Things As They Are and How They Appear

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short story about an individual who is struggling to understand their current reality.

Submitted: September 07, 2016

A A A | A A A

Submitted: September 07, 2016

A A A

A A A


I

So tell me again who you are. Only slower this time so I can hear. I couldn’t hear you last time. Because you were talking to fast…that’s why. Oh ok, so now you are going to argue with me. I see how it is. Ok then, you do that, just leave me here.

If it is not one thing then it is the other. Jerry just sat there. He always followed me like a sheep follows a shepherd. But I didn’t want to be his shepherd. He made me do it. I never asked for this. Shepherds protect the flock. However, this was no flock. This was a single individual. And protect? Ha! From what? The only thing I need production from is Jerry himself. Jerry cannot be trusted.

Jerry isn’t like the rest of us. Jerry has his own language, his own songs, and his own food. Jerry never really says what he really thinks. Jerry always says what I think he thinks but what he probably never really ever thinks in reality.

He never actually told me his name. I asked him if his name was Jerry and he never responded. He just sat there silent. But he looked like a Jerry so I decided to ask him anyway. I took his silence as confirmation. He hates it when I am right. I know he does. When I am right he clams up like a clam pretending to be a fish. He pretends to flop around, as if the air is killing him, but he is really just pretending. Jerry does not need air to live. Jerry is Jerry.

I think Jerry is a man because he sounds like a man. His voice is deep but he tells me gender is nothing but a social construct. That is hard to believe. After all, God made Adam and Eve and not Adam and Steve. Yet, Jerry tells me all of this God nonsense is hogwash and part of a larger conspiracy to control he masses. I don’t believe it though. God answers my prayers. Jerry knows it and I know it. Jerry tells me it is all in my head. Sometimes I think he is just in my head.

I see Jerry sometimes, but mostly I just hear him. He always appears in a slightly different way every time. Sometimes in the form a shadow, sometimes as a man in a cowboy hat, and sometimes he hardly seems human at all. It is hard to explain and I am sure that you do not believe me. Nobody ever does. Some people pretend, but I know that they are lying. People like to make me feel good by saying that they have compassion for me, but they do not. That part at least I know Jerry is right about. Jerry tells me not to trust those people. He is a liar but he is right.

I first met Jerry when I was young. Let’s just say 8 or 9. He came into my bedroom one night and saved me from my nightmares. Things at home were bad. Really bad. I don’t want to get into it, so please do not ask. Anyway, Jerry showed up at about 2am and showed me a doorway. I had never seen the doorway before. I always just thought it was my closet, but now it was glowing bright yellow, like the yellow brick road upside down or something. You have seen that movie right? Anyhow, Jerry said enter so I did.

I was not scared of the doorway. I was not scared of Jerry. He seemed like a different kind of man then I knew in my other life. He was human but also not quite human. He looked like I felt. There, but not there.

The doorway led into the light. The light was bright. The light was full of people, buildings, and all sorts of things. I liked the light. The only problem was that it was too bright to see inside of the light, I felt like I was standing right next to a gigantic light bulb or something. I knew everything was all around me though because I could feel it. I could feel it deep down inside. Then it was gone.

II

I was in my bed again and it was morning. I could hear yelling and the crashing sounds of glass down the stairs from my room. Jerry sat on chair directly across from my bed smiling and tipping his brown cowboy hat. He had a piece of straw in his mouth. He told me not to worry and that he would be taking care of me now. I stared into what I think were his eyes, but it was hard to tell because they only kind of actually looked like real eyes. He came over to the bed with me and touched my hand. I felt nothing. Not happy. Not sad. Not warm nor cold. Just nothing.

I could see his hand touching me but it did not feel like a real touch. It almost felt like a piece of my own soul reaching back and touching myself again.

My soul is deep. My father said it was dark. My mother said it was unique. It is neither. My soul is deep. I feel what others do not feel. They do not understand me. I am me. Just like Jerry is Jerry. They hurt me and Jerry saved me. Jerry told me that they would kill me if I didn’t run. So I ran. I never saw them again. I hated them and they hated me. Their love was a lie. You never do what they did if you love someone. Nope, you never do. Jerry knew that. Jerry told me so.

Jerry lies though. I once told Jerry that I prayed for my guardian angel to come save me and next night he showed up and led me into the light. He showed me the doorway in which to enter. Jerry said God did not send him because God is not real. He said that prayers are the whiny pleas of the weak minded. Jerry lies. God did send him. God sent him just like my Sunday School teachers said that he would. That part is real. I know it is.

