4 Shots

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic


4 Short Stories



1) The Agestic Bus



2) The Beating



3) Water Of Reflection



4) The Theater

Submitted: January 18, 2018

A A A | A A A

Submitted: January 18, 2018

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A A A


1) The Agrestic Bus

 

There is in the outback of rural Australia a bus that never stops. Its continuous journey is one of vigilance to the demented. Through the long day this bus travels throughout the most inhuman conditions ever experienced. The dust kicks up as it passes sun-baked cracks and sun bleached bones of animals
long since perished. Outside the dust that this bus kicks up there in no movement, there is nothing alive to move. The passengers on this agrestic bus don’t remember boarding or where they are. They only know that they exist and nothing else does. The driver of this bus calls out stops that do not exist
all for the sake of amusement and torture to those who will listen to him. “North Queen is our next stop, I don’t know why there’s a North Queen when there’s no South Queen but our next stop, North Queen”. The woman who sits opposite to the couple who are oblivious to the driver is named Margrette. She is arguing with the Romanian Clown that nobody can see. Apparently the Romanian Clown wasn’t entertaining to Margrette anymore and she wanted her money back. The three teenaged girls with their empty shopping bags were all excited about being one stop closer to their destination as one comments to the others, “Did you hear that, we’re one stop closer, when we get there I want to try on my new shoes”. The other two reply, “Ya, ya, they look great on you!”. The only one with any conception of her surrounding was the woman who sat at the back of the bus singing the same verse over and over by Simply Red, “I’ll keep holding on, I’ll keep holding on”.
 
In rural Australia this bus pays vigilance to the demented. Its passengers are outcasts of society. The bus bounces along on unpaved dirt roads. The film of dust on the glass obscures the vision of the passengers from the desolate surroundings and only adds to the surrealness of their world. The bus driver calls out the next stop, “Bestobell is our next stop, Bestobell, I don’t know why they call it Bestobell, I think there’s a better bell somewhere else, but they think that this is Bestobell, Bestobell is our next stop”. Margrette isn’t amused with the Romanian Clown who started to juggle his bowling pins. “I still want my money back”, she screams, “I want my money back”. The couple who are oblivious to everything are still oblivious. Their heads nestled together like a pair of doves in a cage. Love is only kind to those in love, for all else it’s a torture to witness. One of the three teenaged girls removes some debris from her pocket and releases it to the world as she says,” I’m hungry, are you guys hungry”? “Ya, ya, I’m hunry respond the other girls. “Ya, lets go to that last place we ate at, you remember that place”? “Ya, I know that place” replies one, “Ya, I’m hungry, lets go”. “Oh, were almost there” replies the debris girl. The people inside the bus fall momentarily quiet as the woman in the back sings, “I’ll keep holding on, I’ll keep holding
on”.
 
There is a bus that travels the outback of rural Australia. This bus pays vigilance to the demented. The hot metal and obscured windows protect it’s passengers from the outside world. The driver of this bus calls out the next stop, apparently Elvis Presley has taken over the wheel of the bus, “Queensway is our next stop, Queensway, around my home it’s the queen’s way, not the king’s way but the queen’s way, Queensway is our next stop, Queensway”. Margrette is not amused with the clown’s performance, “I want my money back, I want my quarter back” she screams at the clown. The Romanian clown must have been jolted by this for he dropped his bowling pins, one of which started to roll around the floor of the bus. The pin rocks back and forth, then bounces as the bus hits a bump, then rolls underneath the heel of the debris girl who slips and breaks the heel off her shoe. “Oh, my shoe is broken” she says to her friends, “Oh, that’s too bad” says one, “Now you can buy a new pair” says the other. “Ya, lets get a new pair” replies the debris girl. “We’re almost there” says one girl. The couple who are oblivious to everything didn’t see any of this. Coo’d together the only thing that exist in their world is each other. “I’ll keep holding on, I’ll keep holding on” the woman in the back sings.
 
End
 
Note: This bus existed, the only fictional character was the Romanian Clown.
 
 
2) The Beating
 
Every morning Jake met Jessie down by the creek. Jake was there first most days. He’d skip stones down the creek. Over the past 3 months he’d gotten pretty good at it. There was some small rapids just down from the bend where he stood. He had gotten so good at skipping stones that he could skip a stone over those rapids and continue the skip down the creek to the next bend. If he threw it hard enough he could make the stone hit the corner bank at the bend. Sometimes after a storm the stone would actually stick in the side of the bank after the waters had subsided. Jake could see Jessie crossing the bridge. The bridge was only built two years ago by the city as a means for children to walk to school. It connected to a path that lead to the bottom of a dead-end street. From there it was a short walk to the school. It was now July 2nd and the thought of school was a long ways away. The other side of the bridge connected to a parking lot of two apartment buildings. These two buildings were constructed of white brick. Most people who lived there were considered upper-class. There was a third building that was built for lower income people. This building was opposite the other two and was constructed of red bricks. In this area you were identified by the colour of brick. Jake and Jessie were red brickers. Jessie seemed to have taken his time getting down to the creek. When he finally arrived he picked up a stone and tossed it down the creek. It skipped once and went “ker-plop”.
“Didn’t get much on that one”, Jake said with a chuckle. He skipped a stone down the rapids.
 
