Paradise Now

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Story of a girl in pursuit of her personal vindication and truth

Submitted: May 29, 2009

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Submitted: May 29, 2009



No more desolation as the trees marketed the end of clouds and rain. Footprints of the storms were found knee deep in her ankles and freckled on her cheek bones and hands.

The trees ran parallel, like those of a grove, down the only inlet road within seven miles of the house. The road combined with the heart and direction of the house and its residence. There were no other directions, no other roads, just the single artery of a broken and secluded heart sharing the drift. Some come but when they leave, they are gone; no one ever returns to Brickham palace. The main road that leads out, adjoins with several veins, then into capillaries--into the thriving and bloody world. There was no chance in returning, the labyrinth of flow is an elaborate attempt of manipulating the simplicity of life. So it is said.

Celeste remembers her father facilitating the contortion of his face with a napkin; tossing his hands in the air like a child releasing a kite. His brow sank low enough to shadow his eyelid and his words sank heavy from the sodden oath of his conversation, if not apprehension: “Those streets are like veins to a gutter punk waving his anarchy symbol around with his left hand and with his right oppressing his thoughts with heroin. The veins are tainted and poisoned and smell like rotting teeth. They are not streets they are sewers.”

This is why when you left Brickham, you left Brickham. You never come back, the day the city light shed on you was the day you lost your virginity on salavation. It was the day your blood turned to red from gold. From then on you became a tourist visiting Eden. A Christian family without forgiveness or acceptance. Just as all the others. Just like all the other heart’s pumping and relying on one artery, thinking theirs is the most holy and sacred even though they are fed by the same body.

Celeste marked her place in the mud and watched the wind gossip in the trees, reminding her that her love was to be alive. Even if she did not hear him sing, even if she had never seen his face, or kissed his eyes. Celeste knew that she had to be the one to love, because the ensuing fued between her implemented morals and her intuition played the most subtle and damaging game of tug-of-war. The savage decree of her heart could not subside, as her teachers attempted to whip it all out of her. Sure they constructed and forged the voice, but her eyes revealed the color of her thought.

She wiped her face with the newspaper to try and rid it of the freckles of mud. She could feel them like insects loitering on her face, waiting for her to provoke make them move. It was just mud though, and when she dropped the newspaper, she laughed and fashioned a smiley by removing the smudge off specific areas.

Celeste sank her knees into the mud like an anchor and began orchestrating the mud in undulating tides. She had never seen the ocean. She could not fathom the intricacy of its desolation. The spectrum of light and endless permutation of color. The construction of hearts has always sat like a scar in her head. The ocean reminded her of a present that sits under the superfluously adorned Christmas tree, that would postpone being opened. The period of pending and lost sleep cavorting, then receding into a helpless plea.

The sign blistered with three generations tumbled into the mud. It said Aucans Souci. Celeste caressed the surface and traced her finger along the trenches of the words.

Perhaps it was the way the curtains marked the windows of the house, or maybe it was the way the lights flickered like a lost and shy lightning bolt. But it compelled her watch the collecting and conversational clouds evaporate in the distance. She noticed how they danced and tangoed their existence into oblivion. The same clouds that affected and promoted change in the soil; dismissed themselves in a manner of humble exultation. They valorized their admissions and affect to the planet, convincing themselves as vindicators. They celebrated in a celestial orgy and dissipated into words and recycle.

Celeste heard the echo of the immigrant clap forever. She never knew what happened or why it happened or who it happened to. But she did momentarily recognize the scream of her mother’s and the voices convoluted in the others yelping like chimpanzee’s. It was the mud that felt so warm on her ankles. Caressing them just as her mother did, before she lost her mind. Before her mother paced the halls at four in the morning dusting off cobwebs that were nonexistent in the hall, pitch black and defined only by deeper shadows. Before she began whispering to herself that the devil only wore a tuxedo on Tuesdays because that is when we least expected it. It was before her father recognized the incessant eccentric banters and chose to forget her existence. It was before she dragged her heart along a confused phantom, hanging meat like an answer for her heart, directing her in her misinterpreted instincts and cataclysms of responsibility. It was before she surrendered herself to herself. It was when she cradled her only daughter back and forth until the sunset... and into the night, as her voice and warmth repelled all demons and darkness launderers waiting to plunder Celeste’s sanctity.

What Celeste heard, more than the din of the clap, was the thunder of the clip falling four times to the floor like a swelling bell. It was perhaps this that introduced her memory only spoken in revolving synapses of a movie frame. She remembered the condition of love in which she never recognized, only through books and the miscommunication of Repunzel and Celeste’s mother. It was the context of a prince and her father. Celeste remembered that she was ashamed. That she had no model, just mannequins and plastic attempts of her parents ghost kisses and austere embraces. It was the utter sound of the scream that was lost in and expelled from her memory.

Celeste stared down the tunnel of the magnolia grove, into the fervent blue sky.

To the left the shadows hailed three lean hounds with crystal tiger eyes. Celeste knew they came for her. They sat and watched with a serpent stare and kissed her conscious with an insidious sting. She recognized these feelings and would not cater to them again.

There was surrender in the din, introduced by the breach of the sunlight through the trees. It began to diminish in the wind and she could smell the Magnolia and hear the river colliding onto the limestone shores in white rapids. The magnolia was rancid to the hounds and they sauntered back into the trees without looking back. They ebb back into the shadows. The shadows which define their sacred fear. The shadows that are defined for the darkness of a grave, the grave in a shadow.

She picked up her legs. Celeste was only ten when she recognized her fear; it came blazing like a banshee on fire. She put up her paper tiger and climbed into the distance, into age and life. The light swallowed her as her legs led her out of the grove and the single artery pumping only poison into her heart. She was forever going to be a stranger and was willing to expect that. In fact, it didn’t even present a motive to her, her salvation was in the face of going home. Into the sewer where her home lies. She knows to follow the lights.

Celeste was more than running away from the past and the thunder clap that echoes through her head like Morgue. Every footstep is like a grave for her eradicating all that was left of her youth. Celeste felt god watching her but she knew he didn’t want to help her; because if he did, he would be living through her.

There were reports of a child in her old town but they were easily shadowed by the death of a local pasture. The death of a man by his wife who now resides in a template cotton candy insane asylum. She decorates walls with crayons creating cobwebs and drawing pictures of a young girl she wants to remember to love, yet doesn’t know how and worse why. She cries herself to sleep every night dreaming of a little girl everyday; thinking that she was just a reverie.

Celeste ran and followed the sun. She didn’t know how far she ran, but she ran until she could run no more. Her legs surrendered swollen but forgiving. She pampered them in the cool sway of the tide. She felt the cold sand collect between her toes and she manipulated the miniature dunes with her wrists.

Celeste had arrested her din to the gentle and protecting thunder of the waves. She felt the savage crest of her lungs trying to receive as much pure air as possible. Releasing all the poison. The waves could take it away.

It was her first time she experienced the ocean. But it was too dark to see. Funny how sight is so vital for beauty. She wanted paradise now. She knew it was waiting, if it were ever to be found. She wasn’t going to give up.

Celeste knew the sun would rise with tomorrow.

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