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Today and The Day After: Prologue and Chapter 1
No, life isn't normal. But we should expect it when this far in life. The hazards that only seemed small, cut deeper within brief periods of time.
That's another thing -time, it's never really constant. There are moments when one feels it's going faster and the other slower. Does the one next to them feel the same? Do I?
Barnebus, my great grandfather, passed away a month prior to our meeting. He told me these fables and riddles that never seemed to end. Debating topics that weren't debatable; and franchising the fantastical mind with never ending possibilities.
Knowing that only he would understand me, I indulged in the simple things -the mind's playground. But I knew that with a safe and happy place, there must always be a downside nothing is ever perfect. Nor is it ever always happy. At one point or another; we will cry, fight, and die trying to be the happiest person alive. But I guess that's where this story really starts, except for the fact that I'm also considered crazy.
-When a Brief Tale Ends So Dies Another-
Packing my small trinkets into one bag I headed across the small yard to fish for the others. Great Barnebus, my fallen great grandfather, always told me-
"Bury your belongings in a safe place." I repeated aloud, so I obeyed, as I always did. One wouldn't want him to come back now would they? And for such a casualty, I laughed aloud at the thought while rummaging through the last bits of life from my mother. They always say, "the mother's arms are the safest place". Or so I hoped, I wouldn't have wanted to bury these beloved objects here for nothing! I closed her small coffin, just before dropping in the last small thing I had.
Looking around briefly I heard the old crypt keeper wander about.
"Mr. Jenkins!" I yelled from across the lot.
"Whose there?!" his shriveled, voice doted back. I laughed again.
"It is I, your only visitor!" I dragged myself out of the small hole I dug and began to pile the dirt back in.
"Visitor? What be thy name!" he screeched, but I paid no mind to it.
"Eloquent the Strong!" dropping the shovel I turned and flexed, just before getting back to work.
"Good for you-." his small hunched figure faded out into the distance as his lantern light weaved about the other graves. A small fog had begun to unravel upon the graveyard as I hastened my work. Dawn was approaching and I felt no need to be a vampire's last feast.
I threw the shovel onto my back and began walking towards the broken gate covered in cobwebs, spiders, and other vile beings. Patting the side of it I leaned in and began to whisper.
"Have the werewolves had there fun with you tonight?" I caressed them only a moment longer before quickly leaving the small court which had bewitched me from birth. I grew and learned to love what my great (Barnebus) had.
Walking down the street I was gaily satisfied with my new findings of my fore-father's bones as well as my mother's. I had only traveled a day or two before the archways of the Gillium walls ensnared my very existence. The small city enriched my own mind, letting me explore even the small crevasses that seem to dwell there.
I stumbled over the cobblestone steps acting as if the stones had been set a flame. Dashing faster into the baking house, I screamed. "The roads they're a fire!"
Great Gran Spi? laughed steadily before coughing, she smiled at my reddened face.
Her feeble frame crouched over the counter as Peri worked his hands into the pale dough. Her condition only worsened as the day grew on. Teb Sip, the doc says. Brings elderly to their grave.
I smiled still feeling the warm air of the cool fire burning in the open oven. "Any Glories?" They were my favorite. Gooey, cherub shrubs stuffed with pecans and thinly cut raspberries on top.
"No, only Bedums (small cakes with meat filling) and you ate out my last supply of Glories. And my raspberries have gone a waste with your bit!"
"Grand-Mum, you make the sweetest rasp's in your garden. I can only help myself." Leaning onto the counter I fished through the small basket of pastries fresh out of the oven.
"Don't! you may be my only chil' but you shan't steal my fortunes!" her small hands softly tapped and dabbed my fingers away.
"I do pay!" feeling the need to defend myself.
"Yet never on time! Do you have the tallies from the Frolls (decorative cakes) of the last fortnight?" her tiny brown eyes peered over the rim of her petite glasses. Hands on hips, she beat down on me with the gaze of a thousand tigress. And I be the taller!
"Yes, you may quit the glare," I laughed as she sighed turning around to tell Peri to make another batch of Glorys.
"Oi! aga'n? Mis? the rasp's r'bout out!" his Scottish accent breathed heavily upon his bad English.
"Correct! they r'bout out! Not out yet though, are they?" her gray hair fell in strands around her shoulders as she attempted to pin up what she could.
"Aye! Oi nee' a raise!" Peri mumbled to himself rather often I should say.
I laid a small bundle about the table just before sitting down on the stool which stooped next to the wee table.
"So Deary, what troubles ye?" Gran asked me. Her tender eyes pleaded to tell. Gran Spi? wasn't truly my grandmother, but she still acted as such. Knowing that I a lonely traveler she felt the need to at least give me a home. I being as broke as one bloke could be. My great was a rich one though, basking in what only the world could give him. He didn't care much, either one worked. He always said-
"If you have money and no mind, you are but a fool with friends." I hadn't realize I had spoken aloud until Gran spoke up.
"So he be on yer' min', I tell'n ye. You won' find much in those foolish words." she didn't believe, not in Barnebus. But I knew those words were full of wisdom, and only a fool would ignore it.
I glanced down, "They're not foolish."
"But they be not worth yer' time," I knew her words were meant for comfort but she wouldn't understand.
"Or'er up!" Peri hit the small bell that lay behind the counter.
Small Glorys, Frolls, Bedums, and other small pastries to please my stomach. I dug in loving every bit of it. On the road such luxuries weren't granted to me.
Getting up after having several pastries, I headed out the door bidding Gran Spi? adieu.
Walking down towards my small shack, the poor beggar woman stopped and asked my pardon. Feeling partial to her I blessed upon her three rubes and a Froll.
"T'ank ya, sër." I began to walk away when she asked me to pardon her once more with a small request. "Mi' sûn, he lif' fi' mile yonde'. Rich he is, bu' not the kin'es bloke. Te' 'im o' me trouble, if ye wou'd."
Feeling charitable I hurried on in the direction she told me. Walking along I noticed how the small cobblestone road turned to gravel and became narrower. As the new day seemed to fade in the distance. Lights flickered and mice scattered across from side to side chased by black cats.
I thought back to my Great Barnebus, with his wise words and tales of treachery and beguiled heroines.
"Never trust the beggar woman, her eyes are those of the thieves and witches." after I said it aloud I thought back to the beggar woman. What did her eyes hold within? Turning around I noticed I had lost my way somehow taking a wrong turn on the winding road.
"If there is never a right way, you must alway continue straight." I turned back around hearing my great's wisdom come out of the steeping, dark buildings around me. Which way had I come? And was there a straight?
I fell to the ground and thought of which way I had come, "Maybe Barnebus wishes me to get lost." I lifted my head and smiled once more. "That is it! I must become lost!" I stood up, "Why it shouldn't be too hard." I began to mumble a rambling nonsense to myself while walking with no sight nor mind in an attempt to become lost.