Think & Write #96

Leftover Candy

Brad emptied out his bag of candy from last night.  After doing this, an enormous pile of various candy sat there, waiting to be eaten.

The candy that sat there was not just the average Tootsie roll or Milk Dud.  It was all the good candy.  There was, of course, 3 Musketeers and Baby Ruth.  There was a couple of mini York Peppermint Patties.  The most common candy was M&M’s.  Brad had at least one bag of every kind.  Plain, Peanut, Almond, Pretzel and Crispy all in fun-sized bags.  He even had plain and peanut in regular bags.  Brad loved M&M’s, but there was, however, a candy that he loved even more….

Gleaning through the pile, Brad found more treasures.  At least eight fun-sized Snickers bars, a regular sized Snicker bar, and a king-sized Snicker bar.  Brad then found his favorite: A monster-sized Butterfinger.  The offspring of this monster candy also sat in the pile.  At least eleven fun-sized Butterfingers.

In addition to that, there was also some other good candy.  100 Grand, Crunch bars, Hershey’s bars,  MilkyWay bars, Twix bars, Whatchamacallits, Skittles, Paydays, Jolly Ranchers, Smarties, Sweettarts, Almond Joys, Mounds, Whoppers, Tootsie Rolls, Milk Duds, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Reese’s Pieces, Starbursts and Kit-Kats.  Brad had at least one of every major candy in his pile.

As good as the other candy was, Brad gave his attention to the Butterfingers, and sorted them in their own little pile.  In addition to his candy, his mother had a bunch of leftover candy.  With the leftover candy, Brad smiled, knowing that eating all this candy was going to take a while.

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©2012  K. L. Walker

Think & Write #95

Candy Record

Josh donned his ghost costume.  It wasn’t his best costume, but it was pretty much what he could think of at the last minute.

Carrying a map, the whole neighborhood was plotted out.  A record was going to be set this year.  The record for the most houses hit in one night.  Of course, it was not just any set of houses that he decided on.  It would be in the Golden Oaks subdivision.  From his experience in the past, this was the neighborhood that gave out the most candy.

Everything was plotted out with precision.  In addition to the map, he had a GPS to track all the coordinates of each house that he visited.  There would not be any wasted time.  Just ring the doorbell, yell “Trick or Treat!”, get candy and run to the next house.  From testing this, he found that this would only take at least 20 seconds at the most.  Longer if the person takes a while to get to the door.

At 5:48 p.m., it began.  Josh started at the first house.  He would make a circle, starting with all the houses on one side, going through the cul-de-sac, and then finishing with all the houses on the other side.

So far, the procedure went like clockwork.  20 houses were hit in 15 minutes.  There was, however, one house that slowed him down.  It was Old MacGregor’s house.  Because of him, Josh sadly was not able to break the candy record.

After that house, Josh hit the rest.  Well, at least the ones that he could hit before the Trick or Treating ended.  Old MacGregor’s house upset his whole route, and he wasn’t able to get to the houses that he wanted.  With a heavy garbage bag filled with candy, Josh dumped it all out on the floor of his room, sighing.  To remedy this failure, he would skip MacGregor’s house next year.

“Next year,” Josh said with a sigh.  “I’ll surely break it next year….”

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©2012  K. L. Walker

Think & Write #94

A Heart for the Northeast

This country has seen its share of violent storms.  But never has there ever been any storm like this before.  In terms of diameter, Hurricane Sandy has been the largest storm to ever hit America.

The strangest thing about this storm is where it hit.  Instead of going through the southeast, it went to the northeast, affecting New York City, New Jersey and various other surrounding areas.  The water levels went up ten feet, affecting Lower Manhattan and somewhat affecting Midtown Manhattan.  Subways are flooded, as well as several substations in the city.  This has displaced many families, while the few that remained decided to weather the storm.

Even now, there are over 7 million people without power, and many homes ravaged by this monster storm.  My heart goes out to all these people, who could care less if the election is in one week.  All that matters to them is how they will be fed the next day, and where they will sleep.   If they have children, if would be how to carry their children through this conflict.

My heart goes out to every one of them.  Like Katrina, there will be help on the way.  For those hurting, I am not where they are, so I can’t relate to the hardships with a disaster.  I can, however, relate to going through a hardship, or a tough trial.  It can be a natural disaster, losing a loved one, or encountering emotional pain from a personal conflict.  Hardships come in many forms, and the people of the northeast have been dealt a most severe one.

So if you know anyone who lives in this area, or happen to be this person, my heart goes out to you.  My heart goes out to everyone living in the northeast, dealing with the monster storm that came without warning.  You are in my thoughts and prayers.  May you all find help and comfort very soon.

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©2012  K. L. Walker

Think & Write #93

When I was Alive

When I was alive, I had a family.  I had a job.  I raised a kid.

When I was alive,  I ate good food.  I had good taste.  That’s what I did.

When I was alive, my job was great.  The pay was good.  Enjoyed it a lot.

Now that I’m dead, I float around.  Near my marked grave.  Watched myself rot.

When I was alive, I went on trips.  Where it was fun.  The best of spots.

When I was alive, I wore good clothes.  The finest threads.  Some full of dots.

When I was alive, I had good goals.  I had good dreams.  Was totally driven.

Now that I’m dead, I scare some souls, they have good screams, running from the unliving.

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©2012  K. L. Walker

Think & Write #92

The Other Clone

I never thought that it would be possible, but they actually did it.  I didn’t believe it at first, but they showed me that it was true.  They created a clone.  At birth, they made a clone of me and a different family raised it.

The one major defect of the clone, however, was that the clone had a different chromosome.  Instead of having a Y chromosome like me, it had two X chromosomes.  The clone was a woman.  While it had all of my likeness, all of the traits were female.

Just yesterday, I met my clone for the first time.  Her name is Alexandra, but she told me that all her friends call her Alex.  Weirdly enough, my name is Alexander, but all my friends call me Alex.  In sharing this information to her, we both laughed.

Even more eerie was the differences between our interests.  Both of us loved video games and computer programming.  Math was a subject that we both minored in.  Both of us have a daughter.  Both of us work as financial consultants.   Now I could go on and on with all the things that we have in common, but I will spare you the details.  Let’s just say that Alexandra was truly the other clone of me in every way.  The only difference was her gender.

Why do I say the “other clone”?  When I was born, they actually made two clones of me.  The first one didn’t make it and died.  She was the one that survived.  I still find this weird and shocking, since no one ever told me that I had a clone.  Nobody ever told Alexandra either.  That’s what she told me.  Now that I know,  I want to make it a point to get to know her.  First getting to know her as a friend, until I eventually know her as my twin clone sister of myself.

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©2012  K. L. Walker

Think & Write #91

No More Leaves!

I am fed up with them.  At the very sight of them, I despise them.  You would be too, if you had to deal with them all day.

When I think of leaves, I only think of two kinds of people that deal with them.  They’re either a city-slicker or a rube.  City slickers only have to rake their leaves into the street curbs.  A rube like me has to rake them into the woods.

One would think that it’s not that bad to rake them into the woods.  Well, it is if you have 5 acres of lawn to rake, with trees of every kind on your property.

My raking and bagging went from sun up to sun down.  Even at sun down, I wasn’t finished.

First, you have to rake all the leaves into neat piles.  Try not to miss any if you can.  After that, use a tarp.  For me, it’s the best way to get rid of those pesky leaves.  I can find no better way than the way of the tarp.  After that, you repeat until the yard is free of leaves.  If you have a big yard like mine, your back will be sore by the end of the day.

For me, I don’t feel anything right now, but I will certainly feel it in the morning.  All I want is no more leaves.  I don’t want to see another leaf.  These little pests may be good exercise, but are quite excruciating when it comes to labor.  I’m for good fitness but not for a sore back at all.  As little as I’ll have to do the next day, I just know that I’ll feel it in the morning.

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©2012  K. L. Walker

Think & Write #90

Pile of Autumn

Caitlyn looked outside and watched the numerous leaves fall to the ground.  There were orange leaves, red leaves, yellow leaves and some green leaves.  As for the rest of them, they were all brown and laying on the ground, colorless.

Caitlyn’s father was raking all the leaves into large piles.  When Caitlyn saw this, she turned around and looked at her mother.  “Can I play in the leaves now, mommy?”

The mother looked outside and smiled.  “If it’s okay with daddy, you can go right on ahead, sweetie.” she told her.

Caitlyn leaped up with excitement.   This was going to be so much fun!  The first thing that she wanted to do was bury herself in the leaves.  Caitlyn put her coat on and went outside, where the enormous piles were forming around her.

“Daddy, can I play in the leaves?” she asked him.  “Please?”

The father stopped raking and looked at Caitlyn.  “How about this, honey?  You can play in them until I’m ready to move them.  Okay?”

Caitlyn nodded.  “Thank you, daddy.  Hooray!”

Caitlyn went to the first pile that her father directed her to.  She ran over to the pile and dived head first into it.  When she stuck her face out, there were leaves all over her hair and leaves all over her coat.  She didn’t mind, since she was having too much fun.

When her father moved that pile of leaves, Caitlyn ran to the next one and dove in.  “Whee!” Caitlyn shouted.  “Look at me, daddy!”

The father stopped raking briefly to look at Caitlyn, whose face was now covered with leaves.  Even when she shook them off, there were still a couple of leaves stuck to her hair.  “That’s nice, honey,” the father said with a smile.  “I’m glad you’re enjoying the leaves.”  And with that, the father picked up his rake and continued raking the other piles.

And so it continued.  For each pile that the father was ready to move, Caitlyn ran to the next pile and jumped in.  For some, she swam around in the leafy piles.  This went on until the father got every pile moved.  All that remained was one pile.

When Caitlyn saw the last pile, she frowned.   She lay in that pile and looked at her father.  “Please, daddy?” she begged.  “Can you leave this pile for me?”

The father sighed, and looked at his watch.   “It’s yours for a week, Caitlyn.  After that, I want to pick them up.”

Caitlyn nodded.  “Okay, daddy….”

Everyday after school, Caitlyn came out and played in that pile of leaves.  When the week was up, the father moved the last pile.

This made Caitlyn really sad.  But when she saw where her father was moving all the leaves, a big smile appeared on her face.  The father was dumping all the leaves into the woods, where there were enormous piles of leaves there.  To Caitlyn, this was paradise.

Caitlyn’s eyes were fixated on the piles of leaves in the woods.  “Can I play in those leaves, daddy?”  she asked him.

The father nodded.  “Play as much as you want, honey.  Just be in before dinner.”

Caitlyn nodded, and entered the fun and leafy wonderland.   It was sea of leaves.  An enormous pile of autumn for Catilyn to enjoy whenever she wanted.  Well, at least until her parents call her in.

Caitlyn dove into the enormous sea of leaves and laughed her little heart out.  She kicked, swam and dove into the leaves again and again, having all the fun that she wanted.

______

©2012  K. L. Walker

Think & Write #89

Autumn Snapshots

CLICK!   Laura just took a picture of an oak tree.  It sat at the end of the street near the dorms.  Most of the leaves were still on the tree.  Various reds and yellows and oranges.  But there it sat, forever captured in a digital image.  Laura took her camera and snapped on.

CLICK!  Another picture of a tree.  This one was bare, without a single leaf left on it.  It gave all it could to the ground, and it couldn’t give any more.  Laura gave a sigh of satisfaction as she captured this moment into her camera.