Jerry hates God because Jerry only thinks about himself. Jerry says he thinks about me, but of course he never does. Jerry tells me God is fake because Jerry wants to do what Jerry wants to do. That is it. Jerry sometimes pretends that he is God just to poke fun at me. But there is a heaven somewhere. I think it is in the light. Jerry was in the light with me so I know Jerry must be a part of heaven somehow. This is why I think Jerry is here to test me. Jerry is here to see if I will choose right or wrong. I think Jerry lies on purpose.

I am getting sleepy. Time for bed. I hate sleeping. I can never sleep. Jerry says it is the only time I am truly living. But I never remember the good times, only the bad. Jerry says that’s because my nightmares are the bad people in my life calling me back to them. He keeps me safe in my dreams while I am asleep. The dreams are real he says. It is awake when I am actually dreaming. Jerry always wants me to sleep. Now it is time to oblige.

III

School. Always school. Why does it come so early? Nobody should be up at 7am. Jerry tells me to go back to sleep, but I cannot be late again. The teachers will be angry. Jerry says the teachers fill my head with the lies of the government.

Mrs. Hardy hands me my last exam. 95%! I did it again. School was too easy. This is one reason I rarely show up. My teachers say they like me but I know they can be tricky. They are teachers. Teachers give tests. Tests are graded. Just like Jerry, they are always watching me and grading me. Being on top of my game at all times is very important.

I met with Shelly after school. She likes me as a friend. She says she likes homosexual people, but that she also likes straight people too. She has no preference. I am not sure why she told me that. I do not think I was coming onto her or anything? But then again, maybe she was talking to Tommy? After all, when she made the comment we were all talking about the subject in his room.

Tommy always asks if he and Shelly can to go to my house after school. I hate my house so I say no. Shelly says she loves my mom and the pies she bakes. I always tell her that I no longer live with my mom and that the woman at that house is not my real mother. My real mother is somewhere else. Shelly just always smiles that little devilish smiles at me. Sometimes I think that she really likes me and other times I think she might actually just like copying off of my homework paper.

Shelly was pretty and I thought Tommy probably was in love with her. I never really understand the whole deal with love. Love is just a feeling. Feelings fade. If you follow your feelings, then you are going to be disappointed when they finally abandon you. Jerry says that feelings are like dandelions. The fields are full of them. If one gets picked or dies, then one hundred more will grow in its place. No single dandelion is special. In fact, in the end, they are all just weeds. Weeds are for picking and discarding. Not for saving.

But Shelly never felt like a weed. Neither did Tommy. Neither did God. But Jerry said they were all weeds that needed to be done away with. Jerry said they would overtake my mind and distract me from the task at hand. Oh, yeah! The task! THAT IS WHAT I AM TRYING TO TELL YOU ABOUT!

I am here for a reason. The light gives me the ability to see what others do not see and hear what others do no hear. I know what you are thinking. It is not a superpower. I am not a superperson or anything like that. But I do possess what might be called, extreme intuition.

I am here to find something special. I cannot tell you what it is, but I will know it when I see it. Jerry tells me I must go alone, but I am scared to be alone. I need my friends. Jerry says no, but God says yes. Jerry is not God. Only God is God. Only him will I ever worship and serve.

IV

We left on Friday after school. I don’t know what day it is today, but we left on Friday. That much I know for sure. It was cloudy and not rainy. The weatherman said rain, but they can never tell. I knew it wouldn’t rain, I could tell from the sky. Tommy and Shelly wore their rain coats. I laughed at them. They smiled. They always smiled. Why were they always so happy?

We walked through the city until it was dark. Shelly told her mom that she was going camping with my family. Tommy told his parents the same. I had no family though, so I didn’t tell anyone anything, I just left. After a while I would just get tired of correcting my friends…if that is what they really were.

We finally came to the edge of town and arrived at a stream surrounded by trees. Shelly said she was tried. Tommy said he was hungry. I said we were almost there. Just then, Jerry walked out from the woods and stood up to his ankles in the water. We all stared at him. Jerry just stood and waited for one of us to speak. I was the leader, so I spoke. I asked him if we were close.

Without a word, Jerry turned his back and started walking across the water. He was now waist deep but didn’t seem to be a bit wet. I turned to Shelly and Tommy and said we had to cross the water. They stated they did not want to get wet. I tried to convince them that we needed to do this, but to no avail. They said they would wait for me until I returned if I went. I did. But they wouldn’t wait. I knew that. Nobody in life ever waits.

 I stepped into the water and for a moment I was scared. Jerry laughed at my fear from the other side of the creek. Fear was nothing but a feeling. A weed. It could not be trusted. I carried on. The water got deeper and deeper. I started to wonder how Jerry made it across so quickly without ever going past his waist. The water was up to my neck now and I was beginning to wonder if I would sink. The next thing I remember I was reaching a drop off in the middle of the river and quickly sinking into the dark waters. It was murky under the water so I could not see. Everything was wet and black.

