The Ashes Among Trees

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

This is a story that is about a man's troubles as he goes through the tumults of life accompanied by his daughter. He is to find his answer for his troubles in the end, though an unusual end indeed.

August Timmers got the shock of his life when the eviction notice, loud in large red letters, appeared on his door. He and his daughter Amy were walking home jovially in the midst of her grand achievement of earning an A on her science project. She worked hard all year to complete the work, and the sentimental achievement was awarded to her perseverance and persistence in working long and swelling hours on such an abstruse topic as essential amino acids and their complications in biology. But such a project could not remit the astonishment planted in Augusts’ mind about the notice. He had paid the mortgage bill for this month, although not all of it, but a substantial amount that exceeded his previous monthly mortgage payments in the past. August quickly ran up to the door to meet the notice face-to-face so as not to be deceived. It read ominously,


“The City of Clarksville, California has ordered you to leave this vicinity by 22nd of July, 2012. Any supply found in the home after this date will be immediately confiscated and handled by the city.”


The notice detonated all the remnants of manly prowess inside the thickets of his soul. He tried in vain to masquerade the notice from his daughter’s worrisome gaze through the folds of his arms. But tried as he might, Amy’s nosiness ruled over his furtive act; she was able to engineer her way to witness the eviction note by percolating inside the narrow crack of her father’s right side without altering him from his successful intention of retaining his clandestine knowledge. When she read the notice, she had understood the ramifications of the blue-inked letter. But yet, she had a difficult time realizing the reason for this occurrence. She had assumed that all was well with the house. The electricity, water, gas, and air conditioning all worked in the house impeccably. If the house were in dire straits, then surely the lights or the water should have been shut off as a result of her father missed-payments. But her assumptions were wrong; the house had indeed not been paid for to the chagrin of her impenetrable knowledge status of the house. As a result, she rerouted her innocuous mind into employing possible syllogisms to coherently rationalize the situation. Quietly, she asked her father about the notice.


“Dad, why do we have an eviction notice on our front door,” she asked with a sweet-confused innocence emanating from her lips.

August replied crudely and said, “No dear, this bill must be a mistake by the city. I have paid my bills on time. There is nothing to worry about, I will fix this situation.”


Hearing these words from her father ignited a curious skepticism towards them. She managed to reason her way to another attempt to ask her about the notice in order to evince the truth from her father, to lead to some validity towards her child-like intuition that something peculiar is happening with her father and the house.

“But the notice says that we have to move out in five days”, replied Amy with more sternness in her question to insist upon an answer. August replied with haste and said,

“No dear, it’s a mistake. I’m calling the city right now to confirm my suspicions, and then we are going to go back into the house and eat some dinner as I promised.”


Again, Amy was not satisfied. She had not received a clear and lucid answer from her father. Instead she just received adumbration among a fog cloud of words that denoted nothing but obscure rhetoric. But she obeyed her father and allowed for her conscious to yield to him some room of charity to clear up his story.


An hour had gone by and August was still on the phone with the city. Quiet consideration from August transformed into loud excoriations when his demands were ignored by the counter-arguments supplied by the city. At one point, August pleaded his case like a beggar on trial for clemency on his down-trodden financial conditions. But the city held firm on its proclamation against Augusts’ supposed story of consistently paying the mortgage in his best capacity. In disgust, August rioted against the warnings of the city to do as the notice had commanded, and he hung up the phone as soon as the operator on the phone hurled one last warning against his contumacious defiance.


After witnessing the aftermath of her father calling the city, Amy went back to her calculus of assessing the situation to finalize her results. She had reasoned that her father in fact did not pay the mortgage on time as he suggested, she was aware that he blandished facts to construe an attempt to navigate his way into displaying to Amy the absurdity of the city’s action against him and to exculpate himself from guilt. But her calculus was too sound to believe her father’s contrived story; she knew the indictment on the door was definite and concrete in its convictions. In viewing the clarity of her thought, she reserved herself in peace with the situation and expelled all discursive thoughts of the “What ifs” of the logically possible circumstances that rambled endlessly to give credence to her father’s testimony. She thus acquiesced to the facts, and silenced the calculations ravaging in her mind.


 August looked over to his daughter to investigate her knowledge of the situation. He passively approached his daughter with a constructed smile on his face as to hide his real misery behind the tucks of his countenance.