“See, it’s all in the wrist Jess”.
Jessie picked up another stone and tossed it down the creek. Two skips and then “ker-plop“.
“See, you’re gett’in better already”, Jake said.
“It’s all in the wrist”, replied Jessie.
“I didn’t see you at the bar-b-que last night”, Jake said, and added “It was a good one. There was hotdogs and marshmallows and pop was only ten cents! Then they lit-up the fireworks“, he concluded.
“Ya, my brother ran away from home yesterday”, Jessie said.
It didn’t come as a surprise to Jake that Jessie’s older brother ran away from home.
“Did they catch him?”, he asked.
“Ya, they caught him. The cops found him sleeping in a park about twenty miles away. They brought him home after midnight”.
“I guess he got a beating”, said Jake.
“Ya and it was a bad one”, replied Jessie.
“Did you see this one?” asked Jake.
Jessie picked up a stone and just lobbed it into the creek.
“Ker-plunk”,
“No”, he said. “But I heard it. I think everyone in the building heard it”.
 
Jake just stood there looking at his friend. He has had his own beatings in the past. He could imagine Jessie’s older brother screaming. He had known Jessie since grade 2 and now they both just finished grade 4. He knew that the beating didn’t come from Jessie’s father. It came from Jessie’s mother’s boyfriend. Her boyfriend was mean and sometimes he would come home drunk. On those nights Jessie’s mother would get a beating. Sometimes it was all of them, even Jessie’s older sister would get hit.
 
“I was asleep when the cops brought him home” Jessie continued.
“All I can remember is coming out of my sleep and hearing my brother screaming after each crack of the belt. I was in so much fear I couldn’t even open my eyes to see it. My sister was screaming, my mother was screaming to let go of his arm. She said he was going to break it if he didn’t. My sister told me this morning that he held my brother in the air by his arm with one hand while beating him across the back with the belt. I was so scared I could open my eyes or move. I’ve never heard any scream like that before”, Jessie concluded. He sat down by the creek and started crying. Jake sat beside his friend and put his arm around him.
 
“I don’t understand why the neighbors didn’t call the police?” he finally said. “The bedroom windows were open, you could hear him screaming a mile away and nobody called the police”.
“Maybe they think that a kid who screams that loud deserves it?”, said Jake.
“Nobody deserves to get a beating”, said Jessie.
“Know what I think?”, Jake asked.
“No”, said Jessie.
“I think they beat us because they’re afraid of us”.
 
After a moment the two friends got up and left the creek. They walked on the path that lead into the woods. Eventually
the path would come out near a park. They would spend the next hour sitting on the swings talking about the summer that was to come.
 
End
 
3) Water of Reflection
 
I will tell you a story that was passed on to me as a child. We were gone for many days and nights. It was the furthest distance from home I have ever been. I did not worry back then for I was with farther. We had spent time in the river catching fish and eating them on the shoreline. While in the woods we would hunt for small animals. Father showed me how to make a stew from the precious meat. Sometimes as we walked he would pull a plant from the Earth and put a name to it, “this is called Indian Cucumber, small but you’ll only want to eat a couple of them at a time”. Father was always conscious of what the Earth had to offer and what he took from the soil. It was on the fourth night of our travel that father told me of the Reflecting Waters. The woods had seemed quiet that night. We had built a small fire for warmth. I could hear nothing but the crackling of the burning wood, that and the shuffling of my own feet. Father had poked the fire with his walking stick repositioning the burning wood.
“This Earth is alive.” he said. “It has been here much longer than we have. If you treat the Earth with respect it will treat you the same. Never take more than what is needed for survival. This Earth will show you things beyond imagination. It will also show you its soul if you know how to see correctly. There are places on this Earth where a person can see into their own soul. Over the next ridge is a lake. This lake seems like just another lake, but just another lake it is not. It harvests the energy of the Earth’s soul. During time of the full moon a man can look upon this lake and see things that have passed. This is a water of reflection”.
 
