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Oct 05, 2020

Contemporary Fantasy

Fluffy cotton-candy clouds of pink, blue, purple, and yellow floated, no meandered, across, no all around in the sky. The sky, was as blue as a bluebird, had a smiling sun looking down and sharing its warmth with the world below.

The lemonaide-flavored rivers flowed down from the vanilla-snow covered mountains of chocolate-chip cookie dough. They flowed through forests of cinnamon-stick trees, fields of lollypop flowers, with marshmallow bunnies hopping to and fro.

Tweety-birds flew from one cinnamon tree to another, singing their songs in rhythm with their happy wings of yellow, or blue, or green, or violet flapping through the butterfly-filled air over the chocolate-covered graham cracker lily pads floating on the minty-fresh ponds. The butterflies had wings of chromium blues, reds, yellows, and oranges. They were as big as your hand and they glided on the breeze that hinted at the wonderful scent of fresh-baked apple pie.

A fantastical world for sure, it was simply an imaginary world that his mother made up for him when he was a child. Something of a diversion, to keep his mind on something wonderful and happy, and not on the situation that was really happening in the bedroom across the hall. He mother and father were having yet another shouting match which would end in yet another one of them stomping out of the room and speeding off in the car, not to return until the next afternoon.

She told him that he would one day live in that fantastical world. She promised him, as if she could make such a thing actually happen. What he didn't know was that she actually could. And, eventually she would. As a child, he loved the idea of living in such a place and he really did believe his mother would make it come true, somehow.

His mother told him that such a place actually existed and it was for him and only certain other people to ever see and live there. She told him that she had been there once, when she was young. But, she left that place for the world they were now in and she was never able to go back. But she could get him there, and she would do it.

Eventually his mother and father got divorced. His father went away to where he didn't know; he never saw his father again. His mother said his father didn't believe in the place she came from and always told her to say nothing of it. She just had to tell her little boy who would one day live there. His father told him his mother was crazy, and even tried to get her committed. Which obviously didn't actually happen, thankfully.

He didn't believe she was crazy, he loved the stories his mother told him. They were so alive, how could he not believe it was a real place?

Trent asked his mother, "Mommy, when can I go to this place?"

His mother, Ariana, told him, "Sweetheart, I've told you many times, it will happen when you least expect it. There is no way to know when it will happen. It will happen when the time is right."

"Will it happen this year?" Trent asked.

"I don't know, honey, it's possible. It could be in one minute, or one year, or 80 years. You will go there at the perfect time for your life," Ariana told him. She gave him a kiss on his head, handed him his lunch box, and gave him a gentle push to the door, "Now get going to school so you're not late."

"See you later, gator!" shouted Trent as he hopped, skipped, and jumped along the sidewalk to the school a couple blocks up the road.

Every night he would go to bed with thoughts of a fantastical land with amazing trees of candy canes, striped in green, orange, blue, white, and red stripes circling all around their trunks. The fruit that came from the candy cane trees was sweet, hard, and striped in blue, red, and yellow. There were bumblebees that wouldn't sting, and were bright yellow with black stripes. The bees kissed all the candy-corn flowers, the grapehead and lemonhead flowers, the watermelon sours flowers, and the tootsie pop topped mini-trees. The living animal crackers were his favorite creatures to imagine - lions, elephants, mountain goats, cats, camels, and more, living in harmony in the wondrous world.

But, eventually, he would grow up. And like all childhood beliefs - Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy - the world of his mother was forgotten. The stories, the prediction, were all forgotten, or at least pushed way back in the far away dark corners of his memories.

Trent finished school; he finished college and university studies, and began to work a job that required all his attention. Being a commercial architect took pretty much all his time and left no time for such fantasies as his mother had told him about. And, his recent marriage has taken all the time that was left after his job. What happened to the hope of ever seeing his dream world?

One day while in a meeting with clients the discussion turned and turned and switched to various subjects until somebody mentioned something about a candy store. And, all of a sudden, a memory flooded into Trent's mind. As the memories of the stories his mother told him started to return his concentration left the meeting and was taken by the rainbow colors of the trees, the refreshing fruity flavors of the streams and lakes, the amazing scents of the candy flowers that were everywhere.

"Trent. Hey Trent!" one of his partners called out to him, "Time to wake up! Earth to Trent!"

"Oh! Shit! Yeah, sorry, uhm, yea, sure, okay," Trent straightened up in his chair and turned red, "Sorry, my mind just got away from me for a minute."

"Yeah, we noticed, can you please concentrate?" asked another in the room.

"Yes, of course, sorry, it won't happen again," Trent said as he needlessly adjusted some papers in front of him on the table.

That night at home while eating dinner he told his wife, Parkyr, about the memories that returned to him, "You won't believe this sweetie, but today I remembered some of the stories my mother told me about when I was a child. I had forgotten all about those growing up. It seems so strange now. Those stories, so fantastical, yet so real." His voice trailed off a little.