He said softly to her,”Hey sweetie, it’s going to be alright, the person on the line was incompetent. I’m sure they will reconsider their error and give us our peace of mind back about our house.” But Amy did not respond, instead she nodded her head languidly to his news and ceased to hint at a possible note of satisfaction about the updated status of the house. August responded again to aim towards pushing for some dialogue between him and his daughter and said, “So what do you want to eat?”


But Amy held on to her quietness and did not even turn around to acknowledge his gesture.

With a mark of confusion on his face, August responded once more and said, “Honey, what do you want right now. I can get you food. Are you hungry?”

Still, Amy was bleak in her replies and the awkwardness of the situation deepened. August knew that his pockets of gestures were empty and he proceeded to jolt to his feet to enter into the house. Amy followed afterwards to escape into her room so as not to be disturbed. To make up for the failed purchase of Amy’s trust in him, August cooked a culinary delight with delicious salmon showered in black pepper and sea salt, filled with creamy Macaroni and Cheese followed by a side dish of yellow-crusted garlic bread to suffice for an insatiable appetite, which was Amy’s favorite dish. He accosted her to come down and eat some of the food he had spent two hours to prepare, but Amy did not respond to his first call. Failed attempt after failed attempt widened and he tried again on the seventh and eighth time with an elevation of fierce voracity under the brow of his voice. But inevitably, the same recurring silence emerged out of the rubble of his beseeching commands.


August haphazardly fell to his chair and began to eat his lukewarm meal with lugubrious tears watering down the cheese off the Macaroni. His tears sheltered him from his own ineptitude; he had failed his duty in being a good father, one that is like fortress against the ravages of life’s tornado-like storms, a hawk against the perilous ruffians that conspire for mendacity to disintegrate his precious flock of babes under his surveillance. The sentence had been levied against his rectitude, and the overwhelming decision had read his fate guilty. The sentence reverberated all around his conscious, tattooing its imprint in the tapestry of his mind. All that was left were the shards of vacuous promises that he paid to his daughter. They were left in desolation by the furnace of unrequited love led by a dishonorable father. And lo, these promises were also left to waste in the smoke-filled-air of a hot Friday night, while he mourned for every one of his cursed improprieties as he looked morbidly into the ice-cream-colored sky well into the night upon the sharp crimson July moon.



The next morning began as a blur for August. He had been watching old television shows all night to mete out the negative-thoughts that choked him from his sleep. He attempted to go to sleep, but each time the regrets from yesterday and beyond came pounding into his mind, and the moments of recapturing sleep faded. In his sleep-filled travels through rumbles and tumbles around the center of the bed, he would rise from his sleep brusquely when the sensation of his memory pounded with too much force upon his mind. He was dreadfully tired, he hadn’t received enough sleep to attain the energy to check on Amy and make her breakfast. Slowly, he elevated to his feet, languishing under the folds of his eyelids that were in rebellion with his legs and chest to depart back to bed. In combat with his body, after he labored a little to walk out of his room, the parts in rebellion quickly surrendered to his advances and he was on his way steadily towards the bathroom.


Once he reached the bathroom, he grabbed his bathrobe and prepared to brush his teeth to then proceed into taking a quick shower. The corners of both his eyes were bright red when he looked in the mirror; his long brown hair was matted in wild curls that resembled likeness of the latter remains of an aftermath of a tornado. While refurbishing himself, August stared into the mirror for too long of a period for a sleepy man to endure without losing consciousness. He quickly reclined on his back against the wall to recapture his focus. The sleepiness was slowly penetrating into his eyes again and he was in need for a stimulant to jerk him back awake. Through a series of strenuous effort, he was formally cured from his slumber by dumping the icy cold water from the shower onto his back. His body rapidly jumped in response to the cold temperature of the water and shivered persistently afterwards even during the warm water of the shower melting some of the shivers off of him. Nevertheless, the icy cold water worked, and he was thereby fully awake to go prepare his clothes for the day.



After he got dressed he went towards Amy’s room to inspect upon her condition. She was still sound asleep and did not chance to notice the subtle cricking sound of the door opening when August entered in. August slowly maneuvered his way to her bed and softly brushed her curly blonde hair and watched his little daughter lost in her dreams. She had not been this vulnerable yesterday and now she laid captive to her his loving embraces, albeit through sleep. He had realized his error of yesterday while peering into Amy’s baby picture on her desk. The disappointment that Amy wore strongly in her face yesterday was like huge-mashidi-knifes thrown relentlessly into his heart unceasingly. But to his mind this day was to be different from the failure of yesterday. It would be filled with fun and laughter, and the house would be secured to his rightful possession, without any mitigation from the city. He checked his watch and saw that it was seven thirty in the morning. He promised Amy last Saturday that he would allow her to visit her friend three blocks down from her school. And she had to be there by eight thirty.


