A story in times looping embrace

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
The Intent if this piece of writing is to make the reader recognize, and appreciate time. The piece will be all about time passing and people having to deal with grief, and how sometimes people can overlook some things in their sadness and not appreciate what they have in a time when they still have it. I plan on making the style, structure, essence, and theme open to the interpretation of the reader, because its abstractness will lead to people deducting different things from it. It will be 3rd person narrative, but it will switch between past tense to present tense because of the nature of the story, which means that the two different ‘realities’ I plan on using will be at different times.

I would really appreciate some comments or reviews on this piece of writing, because I would like to know how I could make it better.

Submitted: September 11, 2013

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Submitted: September 11, 2013

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A story in time’s looping embrace

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

The duck was both swimming backwards and forwards, creating a whirlpool effect that both amused and enchanted the man who was standing on the bench. The man continued to both look towards and away from the duck, which had so enchanted him both a moment before- yet also afterwards. He was about to turn to look at his daughter Mary-Jane Alexander, who had long fiery red hair that seemed to waver in the breeze that wasn’t there. She was playing with a boy called James, who in that prolonged moment, lived on the cusp of turning eight and being seven years old. In the background of this picturesque place in time, lies a quiet park, with only a dog which spins around and around, trying to catch his tail. Never ceasing, as time repeats itself, over, and over.

 

Suddenly, time moved. It moved in one sharp, abrupt movement, uncaring of the callousness of its new, uncharted movements. Like a record that was stuck in a rut which had magically begun playing again, it moved as if this new thing was what it had always done.

 

But that ghostly, unseen moment of undefinable time continued to affect the world, in a way that nobody could ever see or fathom.

 

For in that moment of suspended repetitive animation, something, just... Split. It was almost as if the moment created a jagged hole in time that could not be replaced. The unnaturalness its existence created something else entirely. For before that moment began, there was only one reality, in which time continued forwards, second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour.

 

From the instant that repetitive ‘plane’ of reality ceased existing, another reality was born. It was almost as if whilst the present, forward, normal time continued being, (As it had always done, with the exception of that single point in time which no longer exists) There was also something separate, something… strange  created as an aftereffect of that a jagged hole in time.

 

But nobody noticed…

Time changed, stopped, split and reversed, and nobody even realized what had happened.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

****

After

 

In a time that one can recognize as the present,

 

 A man named Graham Alexander is standing on a bench watching a duck swim forwards effortlessly through the lazy, downhill current. He turns upon hearing the sound of his daughter Mary-Jane Alexander playing with the next door neighbor James, who will be turning eight in 54321… seconds, (according to James’ eccentric mother, who happens to have recorded the moment of his birth down to the millisecond). A breeze that wasn’t there just a moment ago ruffles through Mary-Jane Alexander’s long fiery red hair and makes both children shiver. Graham realizes how cold it is, so he takes the children home.

 

James and Mary-Jane are holding hands the whole way.

 

For the next year, Graham comes home from work at 5.16 pm every evening is entertained by watching the two children playing together. Every Saturday he takes James, Mary-Jane and his wife Anne to the Diner on 131 Main St. for breakfast, and on Sundays he takes his family to church. After this, he drops his daughter to James’ house and the two children play soldiers and have tea parties with Teddy.

 

 

****

Before

 

In a newly created, strange, abstract reality, where one may notice similarities to the past and future,

 

 

Graham Alexander was reminded of the beautiful, scenic park and that strange dog that never seemed to catch his tail. His focus changed from the dog to his daughter Mary-Jane Alexander, who was playing with James. (James had just reverted back to being seven years old). It was enjoyable to watch his daughter and Son-in-law happy again for the first time in years, before the problems with their marriage started. He concluded that people should not have children so young, before turning away from the pair to look at the duck, who was swimming effortlessly backwards upstream into the uphill current.

 

Graham called at the children to have fun at the park, and they heard him and ran to give him a hug. They all walked back home together, having enjoyed hours of fun. When the trio reached James’ house, James ran inside and came back with a teddy bear, which he then told Mary-Jane not to lose again.

 

“I remember when I gave this to you,” he said,

"We were 22.”

 

Mary-Jane screwed her face up really hard, as if trying to remember something important.

“I remember too, I said I’d call her Ruby-Teddy”

 

Graham’s heart jumped for a second. Father and Daughter walked the rest of the way home hand in hand, but the little girl never noticed her father’s silent tears.

 

 

 

 

 

****

After

 

 

When James is nine, he pulls out a plastic ring and asks if Mary-Jane will marry him. Eleven years later they do.

 

Mary Jane outshines even the sun as she walks down the aisle with her proud father by her side. Everything is so perfect that as James watches silently, he can’t help thinking that it must be a dream. Little Ruby toddles in front of her mother with a serious sort of inquisitive intensity, frowning with concentration as she rises to the challenge of walking by herself.  For all her seriousness, she still looks like a sweet, knobby-kneed giraffe that has just learned to walk.

