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Love, and Other Strong Emotions

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Chapter 1

Tommy whines because I stuck my tongue out at him, Sammie screams because she stubbed her toe, Troy cries because he's a baby and mom sits down at the kitchen table with this lost look on her face like she doesn't know what the heck shes doing. (or did by having us for that matter.) Typical day in the Reynold household.
See its like this, mom had me when she was 17 and we are that story when a girl gets knocked up young and then her boyfriend runs off with another woman and she has no one to support us.
Well I don't know the first thing about my dad but I never really cared or thought about him because my mom got married again when I was 3.( that Tommy's, Sammie's, and Troy's dad.) We were all happy for a little while and he acted like a real father to me up until a few weeks ago when my mom found out he was cheating on her. (don't ask me how she found out. I don't really want to know.) Anyway he got scared and threw us all out. Even his own children.
So now we are living in my mom's best friend's dad's cousin's apartment building. My mom keeps telling Jorge we are going to move out but she can't save enough money to buy a house. Don't get me wrong I love my mom but she doesn't really know what shes doing. Well I get my necessities so I guess I will leave you on that happy note and sign off.
Chapter 2

My branches stretching up out
grow survive
that's all there is
emotions are lost to me
with my inner eye
I see the glimmering ball of energy I call food
my gut instinct tells me
water
I lengthen my roots
searching
I find the underground stream
ahhhhhh
I remember something
a girl walking over my roots
she looks at me in the depths of the night
she sees me as something more
I feel something
no, emotions are lost to me
I cant feel, I don't care
nothing really matters

Chapter 3

I always respected that tree. It was more.....majestic than any other tree I have seen. Its one of those places that inspires you to think deep and come up with ideas. Or in my translation it's were light bulb moments happen.
Well one day I was sitting in my favorite place in between its roots and I saw a little girl being kissed by her father as she was caught in mid-run. That set something off in me. Something clicked. I asked my self exactly two questions, were was he and why can't I have that? From that point on I became obsessed with my dad. The more I thought about my pitiful amount of information the more I wanted to know, and that sealed my fate on a path of sorrow, betrayal, and danger.
Chapter 4

spring
I will my buds to flourish
because I am the most beautiful
I sense the anxiety of the other plants
its time
I reach inside the depths of my inner self to find the magic that is always there
I feel the presence of the other trees within myself
on a level of energy humans will never know
we begin our chant
willing our blossoms to abound and thrive
in the spring enchantments that are released into the air stretched tight across us
we will chant until every tree has grown to there fullest
but I falter in the steady rhythm
I remember something
a girl sitting in my roots
humming a song to herself
sweeter than any sound the twinkling stars could ever make
I feel something
no, emotions are lost to me
I cant feel, I don't care
nothing really matters