August gently tugged at Amy’s side for her to arise from her sleep. She got up and whined a little. She yearned to go back to bed. But August seized her attention and reminded her about the nature of the time and the event with her friend. When Amy fully lifted herself out of bed she glared at her father in a menacing reproachful manner. The incident from yesterday was still fresh in her mind, in fact it grew in stock the more she festered on the deceit her father constructed against her. She knew never to openly curse her father. She knew that much. But she used silence as the tool to conduct her most gruesome punishments against her father. She understood his weakness and did not hesitate to exploit it for her interest. August drew a quick smile when their eyes met. She didn’t. But that did not bother August; his smile just grew stronger through her recalcitrance. To break the mood, August said to his daughter,

“Good Moring dear, did you sleep well?”

Amy answered cursively, “Yes it was good”

August was surprised at her response and replied with alacrity, “Great! Do you want some breakfast honey? I can make some pancakes before you go to Estha’s house.”

Amy, still a little tired from waking-up said sloppily, “Sure that’s fine”


August quickly skipped to the kitchen to prepare the pancake batter and eggs. He knew that he must hurry to make the pancakes. Amy only had close to twenty minutes to eat her pancakes to save her time to successfully meet her friend at the agreed-upon time; and now he was to use his dexterity to carefully measure the time. Amy began to receive her alertness when she captured the smell of the pancakes and turkey bacon grease traveling from the kitchen. She had avoided eating dinner yesterday, and her stomach was now stubbornly restive to accomplish nothing else but to receive some food for nourishment. She gathered her things in a matter of minutes and dashed into the kitchen to meet her plate of food. She ate with attentiveness and decadence, balancing the deliciousness of the meal conjunct with a keen observance on the time, and the meal was delicious. After finishing her breakfast, August collected her plate to put it in the sink. He skipped his usual duty of dish-cleaning, seeing that time was fleeting, and chided Amy to wipe the syrup off the table to get ready to leave the house. The rancor between them was loosening its tight grip from Amy’s mind, and their relationship reverted back to father and daughter rather than weary-occupant and inept land-lord. They quickly picked-up everything they needed for the day from the house and left with all of the doors securely locked.


August entered the office building thirty minutes after dropping his daughter off at her friend’s house. He was finally away from the stress that beleaguered the house. Amy had gotten to her friend’s house on time. It was an accomplishment he can make edible for his consciousness to consume for the sake of staying active in work lest he jump into encroaching sadness. His boss, Dr. Caldwell, a tall gangly-thin man with a long flat face and a visible cul-de-sac forming in the middle of his hair, was starting to see the quality of August’s writings depreciate for the Clarksville Local Newspaper. The editors barked and hollered at the spelling errors and grammatical mistakes that his articles were drenched in. It was not like him to make such silly errors. August was one of the best writers in his newspaper. In fact, he was arguably his best writer for his exemplary article on the unions catapulting its way into raising minimum wage in all private businesses in Clarksville County. But his writings since then have been extremely paltry, weak in clarity and prone to traveling incoherently into dithering points.


Dr. Caldwell was not a man who could harbor his tolerance for so long to endure such incompetence. Good writer or not, the newspaper did not solely survive on reputation, but also, and most importantly, on merit. And good quality writing was the forte of how he ran the newspaper. He loved August, much more than all the other writers on staff. But business was master and even love must be subservient to the whims of the subscribers, and this included August. He was disappointed with his decision that he was going to make about August; he attempted to recant his general suppositions of business ethos to include August as a case worthy of omission. But it was not to be, the newspaper had been losing revenue for some time and he could not afford the salary payments of all his writers when the pinches of pennies he earned went towards subsidizing horrible output.


As soon as August walked into his cubicle Dr. Caldwell’s throat gulped unexpectedly. He was early. He wasn’t expecting August to come in until ten thirty. Maybe this time he was going to change his work ethic and rejuvenate his usual output of the earlier times. He measured his hope against the incontrovertible evidence of the last nine months and knew that he could not derail his prior convictions about August’s position in the office, he had to be demoted and the time of deliberation of this pronouncement was to be deadened by the heavy gauntlet of his steadfast conviction. He quickly turned around to meet August at his desk and worked his way to the articulate news.

 “August, we need to talk about some things,” he said gingerly as he sat at the edge of August’s desk.

“Ok what’s up,” said August coolly.

“So what are you writing?”

