Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Fireflies - Day Six (Live-Blogging A Story)

I took the weekend off, Sunday was Father's Day after all, and Saturday was...I don't know, a day off.  Sue me.  Anyway, I'm back.  Rish made me promise on air that I would write tonight when I got home, so here it is.  1,058 words.  Not bad for a last minute thing, I'd say. 6,300 altogether.


Oscar had missed it, but it was okay, because there was a command performance that night.  An encore just for him.  

He and Simi were deep asleep.  Oscar was dreaming that he was eating a bowl of ice cream, only he was also riding a rollercoaster.  It was a stressful dream. He was so worried that he would lose hold of his bowl of ice cream, and it splatter Ben & Jerry’s all over the people in the cars behind him, not to mention possibly braining somebody waiting in line below when the bowl came down to earth.  On top of that, the speed of the rollercoaster was causing the ice cream to melt faster.  Maybe it was the friction or something, Oscar didn’t know, he wasn’t a physicist or anything.  He just knew it was melting, and the longer it took him to wolf down that ice cream, the more soupy drops went flying back onto the people behind him.  

They were starting to complain, some of them vociferously, with F-words and racial epithets.  They were poking him.  Not just from behind, but from all sides.  Even Simi, who was sitting in the seat next to him, with Trevon on her lap, was jabbing at him.  Trevon was on her lap?  Oh my God!
“Hold on tight to him!” he yelled to her, but he was sure she couldn’t hear him over the roaring wind.  She kept poking at him, only securing Trevon with a single hand.  And he had been worried about what might happen if he dropped his ice cream!  The poking grew increasingly annoying, but the terror he felt for Trevon’s safety made it seem insignificant.  Up ahead, he could see that the rollercoaster was headed for a corkscrew section.  There was no way Simi would be able to hold the baby safely through that.  Why had the workers let Simi bring Trevon on the ride on her lap?  And why hadn’t he noticed and said anything?
They hit the corkscrew, and forces jostled Oscar violently from left to right. The ice cream bowl flew from his hands, and the complaints erupted into a frenzy from behind him.  He heard someone scream below him as the bowl smashed into their unprotected head.  The prodding and poking increased.  Then Oscar screamed as Trevon slipped from Simi’s hands and disappeared, howling as the rollercoaster rushed onward without him.
Oscar awoke, gasping.  The dream had been really upsetting, despite the ridiculousness that he instantly recognized upon awakening.  However, the poking and prodding didn’t cease.  That part wasn’t a dream.  That was coming from the throng of shapes drifting lazily through the air in the room.  With the lights out, he couldn’t see them well, but he quickly guessed that they must be the same things that Simi had described to him over the phone that afternoon.  He jumped from the bed, jostling several of the shapes from their flight pattern, and snapped on the light.
Probably one hundred shapes in every shade of the spectrum clogged the airspace of his bedroom.  And, as Simi had told him earlier, they were solid, not made of insubstantial beams or balls of light.  He walked to Simi’s side, feeling as though he were walking through one of those ball pits at a McDonald’s Playplace, only in zero G.  
He knelt by her side, but he couldn’t decide if he should wake her up.  She’d already seen this, and waking her would probably only succeed in stressing her more.  He could see just from the set of her forehead that she wasn’t sleeping peacefully.  Perhaps she was in the midst of a similar dream to his.  And the shapes seemed harmless, just like the rainbows and the fireflies.  They were all soft-sided, rounded things.  Like a bunch of waterballoons jiggling about in the air.
“Ouch, except that one,” he muttered aloud, and turned to see one that had a corner on it.  It was harder that the others too.  This felt more like a hard plastic or metal edge than a jiggly water balloon.  He looked closer at the other shapes around the room, and noticed several more of the hard-sided ones.  Maybe he should wake Simi after all.  If nothing more than to make her mobile enough to avoid the pokey ones if needed.
“Simi,” he whispered, nudging her shoulder and shaking her softly.
Her response was proof that Newton’s law did not apply to her.  Instead of slowly quietly opening her eyes, she sat bolt upright and cried out.  She was instantly shaking and breathing heavily.  She grabbed at Oscar, getting a handful of his hair.  Oscar’s hand snapped up, grabbing her wrist, and keeping her from ripping the hank of hair out at its roots.
“Woah, woah, niña!” He said, “Wake up.  It’s me!”
Her eyes widened, and she relaxed back against the headboard.  “What’s going on, Oscar?  Is it morning?”
“No, look!” He said, and waved his arms toward the shapes.
But they were gone.  In the time that it took to wake Simi, they had vanished.
“Oh, crap.  They were here.  I swear.  It was just like you told me about over the phone.  All the shapes, the colored shapes.”
Simi wasn’t very with it yet, but she did her best to follow along, “You saw them?  They were back?”
“Yeah.  I thought I’d better wake you up, because there were some that were sharp...or pokey, anyway.”
There was a rustling from the bassinet beside them.  Trevon wasn’t crying, but he was awake.  Simi’s rude awakening had probably shocked him awake.  The tears were surely soon to follow.
He squawked, and Simi, like a well-trained animal, immediately turned to him, and brought him forth from the bassinet.  He squawked, and Simi freed her left breast and thrust the nipple into his mouth.  She sat back against the headboard again, and closed her eyes, beyond the reach of Oscar’s words.  There was something about breastfeeding that did that, Oscar didn’t really know.  He’d never read those What To Expect books.  It released a hormone or something like that into a woman’s system that calmed them and, often, put them to sleep.  
He knew he’d get nothing more from her this evening, so he went back to bed, even more troubling dreams haunting his sleep.


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