Chapter 5

The first person I went to was Stardust the woman that works at the local grocery store. She has worked there for 20 years and since it such a small town she knows just about everybody and everything about the town. I never really liked her ( as a retired hippie) but I had never asked my mom about my dad so I didn't know how she would react. So I went to the one person I knew would know about my dad and not care why I was asking her. This was our conversation.
“ Hon, why in sweet Christmas would you want to know about 20 years ago when I had a tattoo of a flamingo on my belly?” Then she leaned close and confined with me a secret that was so expected that I could tell what she was saying before she even uttered a word,
“ still do.”
then she laughed that laugh (that turned into a coughing fit) that smokers posses in addition to bad breath and lungs ect.
“ please?!” I pleaded, “ I want to know about the man I have a right to call father.” I knew that poetic goody two -shoes stuff ate away at her heart.
“ Oh hon, don't make me feel bad, I'll tell ya all I can remember about you pops. Here have a beef stick, It's on the house.” Then she sat down crossed her eyes, puckered her lips, and stroked her eyebrow. ( weird huh?!) As I tore away at the tough meat she shuffled through her memories and told them to me one by one.” The first time I remembered seeing your old man was when he and your mama first came into my grocery store to get some cotton candy flavored bubble gum, which apparently your mother was craving. They bought my last pack for 69 cents. ( the gum was 69 cents? You have got to be kidding me.) Well then I introduced my self and they seemed like a regular newly wedded couple with a baby coming their way. I asked what they wanted to name their baby and they said Jimmy for a boy and Tami for a girl. Jimmy was your dads name and Tammie your moms.
“ Wait “ I said, “ My moms name is Sarah not Tammie.”
“ Well....uh....I meant......I mean...um ....well.. that was the name she went by.” Then she nodded her head pleased with the answer and like she was trying to convince her self what she just told me was true. “ Yup thats what happened all right. Uh the next time I saw Tamm, I mean Sarah. She had this desperate look about her and when she asked me to help her she hung her head like she lost a race and told me “eggs”. She must of been craven eggs something bad. Then she winked at me.
“ Well I never saw your pops after that, but you mama would always ( about every month) come to me the same way she did that first time. Even after she had you. She was a needy girl.
The last time I saw your parents together was... then she got this look on her face like she was trying to decided if she should tell me or not Whatever it was.
“Nope never mind I never saw your parents again they just up and left after your uh... your 1st birthday. She nodded like the before.”Yup thats what happened alright. Then she turned and busied herself with cash register. “ now beat it kid I got some uh stuff to do.” I walked away disappointed. I didn't find near enough information in those pitiful stories as I wanted to, but you get what you get and you don't throw a fit. ( ha ha ha)

Chapter 6

On through the next few weeks I could dig up past the top soil. I had hit a layer of rock. The thing that kept me going was the one thing everybody knew and nobody would tell. I would pull my poetic trick and they would tell me their pointless stories of seeing my parents on the street, but then they would get really hush-hush about something. There was only one place I hadn't gone to yet. It was the one place I didn't want to go unless I had to and now I see that if I want to find out about that hush-hush memory then I would have to go to the local bar.
I would fantasize about getting on the bus to go to the bar and it would turn out that my dad was the bus driver. I felt really uncomfortable going there but in reality I had no choice.

*********
Chapter 7

I'm feeling queasy
maybe bugs are taking over my insides
no
not enough sun
no
not enough water
no
it gets worse over the hours
I worried
I recoil my roots from the water
I put up my iron barriers
nothing can get into me
with ferocity like a tiger
I locate the poison in me
it has spread
I work
day and night
to get it out
I remember something
a girl picking off a wilted leave
she looks at me like a veterinarian would look at an elephant
she knew just what to do with this gigantic beast
I feel something
no, emotions are lost to me
I can't feel, I don't care
nothing really matters

Chapter 8
I'm waiting and waiting to talk to listen to learn nothing of nobody is coming my way. Actually I think I'm pretty lucky to even get here. This is how it happened I told my mom I just going out for the day then I got on the bus and got off at the bar. I happened to find Stardust there and she agreed to help me ( very reluctantly might I add). I've made up a plan which was Stardust would go in and get the bar tender then I would talk to him and I would then be on my way, but it didn't happen like that because I've been waiting here forever. So I'll get back to you when the bar tender comes.
*********
“ What do you want little girl?” the bar tender said annoyed.
“ I want to know if any thing out of the ordinary happed here some 12 years ago. Instantly his face melted like butter. He gave me a look so sad I yearned to hug him and tell him every thing was alright I could do without information.
“ right uh meet me at Blue Sky park tomorrow at noon if you want to talk.” Then he leaned close and breathed in my ear
“ I know who you are and what you want to talk about but if I were you I wouldn't come.” Then he wrung his hands on his smock and just walked away. OK... I'll just bring Stardust and call the police if anything happens. Besides he's a bar tender, you can't really trust him right?