“I’m writing on Mayor Goldbaum’s tax reform bill he is proposing to City Council.”

“But Johnson is working on that”

“Well ok, maybe I can work on another article”

Dr. Caldwell paused for a moment to fix his words to enunciate them in perfect consonance

“There will be no next time,” he said obliquely

“What do you mean, no next time,” August cajoled Dr. Caldwell

Dr. Caldwell paused again and looked towards August and said

“We are going to have to let you go”

August leaped to his feet and yelled tempestuously, “What! I have worked here for twelve years Arnie, and you are letting me go?”

Dr. Caldwell swarmed to find an excuse to quell August’s emotions and reasoned, “The business has been down for some time and you haven’t been producing the same work as you have in the past. It’s time we move on August, I have to move on. The business needs to move on. And your output could not be tolerated anymore; we must change for the future.”


August could not discern the rest of Dr Caldwell’s explanation for him being fired other than the words “change” that struck him dead. He quickly discovered that Dr. Caldwell was right, his writing had been poor and he had been making too many excuses to keep his job latched in certainty. With no knowledge of the rest of his subsequent words, August nodded dutifully like a yo-yo on every point Dr. Caldwell made to him. He had only today to pack up his stuff and leave his office for the next writer to fill his position and was to throw any possible chidings of supplication on the part of Dr. Caldwell to reconsider his decision. As soon as Dr. Caldwell was done with his virtual soliloquy, August started to pack his items away. His solicitous co-workers migrated to his office to bid him a farewell. But he paid them no attention. Not only did he have the house to deal with, he had also lost his job. The crudeness of his situation numbed him some. He did not want his feelings to animate himself to this debacle. He wanted to freeze under the banner of clemency and stamp out the fumes that blocked his mind from receiving the peace that he sought to obtain against the tide of unruly trouble from reaching further across the plain shores of his weary mind. So much for twelve years he thought when he exited the building for the last time, all that time in that office was dearth in meaning instantaneously.


The walk home with Amy was laden in painful silence. The boxes that he held in his hands against his chest served as the harbinger for his demotion at work. Amy allowed for silence to tighten the newly-kindled rancor against her father. But she saw that her tactic had miserably failed, for her father had traded his gregariousness for grief. Thus the two walked home abreast muted of words or sounds, keeping their silence as the impassable bridge between each other’s souls.  



The next day was tough and rueful towards August as he woke up to a torrent of telephone calls that drove him from his premature sleep. The city was extremely stubborn to give August another week to pay the outstanding balance of the mortgage payment. The total amount was $5,960. He had only $5,000 in his bank account and most of that money belonged to his grandmother for repaying his failed experiments of producing comics for Clarksville Local Newspaper. Unfortunately for August, his boss failed to bestow upon him any pension that could supply him with income to sustain his living. As a result, he was forced by the circumstances to comply with the city and to evacuate his belongings at the prescribed time set by the city. He hung up the phone abruptly when the operator’s irksome reiterations of company policy began to infuriate him.


Having being beaten and roughed-up by these vicissitudes, August marched up to Amy’s room and coldly revealed to her the news. She was shocked a little. But she did not cry. She had expected this consequence to occur but not in this manner. What was she to do with all her dolls and dresses that surrounded her room? Or the numerous shoes in her closet along with her beloved giant pink dinosaur that kept and cleaned like a sweet old grand-mother? These were her main concerns. She did not want to lose her possessions or have them defaced and damaged; her toys were to be consecrated as members of her own flock of silent companions that would gulp every concern poured in by her and respond in kind by retaining its mechanical silence. She and August worked out the plan to move their things. August was to transport their items to her mother’s home for safe-keeping. He would then look and find a nearby homeless shelter that they can make fit for a time. His mother didn’t like company to stay for too long. Even her children were like strangers to her as peculiar as this phenomenon was, but she did agree to secure his items for the duration of his stay at a homeless shelter. And that was all he needed.


After successfully placing his belongings at his mother home, August quickly drove down with a U-Haul towards the Circle of Hope homeless shelter. He left Amy in the car with the windows down while he worked out the plans to enter into the shelter. But he was hit with crushing news. The homeless shelter was full to its capacity and the next couple of weeks could bring in new people in fear of violating city safety laws. Apparently there are many poor people in Clarksville, so was his cursory thought. He knew that this homeless shelter was the only reputable and fine one nearest him and to lose admission to gain a spot in this facility would be a colossal set-back for him and his daughter. He begged and pleaded with great vehemence to the manager of the homeless shelter, but with sorry eyes and a well-crooked frown on her face, the manager repeated to him the impossibility of housing him and his daughter and began to leave to attend to her other affairs.


