Juan slowly turned towards Carlo as Patrcia spoke of the rivalry the two siblings suffered. He somehow felt that Patricia’s words unknowingly were hitting him in a way which he never realized. Even his brother, Carlo, seemed to inwardly sense this. Carlo bowed his head and closed his eyes as Patricia’s words came to a halt. He clenched his hands tight, turning them into balls of fists that shook with a guilty surge of rage and humiliation.

Lola Jocelyn turned to face the two spirits and knowingly stood from her place. She walked away from the two siblings and made the small trek to the doorway that lead to the next room. Somehow, each step seemed far longer and far more distant than they were.

“Is she,” Juan began to ask but felt his voice fade. He felt his voice falter as the emotions that cropped up from the idea of what he was going to say gained strength. And the idea frightened him a lot.

“Is she right?” Carlo repeated the question for Juan and found he could not turn to look at his own brother. He did not seem to have the courage to do so. Or the convictions to know the answer.

“Among us three, who do you believe would best be able to answer that question?” Lola Jocelyn asked in return and finally stepped out of the room. She could not allow the two ghosts to see how much the words have struck her. How much they bit into her core.

“I… I did not mean to,” Juan admitted to Carlo, though he remained still unable to face him. Carlo relaxed the anger that he trapped in his fists. He felt the rage fade away. He found the courage he sought to face his brother and made the effort it took to face him.

“I’m sorry,” Carlo admitted to Juan and tried to say more. But there seemed to be nothing more left to be said. The two brothers hugged one another and began to cry again. Long denied regrets and anger suddenly finding place and forgiveness, the two barely even noticed as their forms began to glow even brighter. Brighter. And vibrantly more translucent. Until there was nothing left of them but the silence of a now empty room and the wisps of star light that gently faded into the night’s somber embrace. Juan and Carlo found release of the regrets that kept them bound to the world. And they at last found rest.

Lola Jocelyn knew her sons had gone. She knew they had finally found the peace they had long sought and hoped to find. Deep down, the two siblings were unable to move on having never forgiven one another for the envy and hatred they mutually inflicted on one another. And now, through Patricia, they have moved on. Lola Jocelyn felt her heart heave with the bitter sweet joy of knowing her children finally have gone to the better place that came after all the perils and trials of life had passed. And for the first time in many many years, Lola Jocelyn wept.

And wept in joy.

* *

Gerald ran outside the building and dodged the many cars as he crossed the street and made his way to the building in the other side. He had no idea how he saw that vision, or what it meant. But he knew that she was there. It sounded impossible. But he was certain she was.

He arrived beneath the shadow of the building and ran straight into the door as the door was flung open from the other side. Hitting the ground with a groan, Gerald looked up to see a very embarrassed and apologetic Patricia emerging from the other side with her hands covering her mouth. The two recognized one another and stared in mute surprise.

“Hi,” he told her, “Want to grab some dinner?”

She said yes.

Word Count = 2,184
Previous Count = 29,874
Total Count = 32,058 of 50,000


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