One Fine Day

1

One fine day, it was. The sky a perfect shade of blue, trees a perfect shade of green, hydrants a perfect shade of red and her brand new Reeboks a perfect shade of pink. She had enough lip gloss on to make a car shine, enough fruit-smelling perfume to be detected a mile away. A light breeze scented with apple blossoms and fresh grass blew through her, making her feel her feet slightly leave the ground, so that she lightly floated towards her destination, more than walked. The smile on her lips was contagious; anyone passing her by could see her glowing with happiness, and found themselves smiling back at her. Her black, shoulder length hair, gleaming in the sunlight, flopped behind her head in a silver-banded pony tail. She turned right at the corner and crossed the street, entering the park. Leaves and petals showered her way, butterflies of all the colors of the rainbow played around her feet, and she stopped to try and catch one, only succeeding in scaring them away. She resumed her journey, shortcutting over the grass and small rocks and arriving at the duck-infested lake. She glanced around, taking in the usual old greenies throwing bread crumbs into the water, a couple of mothers holding onto kids with leashes strapped around them, trying to take a dive. A pair of lovers parked on a bench, half obscured by the overhanging willow leaves, not invisible enough for her to miss the gleam of the ring held behind the guy's back, as the most important moment in the universe was about to be introduced into the world. She secretly smiled to herself, turning away from the achingly beautiful scene, respecting the privacy deserved by such a moment. The tadpoles and tiny fishes in the pond played tag, a mother duck with a line of horrible looking ducklings trailing behind her passed in front of her, ignoring the soggy breadcrumbs aimed at her and her kids. She ignored the benches around her and sat on the ground, close enough to the water to be able to see the pebbles at the bottom. She gazed up at the sky for a few minutes, smiling once again as the calmness of the blue reflected that inside her. It was one fine day...
2
Indeed, it was one fine day. The sky a perfect shade of blue, trees a perfect shade of green, asphalt a perfect shade of grey and his carpenter jeans a perfect shade of beige. The air smelt weird, like flowers and stuff. He had the strange sensation of it blowing through him, like he was floating instead of really walking. And everyone was smiling, and he didn't mind smiling back one bit. He was on a mission. He was out to save the world. He was out to fight evil, to bring peace out into the sun, to save the TV generation from bad acting and fake mirth and sorrow. He was going to be a star. The next Ben Affleck, Anthony Quinn, Humphrey Bogart and Scooby Doo. Yup, he was going to blow them away, he was. He was going to be king of the screens, big and small. He was going to be rich. The chicks would be killing each other to get at him, kids would be all over him for his autograph. He wasn't going to have to load and unload the stupid dishwasher at home anymore, simply because he wasn't going to be living there anymore. He was going to buy (rip off) Michael Jackson's very own Never Land, kick him out and change the stupid name to Racket Land, Racket being his well loved nickname. He was going to be a star. And the day was just so damn fine he felt like doing something silly, like singing or something, and sooner than later he found himself doing just that, the former that is. He hummed his way down the street, checking out girls and cars all the way, and in a while found he had turned left at the parks gates and walked in. He had been on his way to the Youth Club for the acting tryouts, an errand that would acquire him to take the 3:20 bus, but a look at his watch told him he had a whole hour to fool around. And what would be nicer than a good old fashioned walk in the park? Nothing that he could think of. And so he announced his presence in the midst of the green and flora, the rainbow chromed, winged insects and the small population of people executing numerous yet unremarkable feats of feeding the ducks, holding onto kids, staring at the sky and... proposing? He halted in his footsteps and stared at the couple under the willow, some weirdo on his knees with a tiny sparkling thing in his hand and some purple haired chick holding onto her face like it was going to fall off or something. He stared at them, looked around and noticed everyone seemed to be purposefully ignoring the scene right behind them, stared some more and realized the chick wasn't going to be talking in a while; she seemed to be in shock or something, and so turned away towards the pond where the majority of people seemed to be focusing their attention. He loafed up to the edge, taking in the greenies and toddlers, and eyeing the weird black haired girl sitting on the ground and staring at the sky, smiling to herself, keeping his distance as a safety precaution. He looked down at the cloudless blue reflected on the occasionally disturbed, otherwise smooth surface of the pond and suddenly wondered if fairies really existed, as he mistook a tiny weenie tadpole for such a mythical creature. He squinted, turned his head sideways and decided, yes, fairies do exist, and he was witnessing such a fact right there right then. He turned his head sharply sideways to see if the girl had noticed anything, but she was just as he had found her, lost with the angels. What a weirdo, he thought, and looked down at her brand new, shockingly pink Reeboks. What a WIERDO, he thought again. He stole a glance back at the to-be-wed kids under the tree, but they hadn't moved either. He wondered if maybe he had been stuck in time, as even the greenies on the bench seemed to have an endless supply of breadcrumbs, but the scream of the toddlers told him he was ok. Oh let them jump in, will you?, he glared at one of the gossiping mothers. He hated kids, always had. And there wasn't anything in the acting rule book that said you had to like kids to be an actor, so that was just fine with him. A light breeze descended upon them, ruffling his collar and caressing the girl's hair, and he found himself sharing her view of the wonder of wonders above them, as he noted what a fine day it was...