Despondent in anger, August dragged his feet towards the car with drooping sadness hanging visibly on his face. The nearest homeless shelter was in Downtown Clarksville, and he knew not to send him and his daughter into a dangerous area where they could be shot or stabbed. The only place he knew that was safe for habitation was Dawson Park, the community park that was filled with the poor and homeless unable and unwilling to be housed in the homeless shelters of the city. As he reached towards the door handle of the car, he can see the sadness forming in Amy’s face. She knew of their fate. And fear began to place its venom in her smile just as he opened the door to enter into the car. August quickly slid into the car without saying a word to Amy. He was too tired of explaining the implications of their condition when the situation was lucidity shone in his sordid countenance. Without intermission, he drove to Dawson Park with a half a tank of gas left in the car to search for temporal habituation.


When they arrived at Dawson Park it was a little warm with slight humidity producing a clammy yet tepid atmosphere. To their benefit, moments after exiting the vehicle, a soft cool breeze came in to suffice for the California weather to be at a perfect equilibrium. Slowly and carefully, both began to pick a spot that could be suitable for them to sleep and make food. All of the pastoral areas of the park were occupied as well as the benches by half-operative water fountains; all that was left were shaded Mesa Oak trees that were big enough to block the sun’s rays from biting their skin. August began to set up camp by the trees directly adjacent to the small bridge that sat on top of the river banks. The river bank was large for a park yet too small for suitable fishing, for the fishes swimming within the river bank were tiny in size to be good for the creation of an edible dish, but complementary to the tiny fishes were frolicking frogs which hopped and bopped along the green scrubs of the low areas of the river. Their censorious calls could be heard all night, to the annoyance of the denizens of the park, when the sun died down and the bright glimmer of the moon lighted faintly at the center of the river. Amy always loved Dawson Park, but she never pictured a place this beautiful could be filled with such poor and dirty people. Such a fact impressed her as being strange and unorthodox. But the convening days would erase this prejudice from her mind, in due time. As they hope, they were successful in making camp and thawing out the insects that populated their area. They searched for a method to retain the desolation of ants around their camping place and achieved it with satisfactory success. After experiencing this accomplishment, they journeyed to spend the day relaxing under the clasp of long tree branches and the melodic choruses of blue jays to shelter them from the infiltrating sun and the monotonous boredom of the disquietude of the park, it was a cumbersome but yet smooth day.


 Later on that night as Amy laid asleep, Augusts’ tears started to emerge out of his eyes when the thoughts of losing his home and job asserted itself in his mind. He fought savagely to expel them permanently, but they still persisted and resided within him until he could no longer ignore their presence. His body yearned for sleep but his desire for sleep had departed. All that was left amongst him that was awake was the orange-colored camp fire that grew stronger against the currents of the wind.  He longed for his soul to leap into the fire’s thick flames in hopes to dissolve his troubles into hot discard-ridden vapor and for those vapors to ascend up to the smoked-filled skies to be blown away by the zephyrs that traveled eastward towards the sleepy city. He stayed in this state of contorting in endless intervals of interrogating thoughts and deep contemplation until the bulge of the sunrise slapped onto his eyes that morning had come. He massaged the stinging numbness of his worries to be inactive for the pursuits of his day and with tired laziness shifting his bones and legs, he staggered to his feet and began to pee along the bushes.



After a couple of weeks living in Dawson Park, good news had come; August had received a new job. He was an assistant librarian for the Clarksville Public Library. The only problem was the issue of transportation. The library was ten miles down away from the park located at the center of the city. He had little control over the outcome of his meager belongings at the park. But Amy gained in maturity and was able to walk by herself to the park from school. This fact released some of the burden that August had on his plate and allowed for him to work without any significant caesura.


He was pleased with his new job and attacked his tasks with ruthless precision. But the money was still not enough to purchase a new home or apartment, only enough for a couple of ham sandwiches from the local store. His thoughts immediately centered on receiving a promotion in library. He wanted to be the librarian at the top level of the library where the history book section lay. The librarian there was old and beyond the years to monitor the library and attend to customers concurrently. However to his dismay, the librarian was impetuous to the fact of her resigning her position and stayed on without acknowledging Augusts’ hapless situation. But this fact did not push him off of his confidence but just momentarily knocked him off balance from her sudden imperviousness to his insinuations. Such was his luck. He thus resigned to accept his lost and waited eagerly for her departure to arrive soon.