CLICK!  This one was a couple of college students, making their way to class.  What sat behind them was a sidewalk covered in leaves.  With the weather being cooler, they each wore a sweatshirt.  The man and the woman, paying no attention to Laura’s camera at all.

CLICK!  Another picture.  This was a panoramic shot of one of the buildings on campus.  It was the liberal arts building, with the side of it covered in ivy with the lawn surrounding it covered in leaves of various colors.   The sidewalks had students traversing to and from class.  Laura continued walking, looking to capture some more moments.

CLICK!  Laura got a shot of a man with a pair of binoculars.  He seemed very passionate about the leaves and the scenery, and to her it seemed like her was taking it all in.

“There we go,” Laura said with a smile.  And with that, she pointed the camera at herself, and snapped away, as she attempted to capture herself in the colorful, almost magical season.

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©2012  K. L. Walker

Think & Write #88

Sea of Autumn

Milton got out his binoculars again and looked outside.  The leaves were a variety of different colors.  It was only a matter of time before the leaves would lose their color and fall to the ground.

Filled with excitement, Milton left his house.  “The show is beginning,” he smiled.  “Free to all.   A festival of colors.  This will not last long, so I better savor it while it lasts….”

While Milton was outside, he took notice of his surroundings.  An old man was blowing leaves in his yard.  Across the street, he saw a little girl jumping into the leaves and laughing.  Looking at those leaves, he sighed.  “Those ones fell early,” he said.  “Pretty soon, they will all fall….”

Milton took a walk down his street.  Over in the distance, he saw a frustrated young man, feverishly raking the leaves into a tarp.  Just as he finished, a bunch of new leaves fell to the ground.

“You’re not done,” Milton quietly said with a smile.

At the end of the street, Milton noticed the local college campus.  In the distance, there was a young woman taking various pictures.  Turning back around,  Milton noticed a girl with a cider stand.  She sold cider, donuts and other baked goods.

Smiling, Milton bought a glass of cider and a donut from the girl’s stand.

“Thank you for your business,” the girl gratefully said.

Milton entered his house and ate his donut. Sipping his cider, he took another look at the trees using his binoculars.  It was a sea of autumn, with the trees dropping leaves of various colors.  With the colors not lasting long, Milton was going to enjoy it while it lasted.

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©2012  K. L. Walker

Think & Write #87

Inner Child: Part V

Jessica woke up, her smile as bright as the rising sun.  Eight more months have finally passed.  It was now only one week that remained before Dr. Mayberry returned from his sabbatical.

The day was now July 15th. Jessica knew, since she has been keeping track of each day since the day she called the laboratory.

Before she went to the bathroom, she heard a shout next to her.  “Mommy!” the girl shouted.

Jessica smiled, and sat down next to her.  “Morning, sweetie! Did you have a good night’s sleep?”

“Yeah!” the girl shouted.  “I slept really well last night.”

About six months ago, Jessica decided to buy her younger self a bed, and had it put in her bedroom.  Since then, little Jessica has been sleeping with her every night.

“Are we going to the park again, mommy?” she asked her.

Jessica nodded.  “Definitely, my little Jess.  But mommy’s gotta go to work, first.”

She then looked at the girl, who she dressed in a pair of very cute looking pajamas.  They were pink, with yellow stars and crescent moons with a little glitter.  “Let’s get you ready my sweetheart….”

Jessica took the girl into the bathroom and got her ready, like she did every morning.  I love this girl….

“Is Brad going to be at the park today?” the girl asked, while Jessica was combing her hair.

“Yes,” Jessica nodded.  “Him, Steve and Paige will all be there.”

Over the past months, Jessica kept her promise to Paige.  Despite having her younger self with her, she still hung out a lot with her friends.  Whether it was to a restaurant, the park, or a movie, she brought “little Jess” very often, since the cost of having a babysitter was getting expensive.  Some exceptions included some special dates or movies that Jessica considered inappropriate for the girl.  Since Paige suggested the name, Jessica liked the name so much that she started calling her younger self “little Jess” regularly.

After getting herself and “little Jess” ready, Jessica flagged down a taxi.  She went to the same building as before, dropping off little Jessica on the first floor and taking the elevator to the 27th, to Dr. Wakeman’s Neurology Clinic.

After work, Jessica picked up the girl and went to the park.  She took a taxi to the park and met Paige, Brad and Steve there.  The temperature was 97 degrees, and there was not a single cloud in the sky.

“It’s really hot, mommy….” the girl complained.

An idea suddenly came over Jessica.  “Ice cream time!” she shouted.  “My treat, everyone!”

She took her younger self and her friends to an ice cream vendor.  Everyone got their favorite flavor, and Jessica got vanilla ice cream with rainbow sprinkles on a cone for the girl.

“Lick it quickly before it melts, honey.” she told little Jessica.

The girl nodded, and she ate the ice cream as quick as she could.

After going to the park, they all had pizza for dinner at a pizzeria.  Jessica then said goodbye to everyone and went home.

That night, after Jessica put the girl to bed, she felt her cell phone vibrate.

“Hey Paige.” she said.  “How many more days now?  I thought I already told you.  Didn’t I tell you?  I didn’t?  Well, it’s only one week now.  Tomorrow morning it will be six days.”

“No Paige.  Don’t say that.  What!  Why?  I’ve told you before, Paige!  I’m going to miss this girl.   Yes.  ‘Little Jess’.  I’m going to miss ‘Little Jess’.  You too? Yeah.  What do you mean, only a little?  I’m going to miss her a whole lot.  Well, I’m certainly not going to miss doing that, but it’s part of being a mother, right?  What?  Yes Paige, she still wears them.  It doesn’t seem like she minds now.  When?  I’ve actually tried more recently.  After washing a half dozen pairs of her underwear, I still don’t think she’s ready.  I mean, she wants to learn but I  just don’t want her to feel too discouraged.  She takes it very hard when she doesn’t make it.  You should see the look on her face.  I feel bad that she has to deal with this.”

“A doctor?  I have actually taken her to one seven months ago.  They tell me that she has a special condition.  I can’t remember the name of it.  But really, this is personal information, Paige.  Too personal for you?  Yes.  I feel like some information like this should be kept private.”

“Yes, she’s bothered by it, but she’s used to the whole thing now.  She doesn’t fight me any more on it.  What?  I think we should change the subject, okay?”

Tears started to form in Jessica’s face.  “I already told you, Paige!  I’m not looking forward to her leaving.  Why?  Yes, I considered her an annoyance at first.  Yeah.  That was around nine months ago, at the beginning.  Yeah, I complained a lot about her, then.  Yeah, it’s still a challenge.  But over time, I really started to like her.  Just think of this, Paige.  How well do you take care of yourself?  Okay.  So if I think of her as myself, shouldn’t I take care of her as well as I take care of myself?  Yeah.  This really started to hit me after that doctor’s appointment.  She’s really an amazing girl, isn’t she?  You don’t get it as well as I do.  What?  Well, of course you wouldn’t get it.  Every time I see her now, I see myself.  And everyday, I learn new things about myself that I have forgotten.  Well, my four-year old self at least.”

“My other childhood? Paige!  How many times do I have to tell you?  I can’t remember my childhood!  I still can’t!  Little Jess has taught me everything about herself that I have forgotten.  I see it by the way she behaves and the way she looks at me…..”

“Yeah, I’m hoping that this experiment helps me remember.  Stop teasing me, Paige.  What if you suddenly couldn’t remember the first twelve years of your life?  I don’t mean every detail.  I mean, who can remember all that?  I’m talking about all the things you CAN remember….”

“Does she know?  Yes.  Little Jess knows that she’s going back soon.  I tell her that she’s going back to where she belongs.  To a mother that will look very much like me.  What?  Yes.  I looked at her younger pictures when I visited her around Christmas, Paige.  At my age, my mother looked pretty similar to the way I look.  I guess that’s why she thinks that I look so much like her.  You should’ve seen Little Jess at Christmas.  When she saw my mom, she said, ‘another mommy?’ After that, she said, ‘but that mommy looks older.’

“Six more days, Paige.  I’m not looking forward to it like I thought I would.  Yes.  You’re right Paige.  She’ll always be inside of me.  In my memories….”

“Well, I gotta to bed, Paige.  I work tomorrow.  After that, we can hang out.  Just you, me and Little Jess this time.  We can have some girl time to ourselves.  Okay.  Sounds good.  I’ll see you tomorrow.  I’ll call you when I get there.  Okay.  See ya.  Bye.”

The next day after work, Jessica came over to Paige’s apartment with the girl.  After a dinner, she took little Jessica home.

A few more days passed, which was a little too fast for Jessica.  Finally, it was right before the day that she dreaded – the 21st of July.

That night, Jessica was in tears as she was putting her younger self to bed.

“What’s wrong, mommy?” the girl asked.  “Why are you crying?”

Jessica wiped away her tears and sat down next to the girl.  “Mommy’s crying because tomorrow, I’m going to have to say good bye to you.”

The girl looked confused.  “Why mommy?” she asked.  “Where am I going?”

“You’re going back to where you belong,” she sniffed.  “Don’t worry, honey.  You won’t feel any different.  You will be in the past, with a mommy that looks like me.”

“But I don’t want to go,” the girl said.

“I don’t want you to either.  But there will be another mommy there.  The mommy that you’re supposed to have.”

“Aren’t I supposed to have you, mommy?”

Jessica shook her head.  “No.  Now this may be hard for you to understand, but I am the same person as you, only I’m a really big girl.  I am who you are going to be when you grow up.”

The girl’s eyes lit up.  “Really?  I hope I’m a good mommy when I grow up.”

Jessica looked at herself and smiled.  “I hope so too, honey.  I think that you will make a really good mommy.”  After that, she gave her a kiss on the cheek.  With that, she changed her, tucked her in and kissed her goodnight.

The next day, Jessica wasn’t crying her eyes out, but she was still sad.  It was the day that Dr. Mayberry came back from his sabbatical.  Jessica called the laboratory.  The assistants told her to come in at noon, and to bring the girl with her.

Once in the laboratory, she entered the same room she was in during the experiment.  When little Jessica saw this room, she frowned.

“I’m scared, mommy.” she told her.

“Don’t worry, honey.” Jessica told her.  “It will only take a second.”

A few seconds later, Dr. Mayberry entered the room.  “Enjoying your inner child?” he joked.

Jessica nodded.  “I’m enjoying her very much,” she told him.  “If you were to ask me that eight months ago, I would have punched you in the face.  But I’m really enjoying her now.  As much as I do though, I’m going to have to say goodbye.”

Dr. Mayberry scratched his head.  “I’ll let you do so then.  As for her, I still am not able to figure out why that happened to you.  If I were to guess, I probably just created a clone from your memories by mistake.”

Jessica frowned.  “It was a mistake?”

“Of course!” the doctor nodded.  “This experiment was something that we have never tried before.  Not even on animals!  You were the first one to try it, so we don’t have much data.  We’re going to repeat the same procedure as you had before.  Hopefully, we won’t end up with another clone from your memories.  Anyway, I’ll let you say goodbye while we’re hooking everything up to you.”

Jessica nodded, as they laid her on the bed.  After that, they strapped her in with the belt over her stomach and attached a helmet on her.

Meanwhile, the girl just stood there watching, with a very sad look on her face.  “Mommy….”

