Another late night had fallen on my time in the asylum. The stone cell window was my only picture frame to the countryside. The scent was musky in my room and the floor was damp near the window from the midnight rain. A candle on the desk held back the pressure of the dark. I heard a madman raving of demons and flowers in the distant halls. Burning purpose drove me to stay awake rendering the scene. To remember better times. I once sat on those hills and pondered the tumbling skyline that surrounded my home. A stem of dandelion dangled from my mouth and I enjoyed the bitterness as I chewed. Fields of grass around me were cool and dew laden on the eve of summer, my worn easel rested next to me. Spires of Cyprus plants shot up into the late night sky. The leaves were rough but comforting. A mischievous wind excited the grass, the blades crashed against each other in a war that rang like a symphony to my soul. Through the village, the wind snuck unseen, over the church steeple, and brought back the distant call of the watchman; “Het is drie uur!” The strength of his voice was a comforting reminder of my home. As it returned to the heavens the wind drove the clouds together as they crashed against the stars. Flickers of the starlight peeked through at me from the blue ocean of night. I dreamed I could feel their warmth. The moon hung satisfied in the corner of the sky and approved of it’s work. Like an old friend’s grasp, the brightest star arrested me, a blazing dull orange dot, it seemed to swirl with the wind. Who was moving? The stars or myself? As the pulse of life in all of creation flowed through the universe, for a moment I glimpsed the motion. With my eyes closed, I laid on the hill and embraced the wind; in return it stung my ear. The coal snapped in my fingers as I grasped my head in anguish. I rushed to the stone cell window. The sky was dark with sodden clouds. The city, strangely quiet. The grass, dead brown. The cypress remained, defiant and unchanging. It called out to me with soothing tones of deadly promise. Maybe I would dream again tomorrow?
The children sat around the TV. The living room was patterned in the blue light of flashing scenes. On the screen the camera angle changed every three seconds, a rapid view of the fabricated world. The tallest boy sat bean shaped in a recliner. He had a brush of blonde hair and intelligent eyes vacant of thought. To the right of the boy, the lone girl sat on the green couch. A pink pencil was suspended over a colorful masterpiece on her lap. Her mouth hung slightly ajar, and strands of rusty blonde hair flowed across her nose. Her face was like a beautiful melody on pause.
The youngest boys had formed a symbiotic pretzel shape in the far corner of the couch. One had raised a fist to drive home a stinging blow, but the antics of the show had frozen him mid-punch. The large green troll sat next to them. He wore white pajamas with red trains printed all over. A spoonful of mushy cereal dangled from his large purple lips.
The tall boy shifted and absently rubbed his hand on the corduroy arm of the recliner. The touched the pencil eraser to her chin and opened her mouth to push it back down. The little boy converted his punch to a gentle pulling of hair. The troll sniffed the air, one of the two smaller boys had avoided the restroom for too long. No matter. One of the larger humans would intervene eventually. As he swallowed the cereal and realized it had sat for far too long, a gurgle rumbled deep within his bulging belly. He thumped his chest with a massive fist, and belched with the force of a fog horn. He was immediately shushed by all the children.