The waning months crawled by and the conditions at Dawson Park became normal for August and Amy. They subsisted on fast food with the occasional fish drawn from the river bank adjacent to their camp, and laid peaceably against the noisy honks and raging engines of the cars and buses next to their camping area that powered on throughout the day and night. At this time Amy began to like her surroundings. She discovered curious patterns of the small insects making uni-circles around the rim of tree and distinct bird calls falling down from the summits of the tree’s branches. It was nothing like living in a squared room where four white walls enclosed her in a suffocating box. The open air and large fields of grass were friendly towards active people wishing to explore its depths and adventures. And she liked this fact. She never faltered in swimming in the river banks and crossing through the forest nearby her camp to escape the car noise that distracted her from her studies. But, as she discovered, she began to feel sick from the wilderness that she would traverse and venture carelessly. Dysentery started to creep into her bowels and seized her stomach into submission to emit putrid diarrhea. She hid this fact from her father in an attempt to tuck this secret away from his weary work-filled mind. But slowly the sick grew in strength and she could no longer hide this fact from her father. August found out the extent to her condition serious and was deeply concerned. He quickly and successfully found a local clinic to take her for treatment, and his worries laid at rest momentarily.


As he entered the clinic he had realized that his pockets only revealed $60. He gulped in despair and prayed a quick and rapid prayer that the hospital visit would not total over the amount of money he currently possessed. Sure enough, a check-up was $50, leaving $10 free to get up to eight items from the dollar menu to be consumed for the next four days at Jack-N-The-Box or other fast food restaurants, to be safe from hunger. They waited three hours until Amy was called to enter into the hospital to be checked-up. The nurse in white that handled her appointment was a nice rotund lady with a piercing pink face that lighted in vibrancy when her swollen cheeks rubbed close together against her nose to produce a nicely-knitted smile. The nurse’s smile immediately grabbed Amy’s attention and distilled within her a sweet serenity. This helped balance out the titer-totter of nervousness and hope within her, and she entered through the doors unscathed by oppressive fear.


 The door open softly when the nurse’s loud knocks turned into the Doctor eagerly and gently opening the door to meet her newest patient. Amy felt comfortable immediately after examining her demeanor and posture. The Doctor had a welcoming disposition to her patients that were crushed in sickness and lost in the pain and grief of their condition. They took refuge in her optimism and allowed for the charity of her words to shower them with hope that was lost in the wreckage of their life made possible by the thorns and nails that pierce their luck and deflated their bubble of the unsullied confidence. She wore steel-rimmed glasses and had light hazel eyes with a long convex face that formed a pointy chin and flat forehead. Her teeth displayed a brilliancy of pristine white unfiltered by the plank or residue of food fragments left from her previous meal. Her hair was light-brown in attuned colors and was soft and curly in marvelous texture, envied by all women who gloated at its tenderness. She most certainly had the beauty and physique that would take prison all of the stares of the room that she entered. But most importantly, she was a fine doctor and was able to diagnose Amy’s illness as soon as she heard the first rounds of symptoms.


The Doctor proceeded to ask Amy some questions about her condition and living situation for the time being. Amy was stuck on how to avoid her destitute living-situation at the park and journeyed to avoid the questions entirely that hinted at its existence. The Doctor knew of Amy’s reticence towards her questions and signaled for the nurse to call her father into the hospital room to squeeze the truth out of any reputable source. Shockingly enough, August had the same tone of dissonance towards answering her questions, and The Doctor began to be alarmed the deeper her questions were left unanswered.

The Doctor asked August fervently, “Mr. Timmers, I need to know how the conditions of your home are in order for the nurse and I to offer sound medicinal remedies to ameliorate your daughter’s conditions.”

But August’s lips floundered embarrassingly into expounding an unclear answer, and the Doctor grew impatient.

Again the Doctor pressed August and said, “Mr. Timmers, your daughter has dysentery and it is an imperative for us to understand the living situations in order to find sound treatment for her illness.” August knew that giving up the truth would incriminate his duty as a parent and take Amy away from his protection. He did not want such a result to occur. Nor did he even wish to conceive of its caliginous fruits. He sought to keep this fact away from the tentacles’ of the clinic’s ability to put asunder his hold of Amy, and he fastened himself with the idea of not giving any hint to the quick-mindedness of the Doctor.