Father said no more. I decided that I wanted to see what would happen if I should look into this lake. I got up and left the fire and my father and headed up to the top of the ridge. Under the canopy of the trees I couldn’t see the stars yet once upon the top of the ridge the universe was exposed. On the other side of the ridge was a low lying valley where the lake was. I walked along the ridge looking up at the stars and the ever expanding universe. How insignificant I soon realize I was in this universe. Such a vastness with endless possibilities!
My mind started to swirl. Something with such infinite magnitude was beyond the comprehension of an individual such as myself. I walked a little further and found a clearing that would lead me down to the lake. It took a little work to maneuver my way but after a moment I arrived at the lake. I stood there over-looking the water. It seemed alive for some reason. Thinking back now what I remember most is the fact that there was no sound. No fish were jumping, no critters chirping and no fowl cooing. Dead silence. Looking above made me dizzy and looking into the lake made me worry. I don’t know why? If this was a lake of reflection and I such a young child then there should be no need to worry. Yet this thought didn’t soothe me. It was then something stirred the lake. Whatever it was it started in the middle of the lake. It was like something fell from the night sky above and without warning hit the lake. A ripple effect started towards the shoreline. I watched with apprehension as it approached me. The tiny ripples that started in the middle of the lake doubled in size and they weren’t even halfway to the shore yet. If I felt uneasy about the universe I was sure that I didn’t feel comfortable about what was coming. The ripple reached the shore and as I looked down an image started to appear. It was an image of my mother. She had passed away but when I was a small child. Her image smiled at me. I could hear her voice in my head clearly.
 
My sweet son, oh my how you’ve grown. Your father has kept you well, and taught you much yet some things a mother should teach her son. A father should teach his son how to respect the Earth, a mother teaches her son how to respect women. I shall hope that when time permits you shall pursue your love with much passion and be free of possession. For the idea of possessing another breeds internal conflict and causes restlessness.
That will take away from your observations and studies of life which will enrich your essence. Do not deny yourself that what this world has to offer. A father teaches a son how to defend himself, how to be a warrior, yet a mother teaches how to serve others. Defend those who are weaker than yourself and the prospect of peace will arrive.
 
I stood hunched over the water watching the image of my mother fade in and out. A murkiness surrounded her. Memories of my mother flooded back to me. She was as beautiful now as I remember back then. I longed for her touch, to feel the comfort that only a mother could supply.
 
I can feel your wanting, she said, and I miss you too. She smiled softly. I see that your father has taught you to be self-sufficient. Do not become so self-sufficient as not to need someone. It will bring a sense of purpose to those who are in need of direction and help to keep you connected to society.
 
There was nothing else to say. I sat there hunched over the water
wanting more, wanting to embrace my mother once again. The reflection of my mother smiled and then faded away. I rose and walked back into the woods.
 
End
 
 
 
4) The Theater
 
I was walking along the street and came upon a movie theater. I couldn’t resist the idea of walking into it. The plush red carper held the only colour. There was no one behind the concession stand. The counter where snacks and candy could be found now lay empty. The pop-corn machine was turned off. It seemed as if there was nothing left to offer me. The washroom sign indicating Gentlemen was no longer working. The poster signs had been taken down. Nothing new was coming. To my left was a set of stairs leading up to the balcony. I was never one to be above the crowd, even in a movie theater. There’s always two entrances into the theater, one will be on the left side, the other on the right. I decided to turn to the right side of the theater. I turned and enter the theater. Row upon row of empty seats. I can sit anywhere today. I walk half way down the isle and shuffle into the center of the theater. I pulled the seat down and settle into it. Feeling comfortable the lights dim and the screen projects an image. 3-2-...-zero. The next thing that the screen projects is myself. Its an overhead shot. Not directly but off to the left. It was a time when I was living under a bridge. I remember it now. The memories slowly come flowing back. They’re like a fright train in the distance. Moving slowly at first but continuously gaining speed. They all come flooding in. The only thing is that I didn’t feel that I was being emotionally overwhelmed like I usually did when something like this happen.
I was an outside observer.
 
“Remember what happened next?” a voice inside my head asks.
“Yes, I do”, I replied.
“What was it?”
“I took out a knife and....”
“And what?”
“I held it to my neck”
“And then what happen?”
“I drew the blade across my neck”
“What do you remember?”
“There was a warmness outside of my body. The blood seeped down my neck and onto my chest. I laid there looking out from the darken bridge. There was a field of tall grass that was brown. It started to go out of focus. I felt cold inside”.
“And then what?”
“I remember walking into this theater where I am now”.
The voice in my head goes silent and the scene goes black.
 
