Monday, January 30, 2006

Sketchbook- installment 2


Feast Day

Round and about the meeting place they danced off-key and sang non-rhythmic songs. It was, in a way, atrocious to watch. He sat numbly across from all of it as a spectator, always a spectator. He'd been invited to join, but was reluctant to confess that he didn't even understand the motions. It seemed so natural for the rest of them; they don't even have to think about it. But he, he has to think about everything, as if he must concentrate to make his very breath respond. No ease at all, never at ease.
The dancing stopped and they all clapped. He imitated their motions and hated them for making him be a puppet like this. They smiled and he smiled and he made them self-concious without intending to.
He was soon forgotten and wandered away from the celebration ground toward the centre where everyone lived. He poked about in their private possessions for a bit, but none of it was very interesting. The lights were out and no one was around. He stole a girl's belonging with the intention of doing something perverse, then decided there wasn't any point and threw it in the lake instead. Watching it sink and bubble, he wanted to cry, but the dance was over and everyone was going home and he couldn't be found missing. So he smiled and they smiled and he laughed when he saw the girl.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

A Couple of Brave New Heroes

He pulled himself from the flickering screen of talking lights and told us of a mission he had planned. No one was very interested, but he wasn't surprised and declared he would go it alone. So off he ventured into the wicked tundra. Later we would say that we told him not to go, but of course we didn't. We just watched him leave then turned the television back on. They said he was a brave soul, but no one ever would have guessed it from knowing him.
The rumors sprouted across every county like kudzu that he was coming back. I never believed it. Neither did Reginald. There was a party at the town hall to celebrate his return, which they heard second or third or hundredth-hand was to occur. They waited all night and only a cat showed up. They chased it off and had a party to celebrate their success. They forgot all about the lost boy. Now every year they have a party commemorating the Chasing of the Cat.
I think the boy is frozen in the arctic somewhere. Still alive, but unable to move. He just sits there watching the air get colder and colder, watching his limbs crack off. No, that's too terrible. I sort of liked him. Not as much as the others, but I didn't hate him. One of the boys, Alec, went out to find him. He went alone and we all sent our warmest wishes. Semolina is worried and all she does is sit in the backyard. She won't come to the parties. We had one to bring Alec back, but he didn't show. Now I guess they are both motionless in the snow. At least they aren't alone. The man in the back says, "Never worry 'bout no one else in the winter time." He's a leftover.

sketchbook- installment 1