Instead of backing down, the Doctor pressed hard along the gates of both August and Amy’s silent belligerence. She called the Police to startle both into registering the trouble that lay in front of them if they held on any longer. The Police arrived and questioned Amy in a separate room away from August’s heeds to retain their secrets. She was scared of the massive guns and nightsticks that the officers had strapped around their belt. She wondered if they would use it against her if she frustrated their demands enough. But she quelled these thoughts when the Police started to gently ask her some questions

“What’s your name sweetie,” the senior officer asked.

“Amy Timmers,” she replied looking down straight at the desk.

“Well we need to know what is going on with you and your father with your condition ok?” replied the Senior Officer moving closer to Amy’s seat.

“Ok” she replied softly.


After an hour of questioning, the Officers were able to extract the necessary information from Amy. She confessed to living in Dawson Park and eating small sandwiches from fast food restaurants when her father was too tired to catch fish from the river bank. The Police were bewildered how a little girl could be so comfortable with living at a park surrounded by poor and drug-induced people that were a potential danger to her safety. She didn’t know and her father did not know of such a thing. They just saw regular people cursed by the counterfactuals of chance that struck their path of life off course. But that was not to be understood by the police, they just didn’t live among these people to know such a truth.


 Satisfied with their findings, the Police approached August to tell him about the news and their knowledge of his situation. He was not to be in custody of Amy any longer. They reasoned that the environment was too dangerous for such a young girl to live in. And they lay upon him the proposition of the possibility of earning back the custody of Amy if the court deemed him able to take care of her. Rapidly, frustration grew on August’s lips and he began to fight against the idea with the police.

He projected a look of angry-confusion on his countenance and yelled sharply, “Officer that is my daughter I demand the court leave me to take care of her!”

The Police quietly prepared to restrain him and said, “Sir, I’m going to need for you to calm down. We cannot have you getting angry in this hospital with children around.”

He denied their request and continued hollering, “I demand justice! I demand fair treatment! You have no right to take my daughter! I’m her father! You aren’t and the city is not!”


The Police began to tighten their restrain by loosening their hand-cuffs from their large belt to proceed to arrest him for disturbing the peace. August began to heighten his shouts in furious indignation and wrestled his hands away from the three police men restraining him. Amy in the other room heard all of the shouts banging against the walls of her room and ran towards the front windows to look into the hospital room where her father was located. She saw the three Officers tackle her father to the ground and laid him flat on his stomach. He swarmed like a pig and gritted tightly at his teeth to forcibly escape the Police’s grips on his back. But to no avail. Their grip was too tight and his shouts began to diminish as he grew tired from his useless anger. The Police lifted him up from the ground and led him out of the Clinic in hand-cuffs. The on-lookers of the clinic were aghast when the loud pandemonium of the backroom produced the emergence a battered man led out by six cops. They all stared intently at August and his mangled condition. Some were concern and drew solicitous eyes towards him, while others were generally apathetic and whispered soft aspersions beneath their voice and laughed clandestinely. However August looked on, facing his judgment at the exit door of the clinic and thereby his concern for the conflict that lay in the hospital.  



Amy began to cry for the first time. She saw the marks of anger, frustration, fear, and most of all exhaustion emanating from her father’s present disposition. She aimed to run after him but the Police knew better to leave the door unlocked to give her the leeway to escape with her father. She watched on until the shadows of the police and her father left her vision as they exited the hospital. Fear like she never knew before caught her suddenly and the tears intensified the more rapid rush of emotions inundated her psyche. Her arms began to shudder violently and her eyes were soused in interminable tears. She quickly retracted her eyes from the window and began to sob in loud intervals like she never knew. Her cries were viciously loud, loud enough to make the room shake in vibrancy and the rest of the rooms over. The Police walked in the room to find her prostrated down on the floor by the corner of the room crying profusely. They reassured her of her safety and convinced her to follow them down to the hospital room to get the proper treatment for her Dysentery. But she was too distraught to receive their words, and the snot that accumulated in her nose began to deposit large slimy quantities all over her clothes. The Police were patient with her; they had to foresight to retrieve a multitude of tissue paper to clean-up the viscous snot from sticking to her fingers and mouth. Nevertheless, after some time, her cries had generally receded and she followed the Police Officers down the hallway and to receive the proper treatment for her illness. The procedure was not long and she was cleared after a couple of hours when they tested several antibiotics on her. But still, the cessation of the tears could not be accomplished with this newly required boon, her tears still resided with her, and the white of her eyes were replaced with the large hue of visible dark redness that beleaguered her innocuous bright blue eyes, thus exacerbating in redness when the waning days tumbled onward.