There is a calm that comes over you under the water. I started feeling different. At first fear, but then not. Once I let go of fear the light came. The light was under the water. The water was the new doorway. I had not seen door for years. I could suddenly breathe and I entered.

This time the light was different. Jerry was not in the light. Where was Jerry? Jerry was gone. I was scared again. I had not been without Jerry since I was a child. Jerry took care of me. I know he did. Jerry was not perfect, but Jerry was all that I had.

The light began to become brighter and brighter. It became so bright that I became blind. But once I went through the pain of becoming blind now I could see. Two figures were standing near an old man sitting in a throne. The man told me I knew who he was. And I did. It was God. God had blinded me so I could see. He told me that without my eyes I must have faith and resist the evil forces in the world. I cried like I have never cried before. I had seen God. He was real. I knew it. I always knew it in my heart.

As God was talking the light started to fade. I started to yell at him not to go. He told me not to forget what I was told, but that my real mission on earth was not through. He said that feelings were not weeds, but the greater part of a delicate garden that was in need of constant pruning. Anyone who said otherwise, was not of him, but was of the devil. And with that, the light faded and faded until it was dark again.

V

Jessie! Jessie! I heard my friends calling to me. I could hear their voices but I could not see their faces. Shelly told me I was in a hospital room. Tommy told me my parents were on their way to see me. I didn’t have the energy to tell him those were not my parents. The pounding in my head started drowning out their voices. Shelly and Tommy started to fade further and further into the background until there was only blackness again. I could hear Shelly screaming for the doctors faintly in the back of my mind, but that seemed like a dream.

Suddenly, someone flipped on a light switch. It was Jerry. I was in my bedroom. Jerry was standing in the doorway. He asked me how I slept. I asked him about Shelly and Tommy and he told me they were not real. I asked him about my eyes. He told me that I could always see. I asked him about God, and he told me that was just in my head. He told me that I am blind when I believe that I am awake, but free and whole when I think that I am asleep. Sometimes Jerry seems to talk in riddles.

I asked Jerry how he could know so surely that God was an illusion. He laughed. I asked if his name was really Jerry. He laughed again. I was confused. Jerry said that we should start our complicated relationship over. I said ok, I would like that. He tipped his hat, reached out his hand, and said, “pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name!” With that, he broke out into uncontrollable laughter. I tried to touch him, but my hand went right through him, as if he were a hologram.

I asked Jerry if he were real. He laughed and then suddenly stopped and frowned. “Jessie,” this was the first time he ever called me by name, “you have no clue what the word real even means.” I stared at him for a few second because he continued telling me that he has been trying to simultaneously show me reality and protect me from that same reality my entire life.

The light bulb in my bedroom suddenly burst and I screamed. It was dark. No light. I couldn’t see again. I could hear Shelly and Tommy in the corner of my mind talking about me. I could hear them talking to other people, but I could not make out to whom. They sounded as if they were talking through a tea cup from a mile way.

I yelled to see if they could hear me, but they couldn’t. However, Jerry could. He asked me why I turned out the lights. I told him I never left my bed and that I could still fell myself laying down in it. I asked him why I could hear my friends talking if my friends were not real. He told me it was all part of the simulation of the dream. I asked if God controlled the dream. Jerry insisted that God was not real. Then who controlled the dream? You do he said. Then what is real I asked? You are he said. But how can I know that I am real? Because you asking that very question now he said. Jerry always said that the answers we seek are always in the questions we ask. He told me if I closed my eyes that I would be exactly where I wanted them to be when I opened them again. He told me that he could prove it. He told me that he could do what God claimed to do.

VI

Hello? Is anybody out there? Am I all alone? Hello? Hello? Hello…

I am sitting in the water in the springtime alone. The water feels cool against my skin and warm splashing against my face. I like it here. Nobody else is here. I am lonely. I haven’t seen anyone since Friday. I think that is when it was anyway? Friday does indeed seem like the right day. Yes, I will go with Friday then.

I still read my Bible but God never speaks to me anymore. Maybe that is because I cease to seek him? Jerry never visits me anymore. Maybe that is because he is upset that I stopped listening to him? Tommy and Shelly feel like a lifetime away.

My head still hurts at times. Half of the day is light and half of the day is dark. But I can usually still see, at least somewhat. I am here. This is real. I know it is. It has to be. Are you even reading this? I hope so. Why do you never respond? Hello? Hello? Hello…


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