Umbrella.

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I don’t have a lot of time. Oh, God. Oh, God. I can hear her. She’s coming closer. Can
you tell? Can you hear that sound? Oh, Jesus Christ! Can you hear how she drags her oversized
feet up the stairs? How her moans are getting closer and closer? Louder and louder? Oh, a few
more clumsy steps and she’ll be at your door. Her fingers! Oh her crooked fingers, holding
tightly to the doorknob. Now, you must hear that! Or have I gone mad? Is my mind playing
tricks on me? No, no… It cannot be. It is too real. It is too painfully real. Oh, God! She is almost
in the room! She is only several feet away from us. She is so close, so dreadfully close… And I
don’t have a lot of time.
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June 18th, 1461
Dearest Brother,

If you are reading this, then I have been successful. I cannot even imagine how difficult
This must be for you to understand. Coming from different worlds, our realities and fantasies
are not the same. That is something you need to keep in mind. What you find normal, I might
find bizarre. We’re two souls locked inside one body. Or two bodies locked inside one soul. Oh,
have I already lost you? Try to bear with me. Try to open your mind to me. I promise I will do
my best to explain everything as well as I can.

As you read this letter, brother, you will stumble upon paradoxes and whatnot. Don’t
take me as insane or as a liar. I swear my word is sane and sincere. I swear that you are too.
Though many people may not recognize it, you are capable of changing your world. I am only
capable of letting mine change.

Ah! Shivers run up and down my spine as I write this for you. I hope you know this is the
hardest thing I have ever done. I hope you take me seriously. Please, listen. I am horribly afraid.
Horribly, terribly, awfully afraid. But as terrified as I am, I know I must tell you my story… I’d
start from the beginning, but there is none.
-

Here I go. A thousand miles per hour, it seems. I’m falling. You’d think I’d be heading
down, when I am almost certain I am falling up. Or is everything upside down here? I’m not
sure anymore. Either way, I hate it. I hate the lack of control. Although, I’ve never been in full
control of anything in my life, falling this way simply reminds me of it.

I start from the Earth…or sometimes the moon. It varies. Soon, I find myself unwillingly
flying through the air. Wind rushes into my pores, beyond my skin, beyond my soul, and out
again, as if I were nothing. Am I nothing? I rush through temples, sometimes mountains,
crashing into clouds. Soaked in their tears, I just keep going and eventually reach the sun. It
doesn’t stop there though. I wish it did… But it goes on and on. I pass many different stars and
moons. They never seem to be the exact ones as the day before, I’ve noticed. Sometimes
they are the colors of the rainbow, sometimes black and white. Sometimes bigger than our sun,
sometimes smaller than me. You’d think they change, but they stay the same. It simply depends
on what eyes I’ve got on and what size I’ve been given.

Finally, it stops. It kills me, but it stops. I open my eyes to find myself re-born. This is not
new to me. Each and every day I am murdered and I am re-born. At dawn, an infant. At twilight,
and old man. I want to say that after so many times, I’ve grown used to this, but I’d be lying. I
do not wish to continue this process, but I’ve got no choice.

There is absolutely nothing around me. Quite hard to explain, really. Unless you see it
through my eyes, you wouldn’t understand… Although, that is what you do, isn’t it? You look
through my eyes. You must know then, on some level of your brain, that nothingness is not the
way commonfolk describe it. It is not simply white. It is not simply black. It is colorless, yet it is
not transparent. Oh, unlock that part of your brain, if you truly wish to understand.

My footsteps echo through the empty world which I’m sure will be filled soon. I wonder
what it’ll be today. As I do so, beneath my feet, color is born. First black and yellow… grey is it
now? Why, I am on a street. A moment ago I stood on nothingness and now I am on a busy
street. I patiently watch as the city unfolds before me. Genoa, Italy, is it? I haven’t been here in
ages, but I know it too well. I know the store names in order. I know the cracks along the road.
And I know what the road leads to: the ocean. Always the ocean. Before the sky is set
to determine the weather and time of day, the town folk begin to appear.

The elderly, the children, the women, the men. They all come up to greet me as if I were
an old friend. “Mr.Umbrella!” they say, “How lovely it is to see you again”. I wish I could say it’s
lovely to see them as well, but it truly isn’t. I’ve seen these faces countless times, not always as
town folk but the same faces nonetheless. I’ve grown sick of them. I do not feel hatred; for
hatred is a feeling I am incapable of recognizing. Believe me, I’ve tried. What I feel for them is
something more along the lines of pity. They are so ignorant with their ear-to-ear smiles and
bright eyes. Unable to understand what the source of their happiness is, I bury myself in my
suicidal thoughts. We live in a sick twisted world. We die daily. We play pretend. Our
surroundings change ever so quickly that we lack the time to appreciate it. Lack time to call it
home. We have no home. What is the point?

