Come, son. Supper is ready


Unable to speak, but his ears – and mind – as sharp as ever, Adrian tried to concentrate on stifling the scream building inside his head.

Lying prone in his hospital bed, right arm plugged into the life-giving socket that was his IV drip, the only sound his ravaged body could muster was a low, painful-sounding yelp of sorts. More canine in its cry than of the human species.

On the heels of that, the singular, pointed question – the most frightful thought that his brain had yet to conjure in all his previous 22 years: ‘What in the hell is happening to me?’ For which he had no answer.

The darkness engendered by his damaged eyes providing the screen for his mind to show its movie of the moment – warning him of the scream it was conjuring up while remembering / examining / scrutinizing his overall life before the accident .. his life now .. and .. after – if – he ever gets out of this place. Needing to share .. to reach out .. find someone, something .. anything .. to – please – explain what was happening to him.

But Adrian,in his drug-induced state of stupor, couldn’t even manipulate his mouth to spit out one letter, let alone the proper configuration of same to birth a word.

Fortunately though, he was finding, it was only his physical being that had been ravaged by the accident. His mind, it appeared, seemed unaffected.

“Unfortunately so,” his crystal-clear cerebellum meekly chimed in on his / its behalf. As if it was feeling some twang of survivor’s remorse.

He could nearly see / hear / taste the words trying to escape his wired-shut mouth .. each appearing in his mind’s eye as crisp and clear and cool as a brightly-colored musical note fashioned out of ice. Hovering – just for a moment – in front of his closed eyes – close enough for him to clearly discern the outline of each individual letter of each individual word he was thinking of.

And then .. just as quickly and surprisingly as they appeared .. they were gone. Replaced again by the infinite darkness coloring this new world.

Then .. hearing the man on the TV. Doing the news. Mentioning the date: April, 13. The day his father had died.

Is that you, dad? Never mind ..  I know it is.

He could feel a wistful smile forming on his lips.

I love you too, dad. See you soon.

Is Supper Ready?


A brother from a different mother

aroseIIby Peter Runfola

Servant / sail / met / boxes

400 words

‘Servant to my soul.’ In other words: my ‘free will.’ Possibly one of the most grandly ironic pairing of words since Webster had the mind to categorize – alphabetically, no less .. each and every one of their own peculiar selves … every word .. good, bad, ridiculous, sublime and / or any combination of such – known to mankind.

He would sail into their pasts. Share with the world their ‘parents.’ As well as any alternative lives they sometimes lead when paired with a brother from a different mother.

As an aside: Yeow … what thought could have possibly popped into his head – in what setting – to inspire him to undertake a task of such incredible nuance & breadth? To categorize – alphabetically, no less – every word known to mankind?

Perhaps we’ll never know. But, nonetheless, we shall indirectly continue to silently thank him day in & day out ..word in & word out .. this specific moment, in actuality. Thank him for his role in helping to preserve that rarest of rare gifts. language. Which he chose to categorize & subsequently bestow on mankind in general: Alphabetically, no less. In a compendium of sorts. A dictionary. Whose contents delineate & deliver to .. you .. and .. yours nothing less than:

Simply and succinctly: The gift of communication.

A gift You & I – whether we’ve met or not – right at this precise moment – are both opening up. Even though for me, right now: ‘right at this precise moment’ will be in variance with & from your ‘right at this precise moment.’

For, I am writing this unique concoction of letter configurations to you … “NOW.” That is, MY “NOW.” But you won’t be seeing them until YOUR “NOW.”

Which is to say: “THEN.” At least, from my perspective.

And, interestingly enough, when the time comes that you .. are .. reading .. these .. precise .. words .. from .. me, even though you may be experiencing an undeniable and completely understandable sense of “NOW,” I maintain that you are actually reading them … ‘THEN.” Which is how your upcoming ‘NOW’ translates to me. A quasi-impossible melding of times, tenses and transmutations all wrapped up nice and tidy. An array of gift boxes which keeps on giving and giving.

And .. where would you & I be without them? Writing aimlessly. Saying neither Hello nor Goodbye. All the while confusing & confounding all those near and dear.

Through our gifts of letters, in general. And, their offspring: words, in particular.

…. THE END ….