“Good bye, little Jess.” Jessica told her.  “I’m really going to miss you, but you will be in me very soon, okay?  Farewell, honey!”

The girl continued to stare at Jessica, and a tear began to roll down her little cheek.  “Bye mommy…..”

Before they could say anything else, Dr. Mayberry signaled his assistant to turn the machine on.

Like before, Jessica felt a strong tingle of electricity flowing through her.  After that, she was knocked out.

When she came to, she looked around.  “Wait….” Jessica cried.  “Where is she?  Where is my little Jess?”

We saw it,” one of the assistants told her.

“I saw it, too.” Dr. Mayberry told her.  “The girl went back inside you.  Do you feel any different, Miss Smith?”

Jessica closed her eyes and thought for a moment.  And just like that, she felt like a flood of memories filled her mind.  It was numerous memories.   Lots of various memories from her childhood.  There were memories that she wanted to forget and memories that she was glad that she remembered.  “It worked!” she shouted.

“I know,” the doctor said, smiling.  “We both saw her….”

“Not just that,” Jessica told them.  “The original experiment!  Now, this is creepy.  I can remember every single thing from my childhood.  What the hospital looked like the day I was born, what clothes I was wearing when I was three, everything.  I can even remember every word everyone said!”

When Dr. Mayberry heard this, he began to jump up and down with excitement.  “That’s great, Miss Smith!  There must have been something we got wrong in the experiment.”

The doctor handed her 3 more $100 bills.  “Well, to be fair,” he told her.  “Here’s another $300, since the experiment failed before.  Thank you for your time and your participation.”

Jessica nodded.  “Thank you for giving me little Jess.” She grabbed the money and left the laboratory.

Since Jessica had the rest of the day off, she went over to Paige’s apartment to celebrate, when Paige was done working.  They both celebrated little Jessica’s departure from the world and arrival in Jessica’s mind, where she belongs.

After the celebration dinner, Jessica went home to her apartment.

Jessica still missed her younger self.  But after gleaning through all her newly recovered memories, she smiled.  “She’s there,” she said gleefully.

As Jessica got all ready for bed, she started to act all silly.  She pretended to be little Jessica, but only for a moment.

After she realized what she was doing, she shook her head.  “What am I doing?” she gasped.  “I guess I just miss her….”

And that was what Jessica did, every now and then, for it reminded her of that girl and how she cared for her.

Next to her bed, Jessica noticed a small bed sitting there. It was made neatly, with the pillow sitting on top.  “Her bed,” she whispered.

Jessica stared at the small bed for a while.  As she looked at it, she could almost see little Jessica crawling into it and her being tucked in shortly after.  The longer she stared at the bed, the more she missed her younger self.  Finally, the image of the girl faded away.  Missing her greatly, she sighed.

Little Jessica got into bed.  “Good night, mommy….” she said, using her little Jessica voice.  She then reverted back to her older self.  Jessica Smith’s inner child was finally back where she belonged.

______

©2012  K. L. Walker

Think & Write #86

The Perfect Costume

Edgar went up and down the aisles at the costume shop.  There was not a single costume that he wanted.  There was a Frankenstein, Dracula, mummy, and many other classics.  None of them suited him at all.

If only I could find the perfect costume,  he thought.  It has to be scary, and it has to be fresh….

“Are you almost done, Edgar?” An impatient voice shouted.

Edgar looked up and saw his girlfriend Jodie with her arms folded over.  She was holding her costume, which looked like some kind of imp.  “Do you want me to help you?” she asked him.  “Our costumes need to match, you know.”

Edgar nodded impatiently.  “I know, I know.  Will you let me keep looking?”

Jodie sighed.  “I would, but have been here for an hour!  Let me help you find something and let’s go!”

Jodie fixed her attention on a werewolf costume that was right next to them.  “Why don’t you be that?” she suggested.  “It’s even in your size.”

Edgar sighed.  “I haven’t found anything else, so why not?”

And it was settled.  He bought the costume and they both left.

When he got home, he put his costume on and so did Jodie.  It was then that he found out that they look so good together.  It was the perfect costume, and he was glad that she suggested it.

______

©2012  K. L. Walker

Think & Write #85

The Golden Leaf: Part V

A thick gust of snow began to fill the forest.  The frigid air blew and howled.  The visibility was almost zero.  With that, winter was officially underway.

One day in January, a cry was heard in the forest.  It was Autumn’s mother, bundled up, looking for her daughter.

“Autumn!” The mother cried.  “Where are you, honey!”  The mother dared not say the name “Jill” after what Jaime told her.  “Autumn dear!  Jaime told me that you lived out here now.  Where are you?!  Helloooo!!!!”

The mother’s voice echoed into the dark, cold forest.  Her voice was lost in the wind.  Lost to the blasts of cold air and snow.

As the mother was leaving, a warm gust blew over her face.  She knew that this was Autumn, since the air was not cold.

Meanwhile, Autumn slept on.  In one of her dreams, she saw her mother entering the snow covered forest.  When she saw her, she smiled.  “I’m still here, mom.  Don’t worry….”

The mother exited the forest.  During that whole winter, this was the only time that she ever entered the forest.

Several months passed and autumn finally arrived again.  During the spring, Autumn awakened.  With life in the forest beginning anew, she began guarding the golden leaf.  In her new form, Autumn never ate.  Sunlight was her nourishment.  She drank it in like water until she had her fill.  She especially did this during the summertime, where she continued guarding the golden leaf.   It just wasn’t her time yet.  For nine months out of the year, it never was.

With it being autumn again, the time has finally come again.  Autumn used her gale force breath to reveal the golden leaf.  She then picked it up and held it in her hand.

“Welcome back, my golden tomb….” She said, with a smile of delight.

Autumn placed the golden leaf inside the top of her dress, matching it into the golden outline of the leaf imprinted on her body.  After placing it there, the leaf grafted to her body again, forming a network of barely visible roots branching out in every direction.  A strong gale of wind blew around her and a golden aura emanated from her.

Suddenly, Autumn heard a gasp.

“Autumn?”

Autumn then saw her mother come out from behind the tree.

“There you are,” Autumn said.  “Did you feel the wind? That was me.  When it blew on you, I felt your presence.”

The mother looked at Autumn, who was short with long orange and golden hair.  She wore an autumn colored dress with leafy sandals.  “Autumn?” she gasped.

Autumn looked at her body, which was still brightly flashing.  “You saw me with the golden leaf.  Isn’t it wonderful?”  She then looked at her mother.  She saw the longing in her eyes.  “I’ll be out shortly, but not for long.  I belong in the forest.”

The mother gasped.  “But what about….”

“Don’t worry,” Autumn assured her.  “I will require a mate when I become an adult.  Bring him here at the appointed time.  Don’t worry about him not loving me.  I have placed a spell on him so that he will.”

With that, Autumn spent a short time with her mother outside the forest.  It was a brief conversation, and very few words were said. After the conversation, they hugged.

“Farewell mother,” Autumn told her.  “I must return to the forest.  You may visit me there whenever you like.

Autumn returned to the forest, causing various trees to drop their leaves simultaneously.

Looking at the panoramic view of various colors of leaves in the distance, Autumn smiled.  “My days in the forest will be until this body expires,” Autumn said, with a pleasant sigh.  “After that, I will return to my golden vessel, which will dissolve into the forest.  I will then be with the next golden leaf.  From now, only 99 more years until the next golden leaf is born…..”

Meanwhile, a faint sound could be heard deep inside of Autumn.  Well, it wasn’t really a faint sound.  It was actually a sound of someone screaming and crying.  But the screams and cries were happening so deep inside her that it would only be heard as a faint sound.

Somewhere, very deep inside of Autumn, Jill was crying.  She was literally a prisoner in her own mind.  Autumn was in complete control, and was unwilling to release her.

“Let me go!” Jill screamed for what seemed like the one millionth time.  Her screaming, however, was in vain.  There was no one to hear her.  No wardens, no guards.  Not a single person.   Autumn did a good job in cleaning out Jill’s mind.

The scariest part about this was that Jill didn’t even know what was going on.  She couldn’t even see with her own eyes or hear with her own ears.  She was forever bound in her own mental prison, rotting away as a figment of her own imagination.  If she were to go totally mad, she would actually believe that she was someone totally made up by Autumn.

But Jill still had her sanity, and she would keep it as long as she could.  And she continued screaming, hoping someone could hear her….

Back at the surface, Autumn was completely unaware of any voices in her head.  As Autumn sat there that night, a blinding flash happened.  The flash was a sphere, materializing in the flashing light.

When Autumn saw this sphere, it sent chills down her spine.  “No.” She said in disbelief.  “Not that….”

The flashing faded from the sphere.  The sphere was transparent, with a flashy white outer coat.  When the flashing completely faded, a hologram of a girl wearing a white dress, holding a golden leaf projected from the sphere.

“To the one originally called Jill,” the girl began.  “This message is for you.  From researching my ancestors, I have found that you are my great-grandmother.  In looking at your history, I have found that we share the same fate.  Autumn has already tainted you, and she is beginning to do the same with me.  I have found this golden leaf, and I wish that I never had.  It is her vessel.  This is what she told me.”

“Now I know that your name is not Jill anymore since she renamed you with her name.  She has not done this with me yet, which is why I am acting quickly.  While I am still in my right mind, I am executing a last-ditch effort to change history.  That sphere that you see before you is an egg.  Now I need you to enter that egg.  It is the only way that you can kill Autumn.  Your body, however will die with her.”

“But don’t think this is the end.  In place of your old body, the egg will hatch and your new body will be born.  It will be just like your old body, only you won’t have Autumn inside you anymore.”

“Please take heed, Jill.  Autumn will not stand anywhere near that egg, for she fears its power.  But you must fight her.  Fight like you’ve never fought before.  I know you can win.”

“Well, my mind is beginning to fail me.  I am beginning to feel her influence even stronger now as I’m recording this.  I hope that this egg and this message gets to your time period.  I love you very much and I hope that this ripple that I’m creating is enough to effect time.  Your great-granddaughter, Margaret.”

Autumn backed away in fear.  “How?” She gasped.  “Where did he….”

With a shriek of fear, Autumn blew herself away to the farthest end of the forest.  The end farthest away from the mysterious egg.

Meanwhile, the egg remained there, sparkling and glowing, as it sat surrounded in a sea of colorful foliage…..

______

©2012  K. L. Walker

Think & Write #84

The Golden Leaf: Part IV

Over the next few days, Jill began feeling more and more different.  For each day that she woke up, she noticed this.  She also noticed that her bed was filled with leaves.  Every time this occurred, she opened the window and blew them all out.  The way that she talked began to change slightly and her hair began to subtly change to gold and orange.  The numerous colors on her dress were faded, but were gradually beginning to show.

As for the golden leaf, it never left Jill’s side.  She took it everywhere with her, keeping it tucked away in the top of her dress.  This leaf was becoming more and more a part of Jill, and she knew it.

Contrary to last week, when Jill fought all these changes, she graciously welcomed them.  As the colors of the leaves were changing, so was Jill.

While her mother and everyone else didn’t really notice it that much, Jaime was the only one that really noticed.

One day, Jaime confronted Jill again about the golden leaf.  This was on a Saturday, in the backyard of Jill’s house, near the forest.

“Jill,” Jaime told her.  “I think I know what’s going on with that leaf that you have.  I talked to my grandmother last week.  After talking to her about the golden leaf, I realized that the story came from her.”