Chapter 9

Legs, eyes, hair
I wanted to plunder a life from a human
for I wanted to run and rest with her
to eat and drink with her
to laugh and argue with her
I wish
do I dare
I wish to be
human
I've heard of this....
illness
being fond of a human
only leads plants to
suffering knowing we can't have what we want
I lock myself within the safety of my iron safe
prisoner within my own body
I will not remember
I will not feel
yes emotions are lost to me
I can't feel, I don't care,
nothing really matters

Chapter 10

11:59. I'm precisely one minute early. Stardust Fidgets with her phone. I can tell shes nervous but it's beyond me why. We decided that she would hide behind a bush with her thumb on the 9 dial so the bar tender wouldn't get suspicious and because it was sort of a personal moment if I find out any thing like he left me a letter or a large amount of money my mom didn't know about. ( I wish).
“ there he is” Stardust exclaimed. She scurried to her hiding spot and I stood a little taller knowing that this could be a big day for me.
“ Hey uh,” He looked at all the little kids and mothers and suggested “ maybe we should go some place more...” he shifted uncomfortably “ private.” I just looked at Stardust ( who made the slitting the throat gesture) and shrugged. So I followed him.
*********

We ended up by a lake. He started pacing by the shore. Uh oh not good.
“ I told you you shouldn't have come with me.” he said “now your going to have to pay for it.” Somebody jumped out of the bushes behind me. I turned not really out of curiosity more out of...fear. You know when something is so horrible you can't help but look' thats how I felt. Then I saw his face.
Flashback
warm sunshine
my parents a fuzzy blur
Then dad
convincing mom to come into deep water
then screaming
horrible screaming
a choked gurgling scream that says I'm being betrayed I should have know all along
Then hands grabbing for my throat
I just ran

Chapter 11
I knew I had to get out. I was running faster and farther than I had ever run in my life. I knew it would make
my mother proud since she was a runner in high school. In a matter of 5 minutes I was running up my front steps. I didn't think about the danger I was in with those men chasing me. I just knew I had to get out. I grabbed a bag. I threw in clothes a teddy bear, a family photo and a $50 bill I earned last summer. I ran down stairs.
“Honey wait, don't you want lunch?”
“Have to go, I'll explain later.”
I dashed down the steps, sides heaving and ran at the same speed to the grocery store. I hobbled over to
stardust's cash register clutching my sides and panting, “need money...pay back”
“course, hon” she handed me 4 $100 bills. I stared at her and started to protest but she said “Go, I understand.”
I took it. What could I say, she was a hippies daughter, she understood.
“Be careful those men are still after you” she called. I nodded and my journey to, well., anywhere began.


Chapter 12
I stood there bawling my eyes out. I stood there blubbering in front of my mothers grave. How is it possible? I don't honestly know. I tell you the major points of my 3 week journey while I collect my thoughts. Well, my journey started out like all the regular ones at the train station. It was one of the safest and most dangerous places for a runaway. Safe because of so many people and dangerous because I knew it would be the first place those scary men would look. I was right, 15 min. after I had gotten there I saw those men. Fortunately I saw them before they saw me so I hid in the ladies bathroom for like 2 hours or at least it seemed like it. By that time my train had already left and I spent my first night sleeping in a the train station.


Chapter 13
The next morning I was very stiff and sore, but I made sure I was in line and had my ticket 2 hours before my train boarded. I spent the rest of the time browsing shops buying food for the trip and being wary for police because I knew my (so called) mom would have already contacted them after I didn't come home last night. Nothing really happened on the train; just a typical runaway kid. What's new? I couldn't grasp my mind around the fact of what those men were trying to do though. I tried not to dwell on it but it kept coming back showing me how harsh the world is. On the train I thought of all the times I remembered crying and I knew the world was really unfair. My journey went uneventful for a day. Next, I arrived in Madison. I don't really know why I went there. It felt partly out of instinct. The next scary thing that happened was I was almost robbed. I just got to close to an old bum, he grabbed me than this nice lady came and kneed him in the crotch and he backed off. Then she just nodded and walked away like she did this every day. I have a lot to learn about the world. Where did I sleep? I mostly slept in the town park. I bought a coat and all that stuff so I was all set to be a hobo. Truthfully I loved the thrill of it. The only problem was getting clean. I cheated once and paid $50 to stay in a motel one night but to get a shower it was worth it. I didn't see those men ever again. It wasn't hard to hide from the police so I mostly meandered around, enjoyed the sights of all the towns and forgot about my life. Its nice to be carefree once in a while. Somehow I ended up in this little town called Dickeyville. Everything was so familiar and alien at the same time. Then I was running fast and hard like that time when the men were chasing me. My legs knew where they were going, my mind wasn't so sure. I ended up by my real mothers grave. I had a flash back.