 

 “Come here, Teddy” James whispers, chuckling at her as Ruby runs haphazardly into her father’s arms.

 

 

 

****

Before

 

 

Graham put his little girl to bed and then they quietly watched the sun fall together. Graham stayed hushed until Mary fell into an angelic, blissful slumber. When all the little lines on her soft, white forehead had smoothed, Graham searched Mary-Jane’s room for little Ruby-Teddy, which he then tucked in to bed too. Graham whispered quietly; “Wake up little dove, for today is a new day and all is well in our world.”

 

His voice was as evanescent as smoke, teasing at the little girl, but disappearing just as it became solid.

Mary-Jane woke up and her Daddy wasn’t home anymore.

 

She could still hear the whisper of her daddy’s voice that had floated through her dreams. She rubbed one of her eyes with a little fist and found she had been crying. She wanted to ask Daddy why she was sad, but he didn’t come, so she sucked her thumb and hugged Ruby-Ted tightly instead.

 

****

After

 

Time passes sweetly when two are in love, but good things never seem to last forever. They slip through your fingers like trying to catch the wind, its beauty so enticing, so transparent, and yet so frustratingly fleeting.

 

Little Ruby’s bright red hair made her look ethereal on her bed of daisies. The parents blamed themselves for not being there when their child needed them, but nobody was to blame, nor could anyone have foreseen what happened. Her little dimpled cheeks proof that in the 3 ¼ years she lived, Ruby had laughed until the day she died.

 

After the funeral James gave his wife a bear that she named Ruby-Teddy, which she cherished and loved unconditionally.

 

…..

 

…..

Time passes achingly when two lose the hunger for love. The love is there, but it slips through their open fingers like trying to catch the passion of the wind that already passed. They try and try, but a hole is there that Mary-Jane and James cannot replace.

 

On the anniversary of their baby girl’s death, they have one final guilt laden argument. Finally the couple mutually agrees that they only hurt each other, and talk quietly about the prospect of divorce.

 

 

****

Before

 

Two days rewound and daddy didn’t come home. Mary-Jane became hysterical. She couldn’t find her daddy anywhere.

 

So her talking became yelling and her yelling became screaming. But no matter how hard she called his name, he wouldn’t come, and she didn’t know why.

 

Her mother found her as a sprawling heap on the floor. Anne cradled her when Mary-Jane’s disheveled face sobbed and wailed. She did not know how to comfort her distraught child because she didn’t know when he was coming home either- Graham just disappeared for an erratic amount of time every year in August. So she tried her hardest, as her baby girl cried; “Daddy said he’d never leave me again.”

 

Mary-Jane and Anne heard the sound of heavy boots in the hallway. Graham rounded the corner and found mother and daughter in a still tight embrace. He contemplatively observed them for a still moment.

 

“What going on here?” he asked.

“I thought you’d gone again,” Mary whispered back.

“Never again,” He promised.

 

He crouched in front of his little girl and whispered something quietly in her ear.

 

 

****

After

 

Graham is called up by his daughter at one in the morning. She can’t get to sleep; her heart is broken and devastated. Mary-Jane has never been without James. There isn’t much Graham can say, because he had been thinking that they were both devastated by Ruby’s loss but are working through it the best they can.

 

The phone conversation finishes and Graham sits on the porch, thinking.

He doesn’t sleep.

 

At 5.41 he gets on his bicycle.

 

He decides as he rides that he will see James and talk to him about their marriage.

 

The morning Mist is quiet and Meditative, creating a serene pocket of uninterrupted, ruminant space.

 

He rounds a corner in the road and is blinded by the early-morning sun shining through the mist. He crosses the center line.

 

There is a Blaring Horn,

 

Twin lights,

 

The moment of awareness,

Exactly like the animal in front the car which cannot stop,

It knows,

 

Before finally,

Impact.

 

At 6.01pm, a truck driver makes an emergency call for a head-on crash. The emergency services are taking too long to arrive, and the driver of the truck doesn’t know what to do. He remembers being told once in a first-aid seminar that the patient should be kept warm, so he goes to the back of his truck to look for a blanket.

 

Graham lies broken on the ground.

He is depressed, because he is dying.

 

He also knows that he will never get the chance to convince James and Mary-Jane not to get divorced. He is aware that he will be the last nail in the coffin of a dying marriage.

 

He tries not to think too much, but he is very sad.

And cold, so cold.

 

 

****

Before

 

Graham had crouched in front of his little girl and whispered something quietly in her ear.

 “Never give up hope, because know that I love you no matter where I am.”

 

Mary- Jane looked confused.

“You said that before daddy.”