“What do you know about it?” Jill said, sighing.  Jill sighed because she really didn’t want to be bothered with something that she already knew.  The thing was that Jill didn’t know how she got this knowledge.  Whatever it was, it had to do with the golden leaf that she had.

“Well, this is what my grandma told me,” Jaime continued.  “She said that her mother had a golden leaf just like yours and that her hair looked very much like yours.  Long and colorful.  Her clothes were also colorful like that.  She told me that her dress contained every color of autumn. “

While Jaime was speaking, a golden flash came from her dress.

Despite the changes that were going on, Jill was still curious about the story.  “What was your great-grandmother’s name?”

Jaime thought for a moment.  “Oh.” she said.  “Her name?  Grandma told me that she changed her name.  Her original name was Eleanor.  But after that, she told me that her name was different.  It was after she had the golden leaf for a while.  She changed her name to Autumn.”

Jill’s dress flashed again.

“Wait!” Jaime gasped.  “Is the leaf flashing because I’m saying the word ‘Autumn’?”

The flash occurred once again.

Jaime gasped.  “Jill.  You have the golden leaf, just like my great-grandma….That means….”

Jill nodded.  “I really like the name ‘Autumn’, but I’m fine with my name right now.”

“Don’t change your name,” Jaime pleaded.  “That golden leaf is doing to you what it did to my great-grandma.  Try to give up that leaf while you can, Jill.”

Jill sadly shook her head.  “I can’t and I won’t,” she said.  “The golden leaf is a part of me now.  Even if I were to try to get rid of it, it will refuse to let me.”

Jaime shook her head and gulped back a tear.  “No Jill….”

“It’s too late,” Jill told her.  “I took what didn’t belong to me.  I wanted this golden leaf so bad, but was unaware of the consequences.  Now this leaf has accepted me, and I, in turn, accept it.  These changes are amazing, and I look forward to the end result….”

“No they’re not!”  Jaime shouted.  “You’re becoming the same thing my great-grandmother was!  Please Jill….I will be talking to my grandmother tomorrow.  I will tell her about you.  Hang in there, Jill….”

Jaime sadly left, walking back toward her house.

Over the next couple weeks, Jill’s hair radically changed.  Her hair remained the same length, no matter how much her mother cut it.  This got her mother’s attention.

“W-what’s happening to you?” Her mother said, gasping.

Jill smiled.  “Something amazing.” she told her.  “That’s what.  Why would you want to cut my beautiful hair? Just leave it as it is.”

The mother, looking a little afraid, nodded.  “Will do, honey….”

From there, the changes continued.  Faster and faster they happened.  In the next week,  something happened with Jill’s outfits.  Her mother wanted her to wear something that wasn’t an autumn-colored dress.  So Jill put on a pink dress.  After showing her mother the dress, it changed before her very eyes into the autumn colors again.  Her mother shook her head in disbelief, and told her to try a different one.  Jill put on a lavender dress.  Jill knew the end result, but she was only doing this to please her mother.  The lavender dress reverted to autumn again.

The mother shuddered in fear.  “What is responsible for this?  Fairies?  Elves? Nymphs?”  Her mother asked this, because she read and studied various mythologies, regarding remembered and forgotten lore from all over the world.

“One of them is right.” Jill told her.  “Which one that is, I’ll leave that for you to decide.”

The mother was a little scared, but she still wanted Jill in a different dress.  Going upstairs to Jill’s room, she made sure that it was different this time.  Opening up all the wardrobes, her mother found that all of her dresses were the same autumn color.

“Fairies are doing this!” the mother cried.  With that, she screamed and ran out of the room.

After she was gone, Jill grinned.  “She’s wrong,” Jill said with a nod.

While all these changes were going on, another thing her mother noticed was her drop in school attendance.  Jill spent less time at school and more time in the forest.  This concerned her mother, who wondered what was going on with Jill.

Every morning now, Jill’s entire room was filled with leaves.  Jill dismissed them like before, outside the window.

After the change with Jill’s outfits, the last thing that changed about Jill was her appearance.  Her complexion changed, and so did her eyes.  Her once fair complexion became more golden and her brown eyes became amber-colored.  At this point, Jill no longer took the golden leaf out of her dress.  The golden leaf was now grafted to her body.  A network of barely visible roots surrounded it, branching out in every direction.  The largest noticeable change was in her size.  Before the change, Jill was a fair build, and about average height for her age.  Jill now was six inches shorter and scrawny.  Her arms and legs were like twigs.  To say that she was petite would be an understatement.

Jill was in the forest, which she secretly called her new home.  She raised her hands and lowered them.  This caused a multitude of leaves of various colors to rain down on the forest floor.  It was nothing but color.  The colored leafy parachutes all slowly drifted down in formation, downward until they rested on the ground below.

As the leaves were falling, Jill danced, immersing herself in the myriad of colors in the now whirling maelstrom of foliage.  When her dance ended, all the leaves grouped together and fell to the ground.

After this, Jill left the forest.  In the distance, she saw Jaime standing there.

When Jaime saw her, she almost started to cry.

“Jill….” she gasped.  “I haven’t seen you in several days, and you look like this?”

Jill, pleasant with everything she saw about herself, nodded.  “It’s almost done,” she grinned.

Jaime fought back tears, but she couldn’t help it.  “I talked with my grandma,” she sobbed.  “After talking to her, everything is clear now.  What’s scary is that you look exactly like my great-grandmother.  Why Jill?”

“Why not?” Jill responded.  “It’s beyond my control now.  I just let the changes happen.  You should be happy for me.  It’s almost complete.”

“What more can possibly change about you?” Jaime wailed.  “Your mom hasn’t seen you in days!  I talked to her about you and what my grandma told me.  She knows the whole story about the golden leaf and she understands now.”

“What’s left?” Jill said, beaming.  “To be honest, I’m really starting to get tired of this name.  It really doesn’t fit me much anymore.  It moreso fits who I used to be.  Now, what name would best fit me now?”

Jill raised her hands, causing a multitude of leaves to spin around her in various directions.  “Can you think of a name, Jaime?” All the colors in Jill’s dress flashed very brightly.

Jaime was now sobbing her eyes out.  “Autumn?” she cried.  “No Jill!  Don’t do it!”

Jill’s smile widened.  “Autumn?” she stated.  “If you were to ask me before, I would tell you that I really like this name.  Now, I can tell you that I absolutely love it.  The name describes me very well.  My name is now Autumn.  If you call me by my old name, I will turn you into a leaf.  Now could you please repeat my name for me?”

Jaime was now sniffling.  “Your name is J…..I mean, Autumn.”

Autumn smiled.  “Isn’t it a nice name?  It’s now done.  My transformation is now complete.  I will now pay my mother a visit.”

Jill walked towards her house.  To clarify, her name is still Jill, since her mother doesn’t know her as Autumn yet.

After entering the house, her mother had a long conversation with Jill.  A lot of it was her reiterating what Jaime told her.

“Get rid of that leaf,” her mother insisted.  “You are not my sweet Jill anymore. Somewhere inside….you are!” And then she started crying.

“Should I get rid of my heart, too?”  Jill asked.  “The leaf is now part of me now.  To get rid of it would be eliminating my source of life.  I have undergone a beautiful transformation.  Now leaving my cocoon, I am now Autumn.  Say the name proudly.  I know you’ll love it.”

“No!” Her mother shouted.  “You are always going to be my sweet Jill to me, no matter how different you look….”

For the next several days, Jill kept pleading with her mother.

“Please mom!” Jill insisted.  “My name is now Autumn!  Jill doesn’t describe me anymore!”

“Jill DOES describe you because I gave you that name when you were born!” her mother countered.

The days passed, and Jill continued pleading.  She was relentless, never losing any strength.  Her mother, however, was losing her strength more and more by the day.

Finally, her mother admitted defeat.

“Call me Autumn,” Jill pleaded.

Her mother broke.  “Okay okay!” she shouted.  “You’re Autumn now!  Okay, Autumn?”

Autumn grinned.  The next day, her mother took Autumn to get her name legally changed.  Her mother cried as she saw the name “Jill” get deleted.  The name was now replaced with “Autumn”.

“Thanks, mom!” Autumn said with a grin.  “I’m going home now.”

Of course, Autumn should’ve told her mother what she meant when she said that she was going home.  Autumn skipped merrily into the forest.  With only a few days remaining until December, she didn’t have much time.

“Now, I will return it.”  Autumn said, nodding.

Autumn reached into her dress and grasped the golden leaf that was grafted to her body.  All of the network of barely visible roots disappeared.  After this, the golden leaf was just like before.

Upon removing it, a golden outline of the leaf was imprinted on her body, resting where the leaf was.

Autumn took the golden leaf and let it rest in the palm of her hands.  “You’re back,” she told it.  “Back where you belong.  In this forest, resting under the same type of tree where I was imprisoned hundreds of years ago….”

Autumn then recalled the riddle that was told to her when she was still Jill:

I am you, and you are me.

Just give it time, and you will see.

“I’m glad I did,” Autumn said with a smile.  “I was stubborn at first, but now I graciously welcome you.  You were in Eleanor before.  Now, you are in me.  You gave us new bodies and new names.  I will use this name wisely and will not disappoint you.”

Autumn took a deep breath and blew at the leaves that rested at the base of the tall tree.  From her breath came a strong wind that blew all the leaves away until it was just soil and old grass.  She then stared at the golden leaf and sighed.  “Farewell, my golden tomb.” she told it.  “I will see you again on the first day of Autumn.”

At that, Autumn sat the golden leaf down and used her gale force breath to cover the leaf again.

The days went by and got colder.  Autumn stood there, jealously guarding the golden leaf.  She blended in well with the forest.  So well that no one would see her, even if you were to look directly at her.

Finally, the days of winter were fast approaching.  At this, Autumn sighed.

“I am exhausted,” Autumn gasped.  “I will rest during the long winter, and will awaken in the spring.

And that’s what Autumn did.  She lied down and threw her hands back.  A large pile of leaves covered her, like a blanket.  Her face materialized into leaves and she rested.

As Autumn rested, a faint glint of light was visible underneath the sparkling snow.  The snow blanketed the leaves and all of the forest.  Autumn was now asleep, with her dreams beginning to fill the white forest….

______

©2012  K. L. Walker

Think & Write #83

Inner Child: Part IV

Jessica woke up with an enormous headache.  It was 8:14 a.m.  Fortunately, the girl was not up yet.

“I still can’t remember a single thing about my childhood,” she quietly said.  “Maybe mom can help with this….”

Jessica retrieved her cell phone from the nightstand and called her mother.

“Oh hi, mom?” Jessica said to her.  “I didn’t wake you, did I?  Okay.  Good.  I was just trying to recall some things about my childhood.  Can you remember anything?”

A brief pause, and then laughter on the other end.

“No mom, that’s way too early.  What about when I was four or five?  Oh.  So I….what? How long did I do this?  Really?  Until I was six and a half?  Whoa.  Okay, you can stop now, mom.   Really!  You can stop.”  Jessica then laughed.  “Okay.  That’s all I needed to know.  Thanks.  I love you.  Tell dad I love him too, okay?  Okay.  Kisses to you, too.  Bye.”

Jessica hung up her cell phone in total surprise.  I never realized how much I wet the bed at that age! Thinking about the girl, she couldn’t help but smile.  It’s like she’s trapped in this world now, she thought.  The only place she belongs is back in my head.  In my memories…..