A terrifying roar echoes through our world and we know it’s almost time for us to begin
our silly act. Excited, the townfolk get in their positions. The men, close to sea in boats and
ships. The women with their children walking down the market. The elderly, discussing
whatever it is the elderly are supposed to discuss. Everyone in perfect harmony. Pretend
harmony, anyway. As for me, well… I simply wait for you. You see, I am not like any of these
people. I am the main source of communication between them and you. They are just space-
consuming. Without me, they are nothing. They see me as special. I see me as cursed.

Here you come, just in time for the play to begin. I do whatever it is you need to me to
do. They respond in ways they are supposed to respond. Tonight, well what a lovely world it is.
Most of them are. And I am glad, for stormy nights are no one’s delight. You see, I feel what you
feel. Or actually, you feel what I feel. So forgive me for the times you have felt fear or sorrow.
Just remember I suffered just as much.

These little plays end and begin… and end and begin. Endless times, it seems. Each time
different though. Each time a new unexpected twist. Things are taken away, things are added.
The setting changes, the weather too. Even the people! Same faces, different roles. The only
thing constant is me. Well, me and the ocean.

After what seems years of this nonsense, we can hear her. Well, I can hear her. I can hear
her so clearly sometimes that it frightens me. It makes me go cold. The hair on my skin rises up,
my breaths grow quick and nervous as my bones begin to rattle inside my body. She is so close.
And I am so afraid. I yell out to you. I warn you, but you never do hear.

That is when I begin to fall up. Nasty end to such a wonderful play, but everyone
expected it. I did, anyway. The rest of them are unaware of the nightmare that awaits me at the
end of each day. Because their role in our world is close to meaningless, they simply die an
ephemeral and peaceful death, while I suffer a painful, everlasting one. I die until I have
lost you from me completely. Or until you have lost me.

Each day is the same, yet somehow different. You must understand, brother, that I found
the need to do something more than be controlled by you. Forgive me, but you are not my god.
I set out to do things differently, to explore and discover flaws in our world. I needed to find a
loophole in this. I wanted a way out of the plays you direct. I love you, yes. I’ve grown to love
you, my dearest brother, but as large as my love is, it does not outshine the brightness of my
desire to be something more. Something special. You must have this desire too, if my theory is
true that we share emotions and states of mind.

Each day, before the roaring, I’d run. I’d try to leave the world created. You see, it is only
that part of town (or house, or church, or whatever it is that day); it is not the entire thing. So I
would run, trying to find the edge. My feet would barely touch the ground. The hair on my head
almost flew off. I practically grew wings! Yet when I reached it (the edge, I mean),I had no
success. The moment I placed my foot outside, color grew below it. The more I traveled, the
more the world expanded. I had no way to escape.

Later, I tried to resist your command, but to no avail. If was as if I had lost myself
completely when you were around. Your soul was in me and I was simply here observing as you
played with me like a child with a new toy. You brought me up and down, in the water, in the
sun. No matter how badly I screamed for you to stop, my voice was left unheard.

I tried, too, killing myself before the play even began. I tried with rope, I tried with guns.
Something always went wrong. I tried holding on to something whenever I would fall up, but
suddenly there was not a thing to hold on to. Oh, my brother, I fell into a horrible depression.
Did you feel it, when I did? Oh, how I hope it was not felt as overwhelming and consuming as it
was with me. I hope that on the way from my heart to yours, the pain died out.

One stormy night, before the roaring, I sat on the outside of a church, resting my head
on my tired hands. A man walked up to me. Sat next to me. “We’ve all been where you are, my
friend”, he said. His voice startled me. I jolted up and almost fell back. Smiled, laughing at
myself inside. And then I laughed at him.

“Your heart has never had to endure the pain mine does now… Nor will it ever”, I said in
between sarcastic chuckles. “Be grateful, my good man. Your mind, your heart, your soul.
They’re all based on simplicity, while mine are unfortunately based on complexity. You will
never understand me”. He was quiet. He stared down at his feet and sighed, knowing I was
right. Then, the roaring began. This time I sighed. Nearly cried, to be perfectly honest.

The man stood up right away, but stayed there for a few seconds, thinking whether or
not he had something else worth saying. “It’s the ocean”, he spoke as if it was a secret not his
to give away. I looked up, interested for once. “What you’re looking for… It’s there”.
“How..?” I began to say, but he hurried away, for the play was about to begin. “Damn”, I
muttered to myself. Thinking it through, he had to be right. But a nobody discovering the
secret? Why, he is useless here! I am the one who so desperately looked for answers! Oh, it
seems as though the more you try to see, the blinder you become. I’ve got to say, that
over all I am incredibly grateful for this man. A common man who opened my eyes.