My little legs running trying to get away from the horrible truth. My real mothers dead. I don't know how, when or why I don't remember but I'm thinking it's time to get back home.

Chapter 14
On my way to the cab I kept seeing things like men behind me or shadows but they were too fast for me to see. Then I heard a really fast moving car behind me. I looked and saw those men. I ran again, I jumped into a cab and told her “Drive, please!” I think she saw my frantic face and the car because she just did. After I got in the cab the men changed there technique. They slowed down and just followed us. We tried to loose them a few times but they always found us. By the time we had driven 2 hours I guess by cab driver got tired of this race. She said “Get out and take your troubles with you.” I nodded; fair enough. I tried to give her the last of my money but she just said “Just get out of my cab and don't come back.”

Chapter 15
I ran to the nearest shop which turned out to be a bakery. I bought a donut and tried to figure a way out of this. The men were right outside. I couldn't find a way away from them. If I tried to walk outside they would probably say I was their daughter. Then I came up with a brilliant and simple plan. Go out the back door, find a cab, go home! I told the lady my whole story and she said of course I'll call the police so my plan went fine until we got Green Lane which is 5 min from my house. They found us. I told the driver those men were after me but he didn't listen. He didn't speed up a bit. I'll tell you how I felt. There's men chasing me on a road that was slippery after rain with trees on either side of us. I knew we were going to crash even before it happened. The men sped up, bumped into us and we went spinning.


Chapter 16
She is gone
for days
wait, I see her
in the back of a
car
new
I am happy and relived
then I see it happen
the car spinning towards me
she will die, I will die, no one will live
I have to save her
How?
No time!
My roots
with agony in my veins I lift my roots
no time
to fast
with a burst of energy
my roots were wrenched from the ground
I moved them
like limbs
as if alive
around the car
I scream
as I died
I will be gone forever
I tumble into blackness
then she gets out of the car unharmed
so relieved
she looks at me with so much love respect I can't resist
with the last of my energy I move my roots to touch her to feel her
with my draining strength my roots fall
she catches it
It feels so right like this
I can't resist
I know
I've always known
I love her
blackness
*********
I float as a cloud now
In the heaves I look down
I realize that I could have done so much more if I had let my self LIVE
We cant be selfish any more we as plants have the power to save the world
we just have to find it like the spring magic
so I build up that power as a cloud
I know soon that I will be remembered for my discovery
wait for me
wait for changes
then you will know what I'm truly capable of

Chapter 17
prologue
I want you to know the story that Tammie was told. After she got out of the car she saw the tree and broke down. She thought about anything and everything she could ever think of. She realized that she loved that tree and always knew that it was great and alive. It wasn't until her mom came that she knew what was going on around her. The cab driver was a bit shaken up but he and the car were all right thanks to the tree. The men were suffering from minor injuries. It turns out that the scary one ( not the bar tender) is my dad and he should still be in jail for murdering my real mom. I'll tell you the whole story. ( first Stardust didn't call the police because she didn't have any signal. She wanted to make sure she wasn't assumed she was in it all along.) Dad and Mom moved in here to get away from their parents. Soon after that my dad started beating my mom. My mom tried to tell but she couldn't. Then they had me and every thing was OK again. Then they went to the beach one day and my dad drowned my mom. For who ever knows why. Well Mom had a twin sister so my moms twin sister stepped in and took care of me. I guess the shock of my dad killing y mom was to much so she gave me medicine to forget. Thats why I was remembering those memories. I was 5, by the way, when my mom was killed. To show you how good a mom, Tammie's sister, is she made every one promise not to tell anything about the murder to me. Plus she also offered to move to her mothers grave place and start fresh. She even offered to hire some one to cut down that tree and make it into a bed. So everything that I told you about happened and They both buried their old memories and started fresh. Every day Tammie thinks about that tree. That tree taught her something. Don't dwell on the bad stuff; good things do happen.
The End





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