Suddenly, a shout.  “Mommy?”

Jessica sighed.  “Okay.  She’s awake now.”

Jessica entered the spare bedroom to find the girl sitting there, wearing nothing but a Pull-Up and a T-shirt.  “Didn’t she put pajamas on you?”

The girl shook her head.  “No mommy.  She didn’t.”

Jessica sat down on the bed and gave the girl a hug.  “Good morning, Jessica honey….”

The girl gave her a bright smile.  “Good morning, mommy!”  The girl then looked at her Pull-Up.  “I had to go, but it was too late to make it.  The lady who watched me put this on me.  I like my undies better.”

Jessica blushed and gave her a smile.  “Okay honey.  Maybe you should stay in those at night.”

The girl shook her head.  “I don’t like them.”

Jessica nodded.  “But you can wear your undies in the daytime, okay?”

The girl nodded.  “Okay, mommy….”

“Let’s get you cleaned up,” Jessica told her.

The girl got to her feet and got down from the bed.  As she did this, Jessica noticed a dark patch where she was sitting.  She then looked around the girl’s legs.  Okay.  Forget about wearing those at night!

“Honey,” Jessica said with urgency.  “Let’s get you to the bathroom right away, okay?”

Jessica took the girl to the bathroom and got her cleaned up.  She then clothed her and did her hair.

Over the course of the day, Jessica really didn’t do much, since she was tired.  She washed the bedding again, cleaned up the apartment and shared all her meals with the younger Jessica.  To keep little Jessica entertained, she let her play with her smart phone, using a kid app that she could play around with.

When little Jessica had to go, the older Jessica ran to the bathroom.  Just as she took off her pants, she made an accident all over the floor.  At this, Jessica screamed.  “Why do I have this kid?!”

After she yelled at her, she remembered what her mother told her over the phone.  She then turned to the girl and hugged her.  “I’m sorry,” she apologized.  “Mommy didn’t mean to yell.”

A little later in the day, the girl was tired, so Jessica put her down for a nap.  After the nap, Jessica made a big mistake.  She realized this when little Jessica exited the guest room, crying “Mommy, I’m all wet!”

Jessica got her in the bathroom again and gave her a shower.

While she was doing this, she sighed.  “How old are you?”

“I’m four years old.  Mommy said I just turned four a few days ago.”

Jessica shot her a double take.  “Are you sure?”

“I know!” the girl shouted.  “Mommy made me a delicious birthday cake.”

“She did? Okay.  I’ll take your word, honey.”

Jessica cleaned her up and dressed her again.

After that, she entered the kitchen and opened up the cupboards.  “That’s right!” she whispered.  “I need to do some shopping.  “Can’t run out of food….”

Jessica took the girl out shopping with her.  She bought all the basic essentials.  A few TV dinners for her and a couple of kid TV dinners for little Jessica.  After getting some additional items, such as butter, milk and apple juice, she exited the store.

As she was exiting, the girl began to have an uncomfortable look on her face.  “Mommy!” she cried.  “I have to go to the bathroom!”

It was too late.  Frustrated, Jessica took the girl back to the apartment and cleaned her again.  This is the last straw.

After cleaning her, Jessica got out the Pull-Ups.  The girl refused to wear them, but Jessica kept insisting.

At this point, Jessica started to cry.  “Honey,” she sobbed.  “You need to do this for me.  For right now, you have to wear them.  Half of your undies are in the dryer.  Until you stop having all these accidents, you are going to wear these during the day and at night.”

After discussing this with the girl, she agreed, but reluctantly.

Jessica returned to the living room to find that the groceries were still not put away.  She put the milk, butter and apple juice away and got out a TV dinner for her and the girl.

After dinner, Jessica put the girl to bed.

Over the course of next week, things got more interesting and hectic for Jessica.  The very next morning, Jessica found another damp mess on the bedding.  Jessica scowled and washed the bedding again.  After getting her and little Jessica ready, she rushed to the daycare and dropped little Jessica off.  She then arrived at work two minutes late.  After work, she picked up the girl and she stopped at the store, buying some diapers for her.

“Those are for babies.” the girl told Jessica.

Jessica nodded.  “I know.  But they’re also for big girls that need help.  These are for at night, okay?”

That did it.  The girl threw herself on the floor, kicking and screaming.  The girl made such a scene that Jessica was almost kicked out of the store.  She quickly rang up the item and left, wearing a thick shade of red on her face.

That night, it was a battle to get the girl to wear the Pampers that she bought.  After Jessica showing her all the clothes and bedding that she had to wash, she reluctantly agreed.

“I’m a baby,” the girl said sadly, as Jessica tucked her in.

Jessica sat down on the bed and gave her a soft kiss on the face.  “No you’re not.  You’re a big girl.  You just have a….problem.”

The girl frowned.  “I know, but I’m still a baby.”

Jessica stared at the girl’s level.  “Look at me,” she told her in a soft voice.  “You are a big girl.  This problem has nothing to do with how old you are.  If it makes you feel any better, mommy will tell you a secret.  Mommy had the same problem that you did when she was your age.”

Jessica’s face reddened.  It felt weird for her to say this, since she is watching her younger self experience this very problem.  Her younger self doesn’t know what Jessica knew.  Jessica knew that she was and is the very girl that she’s looking at.  For Jessica, it was like history repeating itself before her very eyes.  But the history that she saw was a history forgotten.  A history that was only revived by the memories her mother shared.

The girl’s face lit up.  “Mommy had this problem?”

Jessica nodded.  “Shh….Don’t tell anyone.  Yes.  Mommy did.  But you know what?  Mommy grew up, and this problem went away.”

The girl frowned.  “I want it to go away now.”

“I do, too….” Jessica sighed.  “But we need to be patient.  Be patient for mommy, okay?”

The girl nodded.  “Okay.  Good night, mommy….”

Jessica gave her another kiss.  “Good night, Jessica.”

Before closing the door, Jessica looked at the girl one more time.  The more she looked at the girl, the more she knew that this younger self of hers was holding her childhood memories captive. She has them, she thought.  I know it….

Another thing that Jessica knew was that the girl was not aware of any of these memories.  They were deep in the girl’s subconscious, and only she could access them.

For Tuesday and Wednesday, things went smoothly for Jessica.  On Wednesday night, however, Jessica almost thought she lost it.

That night before bed, little Jessica was playing with Jessica’s cell phone, when it suddenly dropped out of her hand.

A smash.  Then a break. Then a ear piercing scream.  Little Jessica broke it.

Jessica was furious.  She wanted to strangle the kid, but she restrained herself.  After venting in the other room, she apologized to the girl and put her to bed early.

The next day after work, Jessica got a new cell phone.   After that, she treated little Jessica to some ice cream.  It was her way of saying that she loved her and that she was sorry.

Finally, Friday night came.  Unlike last week, Jessica had to work on Friday.  After work, she picked up little Jessica from the daycare and took her to the restaurant that she had reserved for the past week.  Paige was there, along with Brad and Steve.  When they saw the girl standing next to her, they were shocked.

When the girl saw the three friends, she hid behind Jessica’s leg.

Jessica looked at her friends.  “She’s just shy.”  She then knelt down to the girl’s level and smiled.  “It’s okay.” she told her.  “They’re my friends.”  She then stood up and faced the men.  “Brad, Steve….I would like you to meet my ‘inner child’ – Jessica.”

Brad and Steve were speechless.   Steve then finally spoke up.  “Wait!” he shouted.  “When did you have that kid?”

Jessica frowned.   “I already told you.  She came out of my head!  Do you think that I can have a kid in a week and then have it age four years?”

Brad smiled.  “She looks just like you.”

Jessica nodded.  “She is.  I am telling you the truth.  I looked just like that when I was four.”

Brad sighed, and then nodded.  “I don’t understand this at all.  A little more than a week ago, you partake in an experiment that was supposed to make you recall all of your childhood memories.  Instead, this child came out of your head, and now, I’m supposed to believe all this?”

Steve shook his head and gave Brad a look of confusion.  “I don’t know what to think, either.”

“I do,” Brad told him.  “I’m just going to go with it.  There are some things that science just can’t explain, or haven’t discovered yet.  If younger versions of ourselves can come out of our heads, fine.  I’ll go with it.”

Jessica grinned and then looked at Paige, who nodded.  She then looked at the guys again.  “I had no choice BUT to believe it.  I mean, what other choice do I have?  I mean, look!  She’s here, and….”

“Mommy!” the girl shouted.  “I’m hungry!”

Jessica nodded, and motioned the waitress to come over and take their order.

While they waited for the food to come, the conversation continued.  It was a very interesting conversation, with little Jessica interrupting frequently.  Finally, the friends started asking the girl questions.  The girl warmed up to them quickly and was no longer shy.  In fact, she loved all the attention.

“Is that your mommy?” Steve asked the girl, pointing to Jessica.

“Yup!” she shouted.

“You know that you’re going to look just like her when you get older,” Brad added with a smile.

The food finally came. There was more conversation and more eating.  Maybe a little too much.  Jessica had to tell the girl to stop talking so that she could finish her dinner.

Finally, the dinner was over.  Jessica got a doggie bag for little Jessica, since she couldn’t finish all of her food.

Before they all left, Steve looked at Jessica and smiled.    “So you brought her after all,” he told her.  “That means that you’re not crazy.  But I think that I am for meeting her….”

“Just go with it,” Brad told him.  Steve nodded in agreement.

After saying their goodbyes, Jessica left with the girl and went back to the apartment.

That Monday, Jessica called the laboratory.  Why didn’t I do this in the first place?  After remaining on the line for a few minutes, an assistant answered.  “Dr. Mayberry just began his sabbatical.  He won’t be back for the next nine months.”

“What?” Jessica screamed.  “Can you do anything to get this kid back inside of me?”

“We can’t.” the assistant told her.  “Only Dr. Mayberry has knowledge on how to do this.  Even if he were to help you, we can’t guarantee that the procedure would work.  As we already told you, this was not supposed to happen.  Because of this, we don’t know how it happened.  And if we don’t know how it happened, then there’s no way we can fix this problem.”

“Try anything!” Jessica screamed hysterically.  “I don’t care! Just get her back!”

“We can’t, until the doctor comes back from his sabbatical.  Until then, you will just have to deal with her.”

Jessica looked at the girl, who was sitting in the distance, smiling.  All Jessica knew was one thing for certain.  This was going to be a very long nine months….

Two weeks passed.  In that time, Jessica started noticing a pattern in the girl’s bathroom habits.  Most of the time, she was not able to make it to the bathroom.  She knew that it wasn’t her fault, and that she was trying.  However, something needed to be done.  In addition to this, Jessica was starting to notice that the Pull-Ups were beginning to leak through the girl’s clothes.  And on days where little Jessica wore a dress, it made a mess all over.

Jessica looked at her waste bins that were filled with used Pull-Ups and sighed.  “She’s going back,” she said.  “I’ll toilet train her later.”

Over the next couple weeks, Jessica gradually put Pampers on little Jessica.  At the end of the two weeks, Jessica threw the last Pull-Up away.

That night, the cell phone rang. Jessica had it on vibrate since she already put her younger self to bed.  It was Paige again.  “Hey Paige,” she said.  “What am I doing? What am I always doing?  Taking care of that kid.  Yeah.  I know.  I can’t have any dates with Brad right now.  Paige!  I already told you!  This kid is taking up more of my time.  How?  Why don’t you babysit her for a few days!  Then you can ask me all you want.”