3
A fine day, that would be a good way to put it. The sky a perfect shade of blue, trees a perfect shade of green, hotdog stalls a perfect shade of yellow and his No Fear T-shirt a perfect shade of purple. The weather was more or less downright gorgeous, being spring in that particular spot of the universe. He could smell some fruit-smelling perfume, it had to perfume, no fruit can smell that strong, though it's source was unknown. The climate was not windy, though everyone's seemed to be standing on end, his hair being too short to do anything but simply exist, but it felt like the air he inhaled exited through his feet, like he was flying. If his situation had been slightly different than what it was, he might have been in the mood to actually smile or something, the general surrounding atmosphere having that effect on what seemed to be like just everyone around him. Unfortunately, his situation was just what it was: he was on the run. He was a criminal, an outlaw. He was Wanted. Wanted for murder. A murder that he had no memory of committing, for the simple reason of him being either high or drunk all the time. The evidence all pointed at him, with an error margin of 0%, and his fingerprints were all over the place. The only thing he knew was the he had woken up one miserably Sunday morning with a 13 year old girl standing over his head and screaming blue murder. He was still lying in his place when the cops had arrived, more or less in shock. Whatever it was that had set him to motion, he had no idea, but he had exited through the window in a matter of split seconds, dragging the anonymous 13 year old girl still screaming blue murder, with him. He used her as a shield against the garbage cans and alley cats until he realized the alley was actually deserted, trashed the girl and took off. Whether the cops had counted on him being high, or if they were just plain dumb, or suddenly Lady Luck had decided to have a run for her money, he didn't know, but that Sunday morning he had escaped. He was on the run. For four days and four nights he had ran, sleeping God knows where and eating God knows what, each day discovering a little more about the crime he had supposedly committed from scraps of news heard in electronic equipment stores and discarded newspapers he found in the garbage cans he rummaged in for food. Apparently he had abducted the 13 year old girl and her younger brother, meaning to keep them for a ransom from their filthy-rich parents, had some way or another killed the younger kid and held onto the girl. When and how all this had happened, that was for God to know and him to find out. For the time being he had to try and stay on the street. Disguised as himself, the only addition he was smart enough to come with a heavy raincoat with a hood, something he had nabbed from somewhere and someone, making him look as suspicious as ever, he roamed the streets, trying to 'keep low'. Being as bright as he was, he was always so close to getting caught it was like he had spent the past 5 days simply running all over the place. He needed to lie down. He needed to die or something, and he was running out of ideas, as many as there had been in the first place. At the moment, all he could think of was the jungle, but where he would find one of those he had no idea. I mean, jungles had trees and tigers, no one would dare looking for him in one of those. The idea that the tigers would just about eat him as well never occurred to him, of course, he just needed to find the jungle and then all his problems would be solved. Maybe he could like, hitch hike or something. But no, his picture was all over T.V., even a blind man would recognize him. He could hide in a train or plane or ship or something, anything heading for the Amazon or Africa. They DID have tigers in Africa, didn't they? They did. He was sure of it. But how to get to the train or plane or ship? His mind came up blank. He was tired, and he really did need to lie down or die, either was welcome. Suddenly he saw it. The jungle! It was like a dream come true, it was, a whole lot of trees and stuff right across the street from the corner. He ran, ran like hell, ran all the way down the sidewalk towards the corner, screeched to a halt, and obediently waited for the traffic light to sign 'Walk', and then ran across the street and into the park. Once he was inside he was instantly on alert, watching for any striped creatures prowling around, only stumbling across butterflies and bees and annoying insects of the like. He flitted from tree to tree, looking around all the time, and suddenly came upon a couple on a bench under some hairy chair, nearly knocking them both over. They barely noticed him, holding hands and smiling at each other they way they were. The girl looked like she was crying or something, but what naturally caught his eye was the something gleaming in the middle of all the fingers. A ring or something, an engagement ring, yeah. In the midst of his distress and his 'on the run' status, his instinctive nature made his fingers twitch, his eyes fixed on the 3 dimensional rock glinting in the dim light. A bee stung him and he squealed, making all three of them jump nearly out of their skins. The couple noticed the intruder