 

“What do you remember, Ruby?” asked Graham, curious.

 

 

****

After

 

Mary-Jane is 28 and old beyond her years. She is feeling melancholy as she watches the little match-box houses fly past in a blaze of unsympathetic colour from the confines of her taxi. She misses her mother, who she fell out with, after. She misses her baby girl. Ruby-Teddy, The substitute on her lap, will never fill the hole she feels inside. And she misses her Daddy, his freshly-made hole tearing painfully at her heart.

 

But most of all,

She misses James, the only person who ever knew the true her. But that ship sailed past a long time ago.

 

The taxi stops. She pays the driver and climbs out onto the dirty asphalt. She trudges dutifully up the hill, passing the brooding gates of the cemetery. Her mournful figure is a contrasting sight against the sunlit, quirkiness of the crooked path.

 

She reaches a spot next to a muddy, barely flowing stream where two polished stones lie. Mary-Jane has nothing to give or say, so she just sits down and experiences the hushed moment.

 

52 tranquil minutes later, she feels a shadow blocking her sun.

She turns around to see the halo of James’ face looking down on her.

“I’ve been looking for you,” He says.

“It’s not living when I’m without you.”

 

Mary-Jane doesn’t know what to say. James looks so much like Ruby that it makes her heart crumble. She hesitates, indecisive.

 

~~~

From between the rift separating the two realities, a miracle happens.

Words leak through.

~~~

 

Mary hears her father’s ghostly voice, floating around her.

“Never give up hope, because know that I love you no matter where I am.”

 

She closes her eyes and takes one long breath, savoring.

“I missed you too,” she says.

 

Mary-Jane outshines even the sun as she walks down the aisle with her proud mother by her side. Everything is so perfect that as James watches silently, he can’t help thinking that it must be a dream.

When she reaches him, He lifts her veil and just looks at her. While he stares into her face, he notices a single grey hair, which he smooths back behind her ear.

 

 

****

Before

 

“I remember!” little Mary cried.

“You said that to me, right before me and James got married.”

Graham was confused. “I don’t think I did Mary-Jane.”

“You did.” Mary Huffed.

“I would remember.” Graham pointed out.

 

“You left me,” Mary whispered.

 

Graham was shocked.

He didn’t dare to believe that he understood what his daughter was saying.

“Mary…” he asked.

“Yes?”

“Did you and James get married twice?” he tentatively asked

“Of course!” Mary-Jane smiled.

 

…..

 

 

The conversation finished when Mary-Jane got up and started playing with Ruby-Ted.

 

Graham sat on the porch, thinking.

He didn’t sleep.

 

At 5.41 he got on his bicycle.

 

He remembered as he rode that he was about to see James and talk to him about their marriage.

 

The morning Mist was quiet and Meditative, as it created a serene pocket of uninterrupted, ruminant space.

 

He rounded a corner in the road and was welcomed by the beautiful early-morning sun as it shone through the mist. He pulled his bike to the side of the road.

 

There is a Blaring Horn, and a truck keened loudly past.

 

Its twin lights illuminated the mist.

 

The moment of awareness,

Close to the animal in front the car which cannot stop,

It knew,

 

Before finally,

He felt the ghost memory of an impact.

 

Graham looked both ways 30 times before he finally stepped off the curb.

He knelt, and whispered to a memory of his birth. He told himself not to be afraid, how he wished he knew when he needed to know the things he knows now.

He checked the road again.

He told himself how he needn’t have been born as early as he was. How little Ruby and James get married again and are happy. He wished and told himself to be happy, as he cried in his newfound peace of mind.

 

 

****

After

 

At 6.01pm, a truck driver makes an emergency call for a head-on crash. The emergency services are taking too long to arrive, and the driver of the truck doesn’t know what to do. He remembers being told once in a first-aid seminar that the patient should be kept warm, so he goes to the back of his truck to look for a blanket.

 

Graham lies broken on the ground.

He is depressed, because he is dying.

 

He also knows that he will never get the chance to convince James and Mary-Jane not to get divorced. He is aware that he will be the last nail in the coffin of a dying marriage.

 

He tries not to think too much, but he is very sad.

And cold, so cold.

 

~~~

He hears a crack

~~~

 

And then he sees something ghostly, and strange.

 

One might argue it was an angel, others the embodiment of death himself. Others might say that he was seeing a ghost, or provide a therom to logically explain it.

 

But Graham knows different, because he sees himself – and he’s no angel.

 

 

But that wavering specter tells him things that make all his hurts and worries go away. It kneels in front of him and whispers how his little girl will get married again.

It tells him to be happy, because everything turns out all right, in the end.

 

~~~~

 

And through a rift that spans space and time,

In two separate realities,

Worlds apart,

 

Two versions of the same man smile.

 

 

 


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