I was walking along the street and came upon a movie theater. I couldn’t resist the idea of walking into it. The plush red carper held the only colour. There was no one behind the concession stand. The counter where snacks and candy could be found now lay empty. The pop-corn machine was turned off. It seemed as if there was nothing left to offer me. The washroom sign indicating Gentlemen was no longer working. The poster signs had been taken down. Nothing new was coming. To my left was a set of stairs leading up to the balcony. I was never one to be above the crowd, even in a movie theater. There’s always two entrances into the theater, one will be on the left side, the other on the right. I decided to turn to the right side of the theater. I turned and enter the theater. Row upon row of empty seats. I can sit anywhere today. I walk half way down the isle and shuffle into the center of the theater. I pulled the seat down and settle into it. Feeling comfortable the lights dim and the screen projects an image. 3-2-...-zero. The next thing that the screen projects is myself. Its an overhead shot. Not directly but off to the left. It was a time when I was living under a bridge. I remember it now. The memories slowly come flowing back. They’re like a fright train in the distance. Moving slowly at first but continuously gaining speed. They all come flooding in. The only thing is that I didn’t feel that I was being emotionally overwhelmed like I usually did when something
like this happen.
I was an outside observer.
 
“Remember what happened next?” a voice inside my head asks.
“Yes, I do”, I replied.
“What was it?”
“I took out a knife and....”
“And what?”
“I held it to my neck”
“And then what happen?”
“I drew the blade across my neck”
“What do you remember?”
“There was a warmness outside of my body. The blood seeped down my neck and onto my chest. I laid there looking out from the darken bridge. There was a field of tall grass that was brown. It started to go out of focus. I felt cold inside”.
“And then what?”
“I don’t remember”.
“Look at the screen, what is it you’re reaching for?”
“I don’t know, I can’t remember”.
“You’re reaching, what are you reaching for?”
“I can’t remember. All that I know is walking into this theater where I am now”.
The voice in my head goes silent and the scene goes black.
 
I was walking along the street and came upon a movie theater. I couldn’t resist the idea of walking into it. The plush red carper held the only colour. There was no one behind the concession stand. The counter where snacks and candy could be found now lay empty. The pop-corn machine was turned off. It seemed as if there was nothing left to offer me. The washroom sign indicating Gentlemen was no longer working. The poster signs had been taken down. Nothing new was coming. To my left was a set of stairs leading up to the balcony. I was never one to be above the crowd, even in a movie theater. There’s always two entrances into the theater, one will be on the left side, the other on the right. I decided to turn to the right side of the theater. I turned and enter the theater. Row upon row of empty seats. I can sit anywhere today. I walk half way down the isle and shuffle into the center of the theater. I pulled the seat down and settle into it. Feeling comfortable the lights dimmed and the screen projects an image. 3-2-...-zero. The next thing that the screen projects is myself. Its an overhead shot. Not directly but off to the left. It was a time when I was living under a bridge. I remember it now. The memories slowly come flowing back. They’re like a fright train in the distance. Moving slowly at first but continuously gaining speed. They all come flooding in. The only thing is that I didn’t feel that I was being emotionally overwhelmed like I usually did when something like this happen.
I was an outside observer.
 
“Remember what happened next?” a voice inside my head asks.
“Yes, I do”, I replied.
“What was it?”
“I took out a knife and....”
“And what?”
“I held it to my neck”
“And then what happen?”
“I drew the blade across my neck”
“What do you remember?”
“There was a warmness outside of my body. The blood seeped down my neck and onto my chest. I laid there looking out from the darken bridge. There was a field of tall grass that was brown. It started to go out of focus. I felt cold inside”.
“And then what?”
“I reach for something”
“What is it you’re reaching for?”
“I don’t know but I think there’s something there. Something I forgot”.
“What are you reaching for, what is it you see?”
“There was something in the field, something out of focus. It’s calling me but I don’t know what its’ saying. I don’t know what it wants”.
“But you’re reaching towards it, are you not?”
“Yes, I can see that. It is I that is reaching out”
“Why are you reaching out, what is it that you want?”
 
I see the image on the screen as I remember it. Its’ the field with the tall brown grass. The image starts to come into focus.
There’s no sound coming from the theater. The sounds I hear are generated from within me.
“What is it that you want Michael?”
“I want the pain to stop. I feel the image in the tall grass can do that, make it stop, make it go away. I’m reaching for salvation
but the image starts to fade away. Darkness fills the field. I’m slipping away from everything. The pain is unbearable. I scream but no words will come out. The field, the image, everything fades to black”.
“Your pleas for salvation come to late Michael”
The screen in the theater counts down, 3-2-zero and goes black. The lights along the side of the wall dim even more.
Blackness engulfs the theater and I become nothing.
 
End
 
Note: The theater represents Purgatory. If God exists I believe he wouldn't let you rest in hell. He would offer you the option total annihilation of your essence. 


© Copyright 2018 Rhymis. All rights reserved.

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