“The girl is getting expensive, Paige.  Do you have any idea how much diapers cost?  Yeah.  She’s wearing them.  What?  Train her?  I’ve been doing that the whole time!  The girl’s impossible.  I had her in training pants, but we had some problems with those.   She hates wearing them but she makes a mess without them.  What?  Yeah.  Me too, Paige.  I hope it’s a phase.  She’s not doing it on purpose either.”

“The doctor?  He won’t be back for another eight months.  Yeah.  He’s on a sabbatical.  I guess you can take those when you’re really rich.  Yeah, I want her back inside of me!  Get rid of her?  I can’t do that, Paige.  Why?  It’s hard for me to explain, but I feel like she’s a part of me.  If someone else were to care for her, they would be taking a really big part of me away.  What do you mean that doesn’t make sense?  I already told you!  I can’t explain it.  It makes sense to me.   I feel like she’s connected to me.  How?  You don’t understand, so why would you want to know?  Okay.  Fine.  Let’s just say that she has something that’s very important to me.  What is it?  Memories, Paige.  Memories that I so badly want to remember….What?  That’s nice if you can remember being a kid.  I can’t.  Yes, she has my memories.  What? You want to know why?  I can’t explain it to you.  It’s really hard to explain.  All I know is that whenever I’m around her, I feel them.”

“Yes.  I know, Paige.  Eight months is going to be a long time, but we’re still going to hang out.  Yes.  All of us.  You, me, Brad and Steve.  Yes.  And little Jessica too, sometimes.  Huh?  Little Jess?  That’s cute.  Anyway, it’s getting late.  We’ll try to do something this weekend, okay?  Yeah.  I’ll talk to you tomorrow.  I work early.  See ya, Paige.  Bye.”

Jessica hung up the cell phone and quickly brushed her teeth. She didn’t bother with the floss or the mouthwash, since she was so tired. She got her pajamas on, drank her glass of milk, and plopped herself into bed.  It wasn’t long before she fell asleep.

With one month already behind her, Jessica still had eight more months to go….

______

©2012  K. L. Walker

Think & Write #82

Inner Child: Part III

Jessica pinched herself again.  This wasn’t working.  She didn’t wake up.  What she saw was the harsh reality.  A girl standing there in pink and white PJ’s with a dark patch running down her legs.

“Why are you here?” Jessica cried.  “Why can’t I wake up?”   Jessica, in her frustration, forcefully took off the girl’s wet PJ’s.  “Okay,” she fumed.  “What is your name?”

The girl was terrified.  “Jessica….” she said in a slow and forlorn voice.

Jessica was beyond belief.  “Same name as me, huh?” Jessica just sat there, trying to make sense of all this.  I guess that really is me…. she thought. She took another look at her younger self, who was sitting there in damp underwear.  Or was… Jessica guided the young Jessica into the bathroom.  “Wait here.” she told her.  “I’m going to wash your pajamas.”

The girl nodded.  “Okay mommy….”

As Jessica was taking her clothes to get washed, she tried to remember her childhood.  She couldn’t. Not a single thing.  “That’s strange,” she said.  “The earliest I can remember is eighth grade….”

Jessica put the pajamas in the washer.  Thinking about it again and again, she just couldn’t recall anything from her childhood.  “Why can’t I remember?” she said in frustration.

As she was walking back to her apartment, she thought of her younger self.  Could all of these childhood memories be stored inside of her?  “No,” Jessica said in disbelief.  She then felt a sinking feeling inside of her.  “That girl has all of my childhood, and she doesn’t know it.  I know she does.  I can’t remember a thing….”

Jessica wiped a couple tears off her eye and entered the apartment.  She gave the girl a shower and then wrapped her in a towel.  Fortunately, the pajamas that she bought were two in a set.  With that, she had the girl put the pajamas back on.

“No more accidents,” she told the girl.

Her inner child nodded.  “It was an accident, mommy.  I’m sorry.  I’ll try to make it next time.”

Jessica kissed the girl goodnight and tucked her in her bed, since the bedding in the guest room still needed to be washed.  Jessica got in beside her and fell asleep.

The next morning, Paige came over.  In seeing the girl, she was shocked.

“I guess you weren’t joking.” she said, giving Jessica a shocked look.  “How did this happen?”

“I’m still trying to figure it out,” Jessica told her.

After Paige stayed a little while, she left.

For the rest of the week, Jessica had to take care of her younger self.  On the first day, she took the girl to work.  This didn’t go well, since she wasn’t able to get that much work done.  On the next few days, she dropped her off at a daycare, which was on one of the lower floors in the same building where she worked.  Once again, she had Friday off.  Her day with Paige would be an all day thing, with the double date taking place at night.  Prior to Friday, she arranged for a babysitter to watch the girl.  Every day after work, she bought some clothes and toys for little Jessica.

That Friday morning, the babysitter came.  It was a woman who was a little younger than Jessica.

When the sitter saw the girl, she smiled.  “Aw, is this your daughter?” she asked.

Jessica nodded.  “Yup.  I need some time away from her.” Keep it simple, she thought.  She doesn’t need to know about the whole experiment….

Just before Jessica left, she looked at the girl and then at the babysitter.  “She’s yours all day.  I’ll be back late tonight.  Maybe even tomorrow morning.”

Before the sitter could say another else, Jessica bolted out the door.

With that, the day of fun began.  Jessica went shopping with Paige and they got their nails done.  After having lunch at a pizzeria, they walked to Paige’s apartment.

Once they got there, Paige showed Jessica the latest issue of her fashion magazine and shared with Jessica all the gossip that she heard from her friends.

Jessica nodded.  “I know.  Some of this I already know from facebook.”

Suddenly, Jessica’s cell phone rang.  It was the sitter.

“What is it?” Jessica asked.  “She peed the bed?  Just change the sheets!  You don’t need to call me about this.  The extra linens are in the closet.  Use those for now.  Yes.  Have her take a nap when she’s tired.  Oh, she’s done with hers now? Okay.  Just have her play with those toys that I got her.  I gotta go now.  Bye.”

The day continued.  Jessica and Paige left the apartment and did a little more shopping.  After that, it was about time for the double date.  Brad and Steve was at the restaurant that Jessica and Paige made reservations for.  The time was 6:42 p.m.

After the dinner, the four went to a nightclub that played techno music.

At 10:53, Jessica got another call on her cell phone.  It was the sitter again.  Being all jittery from the energy drinks, she didn’t mind answering.

“What now?” Jessica asked.  “She peed the bed again?  What? You’re asking me what you should do now?  I don’t know!  Just get her Pull-Ups!  I’ll be there in the morning.  Bye.”‘

“Who was that?” Brad asked her.

“That was the sitter,” Jessica said, giving a nervous smile.

Brad then gave her a strange look.  “What?  Sitter?  Since when did you have a kid?”

Jessica looked at Brad defensively.  “I did not have a kid!  She’s watching my younger self that came out of me!”

“Younger self?” Brad chuckled.  “I think you’re a little crazy, Jess.  Stop drinking those energy drinks.”

Jessica placed her hands on Brad.  “I am not crazy.  Now I know that this is going to sound weird, but this is what happened.  I signed up for an experiment.  When I participated, I was told that this experiment was supposed to make me remember every single detail of my childhood.  I mean, we all can recall our childhood, but not very well, right?”

Brad, Paige and Steve all nodded.

“Well,” Jessica continued.  “When they did the experiment, I felt this jolt go through my body.  Before I know it, I was knocked out.  When I woke up, I saw this little girl staring at me, calling me ‘mommy’.”

“Little girl?” Steve said, interrupting her.  “Let me guess.  She’s your ‘inner child’.”

At that, Steve and Brad started to laugh.  Brad gave Steve a high five.

“Ha ha ha!” Brad laughed.  “Inner child! That’s a good one!”

Jessica then threw her hands up.  “It’s not funny!” she shouted.  “What you’re saying is absolutely true.  Steve is right.  This girl is driving me crazy.  She won’t leave me alone and she THINKS that I’m her mother.  I haven’t been able to sleep well since I had her.  Herein lies the problem.  I don’t know how to get her back inside of me.”

Steve gave Jessica a weird look.  “I have an idea,” he told her.  “See a shrink.”

“You guys,” She said, still agitated.  “I’m not crazy.  You haven’t seen her yet.  Paige has seen her.  Haven’t you?”

Paige nodded.  “She’s not making this up.”

Steve cracked a smile.  “So, she’s in on it, too?”

Jessica had a crazed smile.  “Okay,” she told them.  “How about this? Next week, let’s have a dinner date at the same restaurant.  I’ll bring the girl this time.  If I don’t bring her, THEN you can call me crazy.  Now let’s continue dancing.”

Everyone nodded.  “She better be there,” Steve told Jessica.  “That’s all I’m saying.  Now let’s get this party on!”

Jessica continued partying with the group.  They danced late into the night.

At around 4:33 a.m., Jessica stumbled into the door of Riverside Apartments.  She was extremely tired from all the energy drinks that she had.

Upon entering her apartment, it was a mess.  Cans of pop were scattered on the floor.  A couple of finished TV dinners sat there, with the silverware lying on top of the peeled back plastic.  The boxes were laying on the floor.  Next to one of the boxes was an opened up pack of Pull-Ups.  The babysitter was passed out on the couch, lying on her side.

Jessica woke the babysitter up.  “Hey,” she whispered.  “Here’s $50 for watching her.  Thank you very much.  Now please go back to your place.”

The babysitter stood up.  “Okay….” she said with a yawn.  “She wasn’t too much trouble, besides the times that I called you.”

Jessica nodded impatiently.  “Okay.  Go.  I’m tired and I want to sleep before she wakes up.”

The babysitter, holding the pay in her hands, left the apartment.

Jessica looked around at the mess and sighed.  “I’ll take care of it in the morning.

Too tired to change into her pajamas, Jessica crawled into her bed and immediately fell asleep.

______

©2012  K. L. Walker

Think & Write #81

Inner Child: Part II

Once again, Jessica gasped.  “What is this girl doing here?”

Standing next to Jessica was a little girl wearing a red and white checkered dress.  She had gold hair, smooth skin and a fair complexion.

The scientists undid Jessica from the machine and she sat up.  “Whose daughter is this?  She needs to be somewhere else.”

The girl, however, started intently at Jessica.  She gave her a big smile and jumped up on her lap.  “Mommy….”

Jessica sighed.  “I am not your mommy.”  She then looked at the scientists, who were still speechless.  “Could any of you tell me what’s going on?”

Dr. Mayberry shook his head.  “As much as we would like to, we can’t.  You see, this was not supposed to happen.  You were supposed to remember your childhood.  That’s it.”

“Then what is she doing here?” Jessica said, point to the girl, who was now crawling on top of Jessica’s lap.

Dr. Mayberry smiled.  “Drawing from our conclusions, we are guessing that the very girl you see there is you, only younger.  She is, without a doubt, your inner child.”

Jessica shook her head and gave the doctor a crazy look.  “Okay.  If that’s the case, I want you to hit me in the head really hard.  When I wake up, I want you to tell me that this is someone else’s child.”

