This story is in response to a terribleminds.com challenge; to write a story any genre or person but in the present tense. Word limit 1000; mine 999. As the laptop I wrote this on Monday January30 fried itself on Tuesday the 31st, with nothing of the story written down anywhere, I was… troubled. After downloading an app to enable me to read the story on my old computer from the flash drive it was saved to on my laptop, may it fry in hell forever, I’m having to copy the whole story from the printed page, because it wouldn’t copy and paste, to here. There may be typos. http://wp.me/p1BAlV-25
My Brother the Inventor Louise Sorensen January 30, 2012
“Come over here and sit down,” my brother says. I jump and screech. Hands in soapy dish water, gazing out the kitchen window as I wash, I didn’t notice him enter the house. He just pops in every now and then. Even when the door is locked and I don’t hear anyone come up the stairs.
I dry my hands and go over to my favourite most comfortable chair, hoping that this won’t hurt, or take long. He places a small contraption bristling with wires and knobs on the arm of my chair, shows me a slender wire with a sharp end, and stabs me in the bicep with it.
The rumble of a motor. A slipping sensation, falling, sliding, slewing around. A sudden halt. I slosh around in the dark, a drumbeat galloping in my ears. A train whistle sounds. Insistent. Frantic.
“For god’s sake, get out and push.” A woman’s voice. My Mother.
A car door opens. “Please give me your hand. We have to get out now. The train is coming.” My Father’s voice. Nothing ever panics him.
The pages of a comic book. A farmer dressed in bright blue overalls is outfoxed by two black crows with large heads and big beaks. They feast on huge ears of yellow kernelled corn. My Grandmother points out each word in the bubble caption as she says it. Her lap is soft and warm, her voice gentle. My legs barely extend beyond the comic. After many, many reads, I am beginning to connect the spoken, with the written words.
No one listens to me. I take matters into my own hands and walk down the shoulder of a busy highway, going home to see my grandmother. A huge truck, filled with enormous logs, roars away from me, on the other side of the road. I’m proud to know the correct side of the road to walk on. The police pick me up.
My Mother hysterical.
I spend the next three days in bed, reflecting on my six years of life.
No looking back, my heart races as I run. Five boys, chasing, in the lonely snowy streets. The sky is grey, almost dark. Home is so far away.
A green chalkboard, covered with blurs of white. The teacher’s voice is turbulent, like sound under water. What is the question? Daydreaming again, I don’t know the answer.
Juicy watermelon in the summer; spitting seeds out on the grass. Friends and family all around. Happy.
I have a new baby brother. He cries all the time and spits up. I pop the rubber nipple into his mouth and there is quiet. His jaw works and his eyes stare into space as he ponders the mysteries of the universe.
The neighbours up the street have a pony in their front yard. He is golden with a black mane and tail, and my eyes fill with tears at his beauty. The girl of the house is holding a long rope as he runs in circles around her. I walk over the lawns and the driveways, up and down the rolling land, and stand at the edge of their property. “Get home!” she shouts at me. “Get home!” I turn my back on her and go home.
Down a high wall of square hay bales, in slow motion, I fall. There are logs under the mountain of hay to permit air circulation. Landing at the bottom, my ankle crunches on one. I almost faint and throw up from the pain.
My silver high heel skids on the asphalt as I step onto the crosswalk My ankle smashes onto the road, and pops. Vision blacks out and returns. “Are you okay, Babe?” A sweet young man helps me to the other side. I don’t remember how I get home.
Sleeping, left knee up, the heel of my heavy plaster cast digging into the thin matress, I hear a voice. “I’ve never seen anyone sleep like that before,” says a friend of my room mate.
I’m pushing a heavy wheel barrow and painful cramps seize my abdomen. I stop, paralyzed, my protruding stomach distorts; I massage it until the contraction eases.
Blastoff in a rocket ship; the gees crush my chest. My breathing eases as we escape Earth’s gravity. I look back. Will I ever see it again? We enter moon orbit, and my chip translates the steward’s Mandarin. I’m excited to see the Mons Olympus Games.
I dictate my blogcast cradled in a body lounger. My age-spotted hands tremble.
Mars is a jungle, but it has the best restaurants in the solar system. My handsome dinner companion brings a morsel of Peking Duck to my lips. Laughing, I toss back my hair, my hands young and smooth in front of me, and accept.
“Three, two, one… wake up.” My eyes open and my brother pulls the sharp interface out of my arm. The wound bleeds a little; he presses a thick towel over it.
“Did you get all that?” I ask, though this isn’t my first flight out of Kansas.
“Yeah, it’s all here,” he says, tapping a small black marble.
“Do you think these visions are my future?”
“Dunno,” he says. “Some of it you have experienced. The rest might be the future, or just brain chatter. See you later.” He musses my hair, and disappears. I may be sixteen, but I still find my nine year old brother a little scary.