The Father

Bianca Hull

 

The Father

 

Businessmen slid open the gates without a thought. The echoing of the metal crashed and subsided across the descending countryside.  There the machines stood cold from the previous night. They too screamed out, though, slowly slipped into silence as they leaned forward as if to listen for another caller. Like the loons at night in the summertime, howling across the lakes in loneliness. The man stood with sweet sweat on his brow watching the desolation of the land.


The floor splashed with moisture at his boots. Breathing tides gasped for air in the wetness of this night. They inhaled, and exhaled. They breathed as he breathed. The only difference between him and theses waters was time. His boat rocked, though hands steady, alone. Itching his face, he felt his unattended features, haggard by the everlasting sun and the unforgiving wind. His ankles were now wet. Cast off by shame and endless misfortune there was no mainland in sight. No flicker of light in this dreamy night. His waist now sunk in the water. Boat didn’t rock anymore. He found himself in his flicker of thoughts and a layer of dust. With the phone in hand his fingers swiftly crept across the number panel as he thought of her.


The Boy


All land binds us to what we can hold. But not you. You sit atop the dusted ground, like a child of meditation to look into the sunken sun in the eye. Untamable resonances of home echo in your head. I remember when you were young. There was always something different about you. Some nights you would stay out in the back yard in the darkness all by yourself. You would lay on your back with wide eyes not knowing that anything else was truly around you but the dew of the grass and the music of the crickets.


The wire looped and hung to the bottom of the phone. It stood still, as you stood still. The confines of the booth  pushes you away from the bitter connection of something that is too familiar. But there is no home for you. Not you. Only places to be where your breath echoes and theses trails bend. Where the living go to die.


The Grandfather


Ghosts of the last red sun, and the last black moon. He crept, shifting his weight from one foot to another alongside the dusted road. Footprints trailed, but soon disappeared to the exhaling breeze.  A gleaming sliver aura glowed around his body as he moved as the hesitating glow crept like the fog of a streetlight after a dreamy night. A gleam of his eye caught the notice of a passing creature on the ground, but swiftly veered back to his destination. The phone booth stood, though will not always stand. Ten cents a minute. Ten cents to remind himself he was still there.


The Girl


This girl does not exist. Among men and women alike she only understood that of the truth, only that of pure beauty. The depths of woman’s hearts are vast in all the quiet melancholy of their serenity, and hers was not unlike this. She would watch upon her brothers with judicious patience as they fought with furor and rage. Though she knew that this would not last, and upon their exhaustion she would simply stare at them with her mothers brooding eyes.


 This land does not exist. It trailed effortlessly under her, dry and honesty. It basked in the wistful dreams under the suns watch. Both, never seen by any but this sun. The girls dress drew past her knees and like an old rotted flag. Ribs rubbed against her skin as her tiny feet walked down to the old phone both. Her mother wanted her to call her father who had been gone for the week to work.  A layer of dust and soot covered her face, though she had no reflection to see this. She stood in the middle of the road, motionless, a red ball held on her side. Her dreams were already lost in a thousand shades and a thousand shapes.


The Brother


Step, shuffle, step. He noticed the man in front of him. He stared at the back of his head. He noticed the freckles on the back of his neck, and the dandruff that had fallen to his shoulders. He figured they had one thing in common, and that on things is what brought them together in the same room. Its funny sometimes how things work out.

 

Step, shuffle, step. There was no telling how long this would take. All he wanted was to reach the end of the line, or the beginning, or just a point where these walls wouldn’t suck the soul out of the tiny holes in his skin. I should have put deodorant on this morning, he thought to himself. He felt himself sweating through the material of his grandfather’s tweed suit jacket. Step, shuffle. I should have seen my sister before I left, he thought. This tie began to become seemingly tighter. If I didn’t have to be in this line, I would be. It’s just funny how things work out.


He slowly rotated his eyes to take notice of his surroundings. They haven’t changed sense last time he checked. A single line for the modern man. Organized, straight, docile, just as progress imagined it. Animals cant stand in lines, only men. He thought to himself. Men and ants a voice told him. Yes men and ants. Little ants keep marching, keep in line. But ants cant communicate like men. He have telephones, we have letters, we have profound words, and poetry, and novels. Step, shuffle, step. He thought of the time he visited his aunt in Kentucky. Simple place that state, even they have a phone booth. Little ants keep matching.


The Mother


Her hands mindlessly danced as she crocheted her son a hat for the wintertime. This hat would keep him warm in the brisk cold of the Midwest.  She quietly hummed to herself the melodies of her childhood while sitting in her Victorian chair. It was an old chair. Tattered with floral prints and a stained cushion that had been flipped over too many times. But it was hers, and it reminded her of her children. She knew all of the secrets her children kept amongst themselves in their quiet whispers. All of their glooming troubles and fears.  There was a hole on the side of her chair. It was from her oldest who decided to make her an oven mitt for mothers day. It was sewn and patched now and still loved all the same.

 

When her children were young she put a map that stretched across the length of her arms on the wall of their room. Every morning they would wake, before school, before Sunday mass she forced them to go to.  She would stand in front of the map casting an aura of red on it from the sun behind her and wonder. She wondered of all the places they would go, how they longed for movement, thought of how they would all live great and meaningful lives full of explorations and new frontiers. Though, as she looked upon this land now, bleeding, desolate, she knew that their childhood map had done no justice for their dreams. Her brooding brown eyes gleamed with an unannounced confidence outside the window at the old phone booth. She sat in her Victorian chair and awaited their return.


 

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