for the first time, the way he was acting making not noticing a little hard. Bee stings hurt, yes they do. But whenever you're faced with the winged beasts, you headed for water, that's what you do. And that's what he did, headed for the water. He crashed through the undergrowth, materialized unceremoniously by the side of the pond and dived in. Just like that. The pond itself was about 4 feet deep or something, so he was greeted by the bottom of it sooner than expected, making avoiding the impact quite impossible. He was in pain, but he made it to the surface alive, and he splashed around a bit, until he came to face the small crowd around the pond. Everyone was drenched of course, and he took in the girl with the black hair and pink trainers, sitting on the ground with a look of mild surprise on her face, the guy standing a few feet away from hair, soaked to the bone with a look of murder on his face, the greenies on the bench holding onto brown paper bags, looking up at the sky searching for the responsible rain clouds, and the two women with the kids, one of them already moving towards her child, scooping him up and away from the mad man in the water. No tigers in sight. No cops either. That couldn't be too bad, could it. He guessed it couldn't. And besides, it really was quite a fine day...
4
It was one fine day. The sky a prefect shade of blue, trees a perfect shade of green, picket fences a perfect shade of white and their identical flower-carpeted bandanas a perfect shade of flowery stuff. They were wearing identical tops, too. As well as identical pants, socks, trainers, watch, even, ahem, underwear. They were one. One was 'they'. They both inhaled the fresh air at the same time, experienced the same hovering sensation, both felt the same good humor tingling in their bones. Both saw the purple shirted guy in the over-large raincoat dash across the street two streets away. Both noticed the purple shirted guy's destination was none other than the park, and both agreed that that very park would be a very destination for themselves. They were one, one was 'they', Muriel and Casey, just Casey to the outside world, as Muriel was Casey's other half, who showed up every now and then when the situation required some guts or swears, as Casey was quite mild mannered and cold feeted. The doctors called it Schizophrenia, her dad called it messing around. I mean THEIR dad. Their dad was one sour lemon, a mouth full of swears with a bad attitude, their mother was a soulless shadow, who didn't even HAVE a shadow. Casey was Muriel, Muriel was Casey, and both thought that a walk in the park would do both of them good, maybe even good enough to forget that morning's thrashing from their fight over who would wash breakfast's dishes, Casey or Muriel. They passed an amazingly red hydrant and stood admiring it for a while, soon shifted their attention towards one very yellow hotdog stall, and debated whether to buy two hotdog sandwiches, one for Muriel and the other for Casey, but after consulting their pockets realized they had about enough money for half a hotdog sandwich only. Their dad was not in the habit of giving them regular allowances, what they usually had for a shared ice cream was what they scavenged from under the coat rack. They moved along, looking at their reflection in the passing cars, and once lifted a finger to the 4 day old bruise around their right eye, wondering if it really did look as clear as the dark glass made it look. Muriel thought it did, Casey didn't. Casey forgave their dad for everything he did to them, for all the things he called them, for every kick he aimed or coffee mug he threw at them. Muriel didn't. Muriel hated their dad, and she never forgave a single insult or beating he had ever given them, nor their mother for being what she was, a shadow-less shadow. And she was going to do something about it someday. Boy was she going to do something. They crossed the street and entered the park. Casey's eye fell on the butterflies and she gave a squeal of pleasure. It wasn't everyday she got to see something simply beautiful, even butterflies. Their days were dark and hard, hers and Muriel's, in their so called home, and simply beautiful somethings just didn't venture over their fence and into their world. They dived into the flowers, careless of who might see them, and spent about 6 minutes in laughter and mirth, rolling over and chasing the insects and tiny birds. And then Muriel heard it: splashing! Splashing meant water, and water meant more fun, if more fun was really possible. And so she dragged Casey off the ground and they both headed towards the source. They passed an empty bench under a willow and the pond came into their sight. Ponds were supposed to have ducks, Muriel encouraged Casey, ducks are easier to catch than butterflies. Yet when they got the side, no ducks were in sight. Only people. They looked around, disappointed. A couple of old people, gender unknown, were sitting on a bench. A guy with spiky hair and beige carpenter jeans was on another. Some purple shirted guy that looked suspiciously like the one they had seen 15 minutes ago was lying on the ground, like he was drying himself, as drenched as he was. And then a dark skinned girl, a