At this, Dr. Mayberry, the assistant and the other scientists laughed.  “I’m sorry, Miss Smith.”  Dr. Mayberry told her.  “But in a way, that is your child.  She is your younger self.  She has all your same features.  Hair, eyes and face.  The only difference is that she’s an earlier version of you.  Now we didn’t plan this at all.”

Jessica shrugged her shoulders, while the girl grabbed her hand, trying to get her attention.  “So what do I do with her?  Don’t tell me.  This is a dream, so it doesn’t really matter.”

“I’m afraid it’s not, Miss Smith.  The experiment did not go as planned, but take her with you.  And here’s the $300 we promised for participating.”

The doctor’s assistant handed her $300 and gave it to Jessica.  Dr. Mayberry then approached her.  “Good day, Miss Smith.” he told her.

Jessica sighed and left with the money and the girl.

Out on the street corner, there was no taxis to be found.  While she was waiting, she studied the girl.  She looked like, if she would to guess, only four-years old.  Having a child was the last thing she wanted right now.

The girl tugged at the hem of Jessica’s black Capri pants.  “Where are we, mommy?”

Jessica scowled, and looked the girl right in the eye.  “I am not your mommy.   You are me, only much younger.”

The girl’s eyes widened and she frowned.  “But you look like my mommy….”

“That’s where you’re wrong, ‘younger me’,” she argued.  “Let’s go home.”

Jessica finally found a taxi and she was driven back to the Riverside Apartments.

Taking the girl by the hand, she entered the apartment, took the elevator to the fifth floor, and entered 506.

As she entered, a look of worry filled the girl’s face.  “Mommy, where’s daddy?”

Jessica snickered.  This is absolutely crazy.  “Daddy is not here, and neither is mommy….”

At this, the girl laughed.  “No!  Don’t be silly, mommy.  You’re right here!”  The girl jumped up and embraced Jessica.

Jessica then looked underneath the girl’s dress.  “Are you potty trained?”

The girl nodded.  “But I already went, mommy!”

Jessica gasped.  “When did you go?”

“I went before I appeared in that strange place.   I tried waking you up because you were sleeping.  You wouldn’t wake up, mommy….”

After that, Jessica looked at the girl’s clothes.  She was just wearing a finely checkered dress with a loose red ribbon in her hair.  “Do you have any other clothes?”

The girl placed her hand on her head.  “At home you do, mommy….”

Jessica gasped.

The next thing she found herself doing was taking the girl to some clothing stores to get some new clothes for her.  She bought two new outfits and some pajamas for her.  Overall, she spent $150 of the $300 she was given.

For the rest of the day, Jessica struggled with how she was to raise this girl.  If the scientists were right, she was actually raising herself.  The very idea of raising her was weird.

That night, Jessica’s cell phone rang.

“Yeah, what?” Jessica shouted.  “Oh!  It’s you, Paige!  The experiment?  Forget about that.  Why?  I know this sounds weird, but I think they removed my inner child and now she’s running lose in my apartment.  No.  Seriously.  I mean it.  They actually let her lose from my head.”

A pause.

“Paige, I am NOT making this up!  Don’t believe me?  You can see her tomorrow.  No, she’s not sleeping in my bed.  She’s sleeping in the bed in the guest bedroom.  Yes, I fed her.  Just the stuff I eat.  Is that okay?”

“The money?  Yeah.  I already spent half of it on her clothes!  With my younger self around, we will definitely need a babysitter for Friday.  I am NOT canceling this double date.  Me and Brad.  You and Steve.  Just like we planned.”

“What?  I don’t need one?  I’m making all this up?  Since when have I lied to you like this, Paige?  Come over tomorrow morning and we’ll see who gets the last laugh.  Yes Paige.  I don’t know how a person can be extracted from someone’s mind.  Don’t ask me.”

“I just put her to bed, so I should be going off to bed, too.”

“I’ll see you tomorrow morning, and stop laughing!  I’m not crazy!  Bye.”

Jessica hung up.  She got all ready and went to bed.

In the middle of the night, Jessica felt a light tap on her shoulder.

And then a whisper.  “Mommy, I had an accident….”

Jessica began to pinch herself as hard as she could….

______

©2012  K. L. Walker

Think & Write #80

Inner Child

Jessica Smith hung up the phone.  The time was 5:32 in Dr. Wakeman’s Neurology Clinic.

Looking around, Jessica sighed.  “Tell the doctor that I’m not going to wait around any longer,” she told the assistant.  “I’m clocking out.”

Jessica quickly filled out her time card and placed it on the desk.  She then grabbed her coat, her purse and carrying case and left the office.

After leaving the office, Jessica took the elevator from the 27th floor to the 1st.  She then called down a taxi and told them to take her to the Riverside Apartments.  She wasn’t in the mood to eat out tonight.

After arriving at the apartments, Jessica took the elevators to the fifth floor.  She kept moving until she stopped at 506.

Once in the apartment, she started up the oven and opened up the freezer, pulling out a frozen dinner. After the oven got to temp, she placed it in and waited.

While she was waiting, she continued filling out the form.

“Another crazy experiment,” she sighed.

Suddenly, her cell phone rang.

“Oh, hi Paige.” She said.  “What am I doing?  I just got off of work and I’m making a TV dinner.  Work ran longer than usual and I had to deal with an angry customer.”

A brief pause.

“No!” Jessica shouted.  “Of course not!  I have not forgotten.  I’m still going out with Brad.  I just haven’t had the time lately.”

Jessica checked the oven.  Her TV dinner only had 15 minutes.  “Yes Paige, I remember.  Next week, right?  I’ll bring Brad and you’ll bring Steve.”

There was another pause, and Jessica sighed.  “Tomorrow’s Friday.  I know.  I have it off because I agreed to participate in this experiment.  What experiment?  They said that they can they bring people back to their childhood.  What?  Hypnosis?  I don’t know.  I just found it in the newspaper.  I get $300 for participating, okay? Yeah.  I already told you.  I have tomorrow off because I’m doing this.  Paige, I already told you.  I don’t know much about the experiment.  It’s something about my ‘inner child’ or something like that.”

More silence.

Jessica sighed.  “Are you still there?  Okay.  My dinner’s almost done and I still have to finish the forms for this whole experiment thing.  Yes.  If I don’t turn this in, I can’t participate and I can get my $300.  Yes, I’ll be there next week.  Yes, with Brad too.  And you’re bringing Steve?  Okay.  Sounds good.  I’ll talk to you later. Bye.”

Jessica hung up and finished filling out the form.  She had her dinner, watched a little TV and went to bed.

The next morning, Jessica got up early.  She got ready and took her carrying case with her.  She took a taxi to a laboratory that was outside the city in the suburbs.

She entered the laboratory and took the paperwork out of her carrying case.  She showed the receptionist the paperwork.  The receptionist let Jessica through.

Jessica was then led into a small room with five other people, with a lab assistant nearby.

“I see you five are here for an experiment.”  The assistant said.  “Allow me to introduce myself.  I am Neil, and each of you are going to take part in a different experiment.  Our lab technicians will guide each of you to a different room. Until then, relax.  You will get your money at the end of the experiment.”

Moments later, the technicians took each one of the five people into a different room.

As they were leaving, Jessica approached Neil and looked at him.  “What about me?  Am I going to be in an experiment?”

Neil sighed.  “I’m sorry.  The request that we sent out was only for five people.  I guess we should’ve called you.”

“Called me?” Jessica whined.  “I called about the inquiry.  This lab called back and told me that I was selected.  You even sent me some paperwork to fill out.”

Neil shrugged his shoulders.  “It was a mistake.  We didn’t realize it until after we sent it out.  We’re really really sorry.”

Jessica threw the paperwork on the ground.  “You know what?  Forget it.  I will find another way to earn $300, or even more than that.”

Just as Jessica was about to leave, a doctor came in.

The doctor studied her and frowned.  “What is she doing here?  She’s not one of our colleagues.”

Neil looked at him with a sheepish smile.  “She’s one of our extra participants that we don’t need.  We only needed five, right?”

The doctor nodded.  “You could say that, but there’s one other thing that I just discovered in the research.  We actually need one more person.”  The doctor approached Jessica.  “What is your name, miss?”

“Jessica,” Jessica told him.

“Jessica?”  the doctor smiled.  “I am Dr. Mayberry.  Come with me. There’s one other thing that we need to test.

Jessica followed Dr. Mayberry into a small round room.   When asked, Jessica gave him the paperwork.  She was then strapped to a machine.  It was a bed that they laid her on and strapped her in, with a belt over her stomach and a helmet attached to her.

“We are going to find your inner child,” the doctor told her.  “After that, you will be able to remember everything about your childhood.  We will then let you go.”

Dr. Mayberry signaled his assistant to turn the machine on.

Jessica felt a strong tingle of electricity flowing through her.  After that, she was knocked out.

When she came to, she heard a little voice.

“Mommy?”  It sounded like a little girl.

Jessica opened her eyes and gasped.  She couldn’t believe her eyes what was standing before her….

______

©2012  K. L. Walker

Think & Write #79

A Different Set of Feet

I wiggle on the floor and reach upward.  My hands are now on the armrests of my chair.

Pressing down on the armrests, I hoist myself up and sit down.

I then fastened myself in the chair and adjusted the leg rests.

My chair is not the kind of chair that you use to relax.  My chair has wheels attached to it.  Two large wheels in the rear for moving and two smaller ones in the front.

When I am out, I get a lot of different looks from people.  Whoever looks at me, I give them a big smile.  They may feel sorry for me or may try to help me.  It doesn’t matter.  I am happy with any kind of interaction I receive from others.

When people get past the chair that I am sitting in, they see that I am a person, just like they are.  The only difference is that I have a different set of feet.  Being paralyzed from the waist down, I can not use the feet I was born with.

Regardless, this doesn’t stop me from being the person that I should be.  I could feel sorry for myself but I don’t.  Somebody told me that God put me in this chair for a reason.  And you know what? I totally agree with them.  I have no regrets for the accident that happened.  I do thank God that everyone involved in the accident is still alive, and I am one of them.

Attached to the back of my wheelchair is my big bag of essentials.  Every once in a while, I get a person that asks about the bag.  I’m not rude about the person who asks at all.  I just tell them.  That bag has things that I need.  Besides the typical things that a wheelchair bound person carries, the most important thing that I need is my bible.  I usually tell that person about that when they ask about the bag.

The conversation then either goes one of two ways.  Sometimes, the conversation ends right there.  The person then thanks me and leaves.  Other times, the person is a little bit more open.

Usually it starts with myself.  They ask me how I can be so happy if I’m in that wheelchair.  I tell them that God has given me a reason to be happy and that smile is for them.  I then ask them if they know Jesus.  For me, that question is very important because I was given a second chance.  Before the accident, I didn’t believe that there was a God.  If they tell me that they don’t know Jesus or believe in God, I tell them that I was in the same place myself, and that they should give him a chance.

This is how it was with me.  After the accident, I was very angry and frustrated.  I wondered to myself, if there was a God, why did he allow me to suffer like this?  A friend then told me that he was real.   I totally disagreed with them, but they insisted.  They challenged me to ask him, “if you are real, prove it!”

So that night, that’s what I did.  I asked him that if he was real to prove it.  It didn’t take long for this to happen.  I suddenly started to cry.  I was filled with this feeling that I never felt before.  It was love, and I knew that it came from him.  Granted, I have felt love before, but I have never experienced it in this way.