“Of course! The ocean! The only thing besides myself that stays the same!”I shouted. In
that moment I knew what I had to do. The play was about to begin in less than a minute and I
needed to reach the ocean before it did. I got up, almost fell, and stumbled into the street. The
people all stared at me. I knew what they were thinking. They thought of me as stupid.
Pathetic. Insane. They were wrong! I knew it. This time, I would not fail.

As I reached a bridge crossing over the ocean, I did not hesitate. I could feel you though. I
could feel you coming into me and starting to take control, but I couldn’t stop now. How could
I?! I was so close! I managed to jump and now in the air, you were here with me. I crashed into
the cold water, but so did you. I sank into the bottom of it, but so did you. In the depths, I saw a
light. So did you. And I’m glad you did because you swam towards it. You swam me towards it,
which was all I wanted in that moment.

What happened afterwards is hard to put in words. All of this is, really. I still don’t know
what the light was, but it certainly was something important. A portal of some sort, perhaps? I
believe so. Maybe, after all, I was not what connected the created world with you. Maybe it
was this. Maybe I was just a body you rented when you came. You used my eyes to see, my ears
to hear, my soul to feel. Cruel, but in that process we became one. Did we not? Yes, I think we
did… Oh, brother, when we swam into that light, our roles were switched. I swear I’d never felt
that way before. I swear I never thought I could. The light helped me control you, for once. In
your world, while you simply watched. I could still feel you here. I still do.

Being like this, I felt you closer than I ever had before. I read your thoughts, your desires,
your pains, and your dreams. I understood you. I suppose you felt the same whenever you
where in my brain. Weird, isn’t it? I discovered so many things about you. I know now that you
are a simple boy. A 10 year-old. An Italian living in 1461 with a heart thirsty for adventure. I
learned things about me too, though. I know now how you see me. How you forget me
everyday although you meet with me every night. I learned that I am nothing. That my reality is
not a reality at all. That you are a dreamer and I am your dream. All this time, so obvious and
yet so not. It was incredibly hard to process, but I did.

I knew what I had to do. I made your body stand up from your bed and searched through
toys and clothes for a piece of paper to write this letter on. Once I did, I stared at it. You see,
brother, I knew what I wanted to say, I just did not know how to put it. How not to sound
insane. Did I do a decent job?

Oh, my lovely brother, please listen when I tell you this: My one and only desire is to do
something great, but in my fake reality this is a fantasy. Whatever I do cannot actually make a
difference, but you can. In your real world. And you need to. For me.

You see, I spend my days drowning in my own depressions and hopelessness. It is driving
me insane. You must, please, young brother, make a difference in the world. Go out. Explore!
Discover new realities! Prove people wrong, follow your heart. It beats for success and
adventure. I’ve felt it. Why, I feel it right now. I feel it all the time. Our hearts, they are one.
They beat at the same rhythm and for the same reasons. You must understand then, brother,
my desire and need to inspire the world. Let me be, at least, your inspiration. Your inspiration
to do something greater than yourself. Something people will remember you for. Something
that will let you die satisfied. Promise me, brother, that you will.
SHE'S COMING! I CAN HEAR HER! Oh, Brother, I must go now! Before she comes into the room to find you up and about! She must realize that you are still asleep! I must go! I must go! Oh, please do listen to me! You were born to be magnificent. And magnificent you shall become, my brother, my young Cristoforo Colombo.






















With deepest love,






















Mr. Umbrella





Join the Discussion

This article has 6 comments. Post your own now!

Ashley V. said...
Jan. 26, 2012 at 3:41 pm
This is amazing its a very illustrious piece of work and I would like to read more.your imagery is spectacular.
 
Genya This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 26, 2012 at 1:17 pm
Wow... this is AMAZING. But, where did you find the inspiration to right this? Who is the woman? Are they in different time periods, or dimensions? This was great.
 
Genya This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 26, 2012 at 1:18 pm
Sorry, write not right.
 
N.Marfil replied...
Jan. 26, 2012 at 1:38 pm
The woman is Christopher Colombus' mom coming to wake him up. Mr.Umbrella is just Christophet Colombus' dream which becomes his inspiration to do great things. It was an assignment in my creative writing class to write a story and I just wanted to make it different. Thanks so much for the nice comment :)
 
Genya This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 26, 2012 at 1:44 pm
OH, now I get it! You see, I thought this woman was out to get her or something... Thanks for the clarification!
 
Genya This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 26, 2012 at 1:46 pm
OH, Now I get it! I thought the woman was out to get her or something... Thanks for the clarification.
 
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