bit wet but sitting on the ground with a faint smile on her face. And no ducks. The pond's surface was quite disturbed and there was water on ground around it, like someone had jumped in or something. Casey sighed. Muriel told her they could go back and play with the butterflies if she wanted, but Casey said it was ok. She always said it was ok. Everything was ok with her. Getting yelled at was ok. Getting laughed at in school was ok. Getting her hair pulled, kicked around, smashed against the walls and threatened to get her throat slit, everyday from sun break to sun set, all that was ok. Poor Casey, Muriel thought. Casey was looking at the dark skinned girl by the water. They didn't have any friends, Casey and Muriel. What little friends Casey had had once upon a time had disappeared when Muriel showed up. Casey thought Muriel was the only friend she needed but Muriel thought otherwise. She was always trying to get Casey to talk to people, but only succeeded in scaring them away. They both looked at the girl. She looked ok. She looked nice. She looked very nice. They looked at her for a while, and then Muriel stepped towards her, dragging Casey with her. It wouldn't kill them to try, she consoled Casey. What's the worse that could happen? Nothing that hasn't happened before, that was for sure. 'Hello', said Muriel. 'Hello', said Casey, a little shy. The girl looked up at them and smiled. She smiled. No one had ever smiled at them before. Muriel felt Casey's heart flutter, and grew more bold. She moved a little bit closer, and strangely the girl didn't flinch or edge away. 'My name's Muriel, and this is Casey', she said, pointing to herself and Casey. 'Hello', said Casey again. They both looked hopefully at the girl, and the girl just looked back at them, smiling all the time. Well, that couldn't be bad, could it? I mean, she was still sitting there looking at them, she hadn't ran off screaming or anything, had she? Yet, Muriel was a little lost on what to do next. She consulted Casey, and Casey was as useless as always. So they simply sat down next to her. And looked at her. And she looked back. They smiled at each other for a while, and then Muriel tried again: 'What's your name?' The girl didn't reply. She just looked interestedly at their lips, her smile maybe faltering a tiny bit and then returning again. Muriel raised their eyebrows and cocked their head a little sideways, a questioning look on their face. Maybe she didn't understand English. Her features didn't look foreign though, she was just dark skinned. Maybe she was African or something. And then the girl did something. Her smile widening a bit, she looked them in the eye, shook her head, and made an odd wiping gesture over her ears and mouth. She pointed to her throat and shook her head again. And continued smiling. It didn't take any amount of genius-ness to realize the girl was deaf and dumb. Muriel and Casey stared at her, lost for words. What use would words do anyways, she couldn't hear them. Muriel and Casey were confused. Maybe they felt sorry for the girl, but the girl didn't seem to feel sorry for herself. If anything, she was more interested in them than they were in her. She was looking at the 4 day old bruise under their right eye, the 7 day old bruise on the edge of their bottom lip, the numerous bruises around their neck, and the two or three visible bruise and marks on their arms. Then she looked back into their eyes, her smile softening a bit and a look of understanding coming over her face. She then moved a little closer, put her arm around their shoulders and looked up at the sky. Muriel and Casey were in shock. The looked right in front of them, not daring to breath, afraid of blowing the strange girl away and never finding her again. 'I think she likes us', Casey whispered to Muriel, not really believing it herself. Slowly, they brought their own arm up and put it around the girls shoulder. She turned to them, smiled again, and then continued her sky gazing, looking as comfortable as comfortable gets. Muriel and Casey did not complain. They just turned their face up the sky, and in a while all three were lost with the fairies. The guy on the ground was fast asleep. The guy on the bench was staring at the totally WEIRD two girls on the ground by the pond. He had been staring at them ever since that other girl with the bandana had shown up and started talking to the one on the ground. He couldn't hear what they were saying, but the one with the bandana seemed to be repeating things twice. He saw the girl on the ground make the strange gesture, and instantly understood. He saw the arms around the shoulders. And then all was silent. He thought to himself for a while, and then looked into the water, his eyes searching for the fairies he had seen earlier. Maybe the weirdo in the purple shirt had scared them off, they way he had shown up like he had, making the ducks and mothers with their kids disappear. He looked down at his watch, remembering his appointment. If he moved now he would barely make it on time. But he didn't. He just sat in his place, looking from the pond to the girls to the sky. And thinking to himself, in spite of all the weird things happening around him, what a fine day it was...
