Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Chpt V - A Memory

Dreaming again, Tom tossed and turned. Thousands of images and thoughts flashed through his mind, but none of them lasted long enough to be memorable. A feeling of anger stayed for a moment, then was replaced by a sense of paranoia, then the mental picture of a strange girl who glowed for a reason that even she didn’t know. Eventually, though, his mind settled down, and the only thing filling in the void left by the swirling images was weariness.

Tom sat up in bed and yawned. Hmm, something must be wrong with my eyes, he thought. He could swear there was a glowing blonde girl hovering over his bed. The memories of the night before came flooding back, and suddenly Tom felt like sleeping again. He let himself fall back into his bed and rolled over. Maybe she’d just go away. There were probably a lot of other people that were special or chosen, or whatever. Maybe she could just grab one of them, instead.

Tom squeezed his eyes shut, and remembered a voice from his past. It sounded like his dad, John Russell, oddly enough, but without the heaviness that voice had whenever it spoke today. It was less raspy, too, probably from before he started smoking. Images went with the voice, as well. For a moment Tom felt like everything had gotten larger, but it didn’t take him longer to realize that he was just smaller. After all, he was only five.

“Daddy, why do you have to go?” he heard himself asking, in a voice that hadn’t changed yet.

“Don’t worry, Tommy,” his dad said, in that way that always seemed reassuring to him. “I’ll be back before you know it.”

“But why, dad, why?” He was crying now. “I don’t want you to go! I…I won’t let you go! We’ll hide here, you can stay! Please, daddy, please…”

John Russell knelt, so that his eyes met his son’s. “Someday you’ll learn Tom, that there are things in life that you just have to do. There are times when you have to do things, because it’s your duty. You can never run or hide from your duty, Tom. Someday, you’ll understand why I can’t stay. Goodbye, Tommy. Like I said, I’ll be back before you know it.”

Tom had stopped crying, but he still didn’t understand. “God damn it, but why? Why us? Why me? Why do things have to be this way?” Tom’s words were brimming with a kind of weariness that few live long enough to achieve, and he was only five years old…except he wasn’t.

It was now again, and Nina was speaking. “I honestly don’t know why you were chosen,” she said. “Does it matter? I’m here and you’re there, and getting upset about it won’t do much good, now, will it?”

Tom’s hands became fists. “It matters to me,” he said. His right hand flew into the wall behind his bed, and made contact with a dull thud. He hung his head, and got out of bed slowly. It was going to be a long day.

1 comment:

Cajek said...

Ah, we get a little look in on Tom's life! Cool, man, cool.