During the quiet moments of her day, she lay on the hospital bed sick in grief over her father. She had never missed him like this before, but the strange feeling that she received from her heart told her that she would seldom see her father again, and it terrified her greatly. The pressing feeling also notified her that their relationship would not retain the same semblance of father and daughter that they once obtained long ago. These incriminating thoughts arrested her from summoning the spurious hope that she had frequently used to intoxicate her mind into believing the contrary. Alas, the chance of conciliation with amending her love for her father was now forever bound in the eternal past and trapped within the fog-banks of her memory. She cried once more for allow for the remission of her grief to transpire away from her miserable condition. To soothe her crestfallen soul, she slept all night crying incessantly and waited fearfully for her fate with the Children Protection Services to show her which home and which family they would throw her into, without her beloved father, and the tears surged on.


August walked back to Dawson Park a man shattered by the events that molded his existence. The Police realized August’s irrationality was inflamed over losing his daughter, after the currents of wild rage soften within him, they decided to release him when he regained his rationality. The walk back to the park was long and arduous. Both his arms and feet chose to buckle instead of walking properly along the sidewalk; he often diverged from the sidewalk towards the incoming traffic with his head slouching downward, disabling him to garner control over his capricious limbs. He was astonished to know that he received no feeling from his feet striking the earth as he walked morbidly. It was almost like he was arrested and detained from working his feet into the correct posture to hit the ground and lift like a normal human being. But the connection between his mind and body was broken, the streams of consciousness that he once knew were executed by the encroaching calamities purging his fortune, cursing his life with heaps of misery concomitant with the weakness of his will found within his poorly guarded heart. He made no attempt to restore this connection and walked inattentively along the road like a dead man among a field of mines with each impending vehicle dangerously coming close to his vulnerable position to ram him over. His mind strangely enough was sharp and present but his heart was sunk in doom, the reason of his mind could not produce a nostrum for the depression of his heart from disconsolation, so it itself surrendered its guardianship and joined the heart in mourning. At this, he was virtually a zombie along the sidewalk, not having the ability to recognize the distinction between the side-walk and the street, or left from right, front and back, east and west. In this inebriated condition, the only plausible fate that waited for his despondency to corrupt against itself was the inevitable peril of suffering from fatal injury, and worst, even that of death. The sparing moments of serious danger loomed in his ominous walk to the Dawson Park, with scores of cars nearly hitting him when he moved too close to the center of the clogged-up streets. Drivers honked tempestuously at his impertinence, but their obstreperous protests against his faux pas behavior failed to reach his mind’s eye to comprehend their anger. Though the potentialities for fatal accidents were always near, incredibly, he was able to reach the park and arrive at his camp without incurring any injuries from his dangerous journey along the busy gridlocked streets and slumped down to repose his tired limbs on the wet grass against the old Mesa Oak Tree.


August retired to the side of the tree and observed the night sky emerged as the curtain of the sun descended back down into the darkness of space. The feeling of losing his daughter pained him, the excruciation of it was irksome to inure, and he was restless against consoling himself of this realization though the pain writhe his soul incessantly. But as he stormed away in emitting a flood of tears, he began to witness the marvel of nature around him and became possessed to peer into it. The night was more beautiful than I thought, he whispered to himself, he could actually see a blanket of stars shone and flash white iridescent colors in the center of the dark night sky. He smiled a little when he witnessed the brilliance of the night, enough to expel him from attending to the grief of his daughter, his home, and job at the Clarksville Local Newspaper.  He had not seen the night sky so beautiful and terse ever in his life and this fact hit his mind so sharply and powerfully as to shake off his drunken state of mourning. All of the missed appearances to Amy’s ballerina shows, or his failure to detract from his writing career and spend more time with his daughter evaporated. The haunting regrets had lost their potion over him and he was able to experience peace for the first time. He laughed at his folly and dried the tears from his eyes and stared into the starry night once more. The reality that these stars were ephemeral ran softly through his mind but it did not disturb him from his deep meditation in them. He had found his peace. He had found it in the night sky. August lay there in deep peace and slept the greatest sleep he had ever known. He lay all night to meet the stares of people walking by his camp the next morning. They tried to wake him up, but he ceased from awakening to them.





Submitted: November 07, 2014

© Copyright 2021 Deacon Lewis . All rights reserved.

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Ben A Vanguarde

I thought my vocabulary was superior to most but you have put me to shame. That said, stumbling over the words destroyed the fictive narrative and I quit reading after about 7 paragraphs. Please consider the purpose of your story; is it to entertain your readers?

Fri, November 7th, 2014 1:34pm

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