5
Such a fine day, it was. Sky a perfect shade of blue, grass a perfect shade of green, ambulances a perfect shade of white and his mangy coat a perfect shade of brown. He trotted down the road with no specific destination, but kept an eye open for unwatched hotdog stalls or overturned trash cans in order to secure a light dinner before the evening at hand. The former appeared upon turning the corner, glowing yellow tinted with orange in the setting sun, and giving off delicious smelling wafts that made his empty stomach rumble. Drooling hungrily, he positioned himself at the blind angle of the seller but with the target in full view, planning his assault. He skillfully estimated the distance between himself and the stall, the stall and the seller, himself and the seller, the height of the stall itself and the angle of the hotdogs from the seller. He then arranged his route of attack and escape, noting the distance between his current position and the most proximal traffic light and zebra crossing, detecting a distant park which would be a likely refuge for him to eat his meal in peace once the suicide mission was accomplished. His plan ready, he snuggled down low on the pavement, waiting for the right moment, which came along just then as the traffic light signaled Walk, and a flow of pedestrians crossed from the opposite side and added to the number already on this side. Through the many legs criss-crossing in front of him, he watched as the seller took down a few orders, began filling the buns and adding ketchup and mustard; the moment he had bent over to rummage for salads, he pounced. His distance estimation was accurate as usual, and he landed right on top of the open hot pan containing the target in question. As people screamed all around and jumped away, the seller's face re-appeared from below, a comic look of astonishment upon it, as the 19 hotdogs were reduced to 13 in a flash, and the ketchup and mustard went flying in the scramble to get off as he secured the booty in his mouth, bounded off the counter in a turmoil of lettuce and mayonnaise, landed on the pavement between a screaming school-girl and a blind man, and, swerving between super-red hydrants, skidded down the pavement towards the traffic light. The whole process lasted about 9 seconds, so the light was still signaling Walk, blinking, and about to switch to Stop as he swiveled around the pole and galloped along the zebra crossing with mixed shouts of surprise and fury sounding behind him. The second he landed on the pavement the lights changed, and the traffic moved forward, blocking the way between him and his pursuit, as he grinned back at their angry faces in triumph and turned to enter the park. The receding sunlight rendered the surroundings dark and shady, so he didn’t have to look long for a place to lay and dine. Snuggled in the bushes behind an empty bench, he lay down his dinner, savouring the warmth and inhaling their delicious smell, then hungrily gobbled down the first 3 all at once. As he worked his way through the meal, scattered lamps obscured in the trees came on, the one nearest to him glinting on the faded silver fastenings of the scuffed leather collar around his neck, the name Trevor faintly printed and just visible. He was, of course, a dog. Not exactly a stray, as the collar showed, but with no home to belong to anymore. Once belonging to a little boy with mousy brown hair, in a white house with flowers out front in a town far away from here, he had been given the collar, the name and the home. But the boy was gone, victim of a quick and merciless leukemia, and the family moved in an effort to leave the pain behind, along with the dog that had so faithfully loved them all, his little master most. Waiting weeks on end for their return in vain, he finally took to the roads, at first searching for them himself, and then abandoning all hope in the scrabble to survive on his own on the streets unknown to him, all the time moving farther and farther away from the place he belonged to once, but no more. As the last hotdog disappeared, Trevor licked his fangs and rolled over in content, raising his legs in the air and doggy-paddling, a habit he had had from the days the brown haired boy was around to laugh at his antics, throwing him a doggy biscuit as a treat. Back on his legs, he set out along the line of bushes, searching for an appropriate tree to raise his leg against, which he found deep in the greenery, and, bladder relieved, he then scanned the area for a warm place to spend the night. He paused, however, his ears raised, as they picked up the sound of distant voices. Looking around, his tongue hanging out, he followed his hearing until he came to the edge of a clearing, and, looking in from behind the dense shrubbery, saw a lot of people of different ages and sizes, all collected around a couple of benches facing a small pond, drawn together and talking in low tones....

Comments

  1. hmmm interesting. nice. very nice. remember me when you're famous.

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