After that, I repented and got saved.  All my anger and frustration was gone.  I then knew that he put me there for a reason, and that I was going to be his spokesperson.

If anyone is still standing there after I shared this story with them, I noticed that a few of them start to cry.  It’s mostly the women that cry when they hear this story.  They walk up to me, kneel down, and give me a hug.  As for the rest of them, they thank me for the story and they walk away.

My chair may not be the kind of chair that you have, but I see it as a throne.   I am blessed to be alive and blessed to be given a second chance with this new set of feet.

So if you ever see me,  please take the time to chat.  I would really appreciate the conversation.  Yes, I am in a wheelchair.  But I am a person, just like you.  And I look forward to meeting you.

______

©2012  K. L. Walker

Think & Write #78

The Golden Leaf: Part III

Jill woke up, feeling a little different.  She could not quite explain it, but she knew that something was different about her.

Smiling from ear to ear, Jill clutched the golden leaf in her hand and entered the bathroom.  Looking in the mirror, she was right.  Her hair was a little longer.  Jill guessed about four or five inches.  Her hair was also in a different color.  There were streaks of gold and orange mixed with her naturally brown hair.  At this, Jill shrugged her shoulders and got ready.

Jill got her clothes for the day and got ready.  She picked a purple dress with silver spots speckled all over.  As she got ready in the bathroom, she wondered why her hair was longer and colored differently.  Could it be the leaf? she thought.  After getting ready, she tucked the golden leaf inside the top of her dress and exited the bathroom.

When Jill got to the bottom of the stairs, her mother was standing there.  “Are you feeling any better….Jill!” she gasped.

Jill nodded and smiled.  “I feel a lot better, mother.”

The mother frowned and looked at her in bewilderment.  “That’s strange.  Your hair looks a little longer.  And you colored it?”

Jill lied again.  It was not like her to do this.  She still felt different.  It didn’t make sense to her and she couldn’t explain it.  “Yes mother.  I did it for you.  Do you like it?”

The mother was speechless.  “Jill, I never said that you could color your hair.   It does look a little different.  Kind of like the leaves outside.  Just don’t do it again, honey.”

Jill was troubled.  She knew that she didn’t color her hair.  She tried to say it, but it just wouldn’t come out.  It was almost like something was preventing her from saying it.

“Honey?” the mother frowned.  “Were you going to say something?”

Jill, puzzled, looked at her mother.  “Yes….I was going to tell you that….my hair….looks nice today and I’m going to have breakfast now.”

The mother nodded, pointing towards the kitchen.  “Okay honey.”

Jill entered the kitchen and poured herself a bowl of cereal.  As she was pouring the milk, she was frustrated.  That was not what I wanted to say at all!  What’s happening to me?  As she wondered this, a golden glint of light flashed from inside her dress.

After Jill finished her bowl of cereal, the doorbell rang.  Her mother answered it.

“Jill!” her mother called.  “It’s your friend Jaime!”

Jill ran to the door, which was open.  Jaime was standing there, touting an eager expression.

“Are you ready to look for the golden leaf?” Jaime said with a big smile.

Jill nodded, and turned to her mother.  “Me and Jaime are going to play outside for a while.  I’ll be back later!”

The mother smiled, lightly tapping Jill on the shoulder.  “Okay honey!  Have fun!”

Jill and Jaime walked away from the house, towards the woods.  As Jaime was walking, she stopped and looked at Jill.

Looking impatient, Jill frowned.  “What?” she said, looking at Jaime.

Jaime was filled with confusion.  “You look different.  Your hair is longer and it has gold and orange streaks on it.”

Jill smiled.  “I colored it myself,” she lied.  “Do you like it?”

Jaime frowned.  “I see that, but your hair is longer.  I played with you yesterday and it was shorter.  Hair doesn’t grow that fast, Jill.”

Jill was silent.  She didn’t want to say anymore.  The only thing she wanted to tell her was the truth.  Instead, she was overcome with impatience.  “Just leave me alone about the hair!  So it grew that fast.  Why does this bother you?”

Jaime gasped.  While Jill was talking, she noticed a golden flash coming from her dress.  “What was that flash?” she asked her.

Jill looked around.  “What flash?  I didn’t see any flash?”

“There!” Jaime shouted, pointing her finger at the dress.  “I saw it again!  It was gold colored.  Did you find the golden leaf, Jill?”

Jill choked.  “That’s what we’re going to find, isn’t it?”

A look of concern came over Jaime’s face.  “Your face is getting red.” she told her.  “Why are you sweating?  You have the golden leaf, don’t you?”

Jill flashed, with a very bright gold light and a strong gust of wind blew right out of her, knocking Jaime down. Her hair also reverted back to its original color and retracted to its original length.  “Leave me alone!” Jill shouted, using the girl’s voice she heard in her head.

Jaime was terrified.  Getting to her feet, she screamed, backing away from Jill.  “What’s happening to you?”

Jill used every ounce of strength she had and opened her mouth.  “I….don’t know!” she cried.

Jaime looked at Jill, and pointed at her dress.  “Get rid of that leaf, Jill!  I think that’s what is causing all this.”

Jill shook her head.  “No!  It’s my leaf!  I’m never going to give it up.”

Jaime held up her hand.  “Then I’ll make you.  I am not losing my best friend.”

Jaime lunged at Jill.   In a split second, Jill transformed herself into a pile of leaves, which blew a few feet away from Jaime.  The leaves rematerialized into Jill.

“Bye Jaime,” Jill told her.

Jill ran away from her and back toward the house.  She didn’t want to run away from Jaime.  She wanted to play with her some more.  But for some reason, she couldn’t.

Jill entered the house and walked past her mother.

“What’s wrong?” the mother asked her.

“Jaime hates me!” Jill sobbed, as she began running up the stairs.

Jill entered her room and closed the door.  She sulked on her bed for the rest of the day.

During that time, Jill took the golden leaf out of her dress.  Filled with anger, she wanted to get rid of it.  She ran into the bathroom with it and tried throwing it into the toilet.  She couldn’t.  The leaf stuck to her hand.  Jill then heard the voice again.  Learn who you are and things will be better….

Jill tried crinkling the leaf into pieces, but it remained whole no matter what she did.

Giving up, Jill re-entered her room and plopped on her bed.  When her mom called her down for dinner, she ate it.  Once again, her older brother was at his friend’s house, so it was just her, her mother and her father. Jill said nothing to her parents and quickly ate her dinner.  After that, she ran upstairs, got ready, put her pajamas on and got into bed.

Jill lay there, holding the golden leaf.  She felt helpless.  Anything she tried to say regarding the truth to her parents was subverted by the voice in her head.  She couldn’t get rid of the leaf, either.

Finally, Jill couldn’t stand it.  She called to the voice.  “Who are you?” she asked the voice.  “You sound like a girl.”

A gentle breeze blew on Jill, even though her windows were closed.  The voice then spoke.  I am you, and you are me.  Just give it time, and you will see.

Jill sighed and quietly scowled.  “Why can’t I get rid of the leaf?”

A stronger breeze began to blow on Jill.  I warned you, the voice told her.  I told you to return the golden leaf to the forest, where you found it, but you didn’t.  You wanted this leaf so bad, so now it’s yours.  You will find it to be quite enjoyable, so don’t worry.

“Don’t worry?” Jill said with a frown.  “What do you mean by that?  I can’t get rid of this stupid leaf!”

The voice laughed.  Why would you want to get rid of something that is yours?  You wanted the leaf so bad, so now I am giving it to you as a gift.  Now calm down and please accept the gift….

Jill gave a sigh of resentment and nodded.  “I’ll accept the gift, but first tell me who you are.”

The wind blew around Jill in a sweeping motion, as if it were tickling her.  As this continued, Jill began to giggle.  The girl’s voice spoke again.  I already told you.  I am you, and you are me.  Just give it time, and you will see.

The wind continued tickling Jill and she giggled louder.  “Stop it!” she shouted with laughter.

At her request, the wind died down.  Jill couldn’t figure out the riddle.  On top of that, she was tired, so she decided to sleep on it.  She grabbed the golden leaf and held it in her hand.  Maybe this leaf wasn’t going to be so bad after all.  She felt secure and safe when she held it.  Before she fell asleep, she placed the golden leaf in the top of her pajamas.  Right after this, she fell asleep.

As she slept, the same thing happened as the night before.  Her pajamas glowed with the light emanating from the leaf.  The glow then emanated from the covers and finally into the entire room.  Jill then glowed, with a faint whisper coming from the wind.

Sleep on, Jill.  Things will get better very soon.  Don’t worry….

And the gentle wind remained with Jill, dancing with the golden glow of radiance in the room for the rest of the night….

______

©2012  K. L. Walker

Think & Write #77

The Golden Leaf: Part II

Once in the house, Jill’s mother was inside.  She stood in the living room, smiling.

“So Jill, did you have fun with Jaime?”  Her mother asked her.

Jill nodded.  “Yes I did.  Her mother picked her up.  I don’t understand why she did this when she lives right down the road from us.”

Her mother nodded.  “Perhaps her mother was on her way home from shopping.”

Jill felt her stomach rumble.  “Is dinner ready yet?”

“Just about.  I’ll have it ready in a few minutes, honey.”

After a few minutes, the mother served dinner.  The father was home just in time for it.

For dinner, it was generally quiet.  Jill didn’t have much to say, since she didn’t want to mention the leaf that she found.  She only spoke when she was spoken to.  She gave brief answers, as she ate her chicken, rice and green beans.

Finally, Jill was finished with her dinner.  “May I be excused?” She asked her.  “I am not feeling well, and I’m going to bed early.”

The mother frowned.  “You’re not?  Rest up then, and I’ll see you in the morning.”

Jill left the table and walked upstairs.  She wanted to leave the table, but only so that she could see who this voice was.  She could only do this in the privacy of her room.

Once upstairs, Jill took the golden leaf out of her dress and sat it underneath her pillow.  She then changed into her pajamas and got ready for bed.  She brushed her teeth and drank her glass of water.  Jill entered her bedroom.  Her fourth grade math book sat on top of her backpack, as a reminder for homework.  It was Friday night, so she still had time.

Jill then climbed into bed and got underneath the covers.  She lifted up her pillow and held the golden leaf in her hands.  Right as she did this, she flashed and she heard the girl’s voice again.

That leaf doesn’t belong here….the voice said, in almost a whisper.

Jill threw her hands up and crossed them.  “What do you mean?” She asked.  “It’s my leaf.  I found it!”

The leaf is not yours….the voice argued.  You took the leaf out of the forest, where it belonged.  Put it back….

“No!” Jill argued.  “The leaf is mine!  I am not putting it back!”

Jill was suddenly hit with a strong gust of wind.  That golden leaf is my vessel.  It doesn’t belong in a place like this.  It belongs in the forest….

A sudden shock began to fill Jill.  The gust of wind almost knocked her down on her bed.  Jill tried to speak, but no words came out.  Finally, she said “w-w-who are you?”

A gentle breeze brushed against Jill’s face.  I am you….the voice said.

After that, the wind died down.  The voice said no more after this.

Jill was relieved that the voice went away.  What exactly did the voice mean by what it said?  That didn’t matter to Jill right now.  Clutching the golden leaf tight in her hands, she held it as she fell fast asleep.

A faint golden glow emanated from Jill as she slept.  The glow began to fill the room, until it was covered completely….

______

©2012  K. L. Walker