Sunday, July 28, 2013

37. Superstitious

Definition

a : a belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of causation

b : an irrational abject attitude of mind toward thesupernatural, nature, or God resulting from superstition


 

Story

They find me in the streets at night. No one really pays attention most of the time. When they take notice of me, I hear a wretched "you don't belong here" or "you haven't left yet? There isn't anything here for you", they know better than anyone that I have nowhere to go. A young girl came across me the other day and wasn't quite sure what to make of the situation. She was too young to understand my presence here. The girl hadn't learned her role yet in this world, let alone mine. She tried to approach me. She wanted to learn for herself; I could see it in her eyes. But she could feel my place, the fibers of her skin, built from the people who understand, pulled her away. She will grow up to be a wife, mother, and then a widow. I wish they would be smarter than the adults, smarter than the ones who keep me from having a warm home at night.

Yes, the adults criticize and question my presence in their town, but they understand that my role is to show the value of what they are given. They get food from the door and they have the technology and the knowledge to build homes from the resources around them. But they leave me on the street to rot; or at least to dig through their trash to fend for myself. They don't even invite me into the Great Hall for community dinner, but alas there isn't much I can do. I'll let you in on a few secrets. This is a beautiful place to live. The community here has built a remarkable utopia of love and trust among its people. There are rules that are understood and go unquestioned. The children are not taught the rules until they learn about themselves and their role. They are taught by the adults who follow the rules blindly. When they get older they are taught to treat me poorly. Taught that the lives they lead in happiness and peace are only possible due to my suffering.

One thing they are never taught, that only the scouts know, is that they can live because of beings like me. What they acquire on the other side of the door is not what they bring home. Their lives are sustained on creatures that they butcher and kill between the doors. They keep the people protected from these truths. They can't even look in the eyes of a gaunt black cat as they pass it on the street.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

22. Kayak

Definition

A canoe of a type used originally by the Inuit, made of a light frame with a watertight covering having a small opening in the top to sit in

Story

"I started telling Vallie about what lives behind the door. I haven't told her the secrets. She doesn't know about the hunters or where the food comes from, but I told her about the...terrain, I guess. She knows about the water that has to be traversed, the plains and the woods. She understands that it is dangerous, but I guess she would've know that because of the conditions Graves and Forrest when they return from missions. I was tracking her the other day for Nell. He wanted to know where she was going without giving away our what we know about the fringes. We were at the lake and she kept trying to ignore me, like she didn't know I was there, but the way she walked...she knew. I couldn't be ignored anymore. There is something about her that intrigues me. She asks more questions than she should. She explores more than her father feels comfortable with. She has an adventuring spirit that I... appreciate? Maybe, sometimes it worries me. So, we were at the lake. She found the fruit trees there. We aren't supposed to tell the teenagers who haven't reached the age of exordium about what lies beyond the community. But she found it. Vallie explores. She wants to know what exists in this world. She has heard the stories of what came before us and what we have developed since our supposed isolation. And now I've started to tell her of our future or at least what I think it should be. I'm not sure if anyone realizes the potential of what lies beyond the door. If we could eliminate the hunters we could take what we need and wouldn't have to worry about our lives being taken. I'm probably not supposed to tell you that either. Have you ever been a scout?"

"No. I haven't."

"I didn't think so. You don't seem like the type to volunteer for that job. Staring Sullivan in the eyes would make anybody a little nervous. There is a 2 part malice, 1 part foolish to his eyes, his soul. I've only seen it a few times, but he was trying to explode the tail end of my kayak. I made it back to the door both times...barely. I tried to tell Willow about it before bed last night, but she doesn't understand how these mission's stick. It is hard to shake the reality of it all. Their world is so different than ours."

"That is what I've heard."

"Speaking of, did you hear that Nell is considering Vallie and Pettal for recruitment, or "suggestive volunteering" as he likes to call it, for next year's training. Aren't they too young for that? I mean I know that he likes to get them started at 15, but those girls are strong and adventurous...physically. Not mentally. He wants his daughter to succeed like his sons, even her mom was training to be a scout at one point. That got stopped real quick didn't it...ha. That is what he gets for having relations with one of the trainees. One thing I'll enjoy taking Vallie out for her first mission, she has a tenacity that I have yet to see in a female volunteer."

"I think she will do quite well. Vallie, and Pettal too, both have intuitions about where to go and what the community needs. Even if Pettal can't focus on much outside potential husbands."

"Yeah, that will be interesting. Whoever these hunters are, they know how to prevent the female scouts from coming back after 2 or 3 missions. What time is it?"

"Noon and 15°."

"Shit, I have a mission with Forrest at Noon and 30°. Gotta go, thanks man."

Sunday, July 14, 2013

#20 Jet-setting

Definition

To be of the rich and fashionable social set the members of which travel widely for pleasure

Story

Jack was late for this flight again. This would be a moment of frustration and turmoil for most. For jack this was not unusual, at this point in his years of traveling it almost felt familiar. So Jack went up to the counter and spoke to the attendant to get on the next flight. It was less than an hour later than his previous departure. He flew from metropolis to metropolis and international concourse to world capitals and villages. For weeks on end, Jack traveled alone and in peace.

This instance was no different than the last. He had been to Hawaii before and he enjoyed spending his time in LAX people watching. It was amusing people watching to say the least. He sat and wondered about everyone's reason for flying that day. Those wearing oversized sunglasses inside going to movie sets, or at least wanting people to think they were. Those in suits had transcontinental meetings. The rest looked like him wearing light travel clothes traveling for leisure and perhaps with no destination in mind. Some people appeared frantic while others knew how travel worked and took hold of the reigns of LAX and held on tight. It was going to be a bumpy ride.

As Jack sat and waited for them to call this section to board he noticed a young man running down the terminal in quite a hurry. He watched as he was forced to stop by running into gate B17, Jack's gate. He then realized that the young man was dressed as a pilot and didn't look well. He looked flushed and sickly. He was barely 25 years old and greeted by a hesitant, "Hello, how ya feeling?" by the airline staff.

Jack put little thought toward this once he was seated. He knew that pilots flew when they were sick, that's why there are co-pilots, right? He stowed his things and waited. The flight attendants explained the proper safety procedures and precautions. Jack had heard this thousands of times. Then the pilot came over the intercom, probably not the best decision in his condition. He sounded under the weather, but not alarmingly so, just slight coughing as he closed his greeting. And they took off for their journey.

Not long into the flight he looked out the window and saw the vibrant blue of the Pacific Ocean. It was his favorite ocean to travel in or over. He knew all of the creatures that lived in it, he envisioned them going about their lives in the blue in peace. This is how he found serenity on long boring flights. At that moment, as he found his safe space, Jack heard an odd growling erupting from the cockpit. Then screams.

A flight attendant then burst from the front of the cabin bleeding from the neck. Her screaming stopped as she collapsed on the floor. No one moved. No one spoke a word for what seemed a ridiculous amount of time. Then they came for us. All of the passengers soon became a bottle of food for whatever it was that erupted from the cockpit. Jack had never seen anything like it. For the first and only time in his life he saw men and women sacrifice their consciousness for flesh.

All of this transpired faster than Jack could process; the plane started to nose dive. As it plummeted to its fate all of the occupants were thrown to the front of the plane turning a peaceful flight from LA to Hawaii into a soon to be sinking tube of flesh eating monsters and their soon to be decaying food source.

Jack and the other passengers never arrived at the tropical destination. No one ever dared to recover the remainder of the flight. There was no telling what they would've found.