Parkyr asked him, "What were the stories, sweetheart, I'd like to hear them." Parkyr spells her name the old-English way because she likes the way it looks, and it means 'guardian of the forest', which was engraved into a metal sculpture of several trees her father made for her when she was young. Her father had told her of some mystical places full of amazing creatures, fairies, unicorns, and more. Things she also had forgotten as she grew up.

Trent told her the stores his mother had told him, and Parkyr told him the stories her father had told her.

"Do you think they could have been stories about the same place?" asked Trent.

"No, no way. That can't be possible, can it?" asked Parkyr, "Our parents never knew each other until we got engaged. But the stores are so similar."

"Yeah, it's really weird, how can that be? It's like they had to have talked to each other about the fantasies they were telling their children. No, that's just not possible," said Trent.

"My Father told me that some day; she didn't know when, but some day I would go to that place and live like a queen. She said it would be the most amazing thing possible. I always wanted that so much when I was a little girl," said Parkyr.

"Me, too. My father always told my mother not to talk about the fantasy world. He said she was just making up stories to tell me before going to bed. But, they were so real. I really believed her and her stories. I wanted so much to see that world," he said.

"Well, we're both still here in the real world, and we've never seen that other world, whatever it might have been," said Parkyr.

"Yeah, they were wonderful stories all right, but now, well, I believe they were just stories, and nothing more, don't you?" asked Trent.

"I think so, too. They were just stories," Parkyr said, thoughtfully, wishing they could have been true, "Well, we have them in our hearts, the stories we were told, so we can cherish them forever."

As the years passed the stories again disappeared, back to the nether regions of their memories, pushed back, but not lost. When they celebrated Trent's 82nd birthday their dear friend Silva made them a cake - a cake decorated in familiar candies from their childhoods. The memories came back from the hinterlands of their memories.

A month later they celebrated Parkyr's 78th birthday, and this time the cake was decorated with a unicorn standing in a woods of candy canes and the words 'Guardian of the Forest'.

"How did you know to write that?" she asked her friend Laqueta.

"Oh, I don't know, it just seemed so right for you, my dearest friend, I hope you like it," Laqueta said.

"I love it!" and Parkyr's childhood memories came flooding back.

That night when Trent and Parkyr went to bed she asked him, "Do you still believe, my dear?"

"I'm not sure what to think about that cake, and the one on my birthday as well. It seems like more than just consequence," Trent said.

They both went to sleep. She with her head on his chest. He with his cheek resting against the top of her head.

They woke up with the sun shining in through the window, a warn gentle breeze lightly ruffling the white curtains. There was a scent in the air that they both wondered about.

"Do you smell what I smell?" Trent asked Parkyr as they cuddled under the blanket.

"Is that what I think it is?" Parkyr asked, taking a deep breath of the soft sweet fragrance.

"Is it possible?" Parkyr asked.

"No, of course not, don't be silly," Trent replied.

A little while later they both got out of bed and looked out the window and couldn't believe their eyes.

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10 comments

Ray Dyer
22:23 Oct 08, 2020

Nicely done - I was wondering how you would end this, and that was the perfect place to stop. This line jumped out: "The memories came back from the hinterlands of their memories." Any time you can use hinterlands...that's just fun. Thank you for sharing!

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Chip Wiegand
23:18 Oct 08, 2020

Thank you for your comment, I really appreciate it. ;)

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L M
21:33 Oct 14, 2020

Aw, I enjoyed this story and the bitter-sweet ending. ( I perceived the utopia as heaven from the way the mother talked about it, which meant they died?) I loved the image that was put into my head in the first few paragraphs. However, I was confused about this line: "Fluffy cotton-candy clouds of pink, blue, purple, and yellow floated, no meandered, across, no all around in the sky." I understand what you are trying to say but they way you used no in the sentence did not seem to make sense or be grammatically correct. Overall though, I real...

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Chip Wiegand
04:05 Oct 15, 2020

Thank you for your comments. i see what you mean about the word 'no' in that sentence, I think it is better with a comma after it - "Fluffy cotton-candy clouds of pink, blue, purple, and yellow floated, no, meandered, across, no, all around in the sky." It's like saying the clouds floated across (in my mind that is straight across), then changing one's mind and saying they meandered across (same as before but maybe more slowly, meandering), but then again changing one's mind and saying, finally, they meandered all over the sky in circles, fi...

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Chip Wiegand
04:05 Oct 15, 2020

Thank you for your comments. i see what you mean about the word 'no' in that sentence, I think it is better with a comma after it - "Fluffy cotton-candy clouds of pink, blue, purple, and yellow floated, no, meandered, across, no, all around in the sky." It's like saying the clouds floated across (in my mind that is straight across), then changing one's mind and saying they meandered across (same as before but maybe more slowly, meandering), but then again changing one's mind and saying, finally, they meandered all over the sky in circles, fi...

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Kay Fairfax
21:09 Oct 14, 2020

I liked how the text was a set-up for something more to come, and yet also a complete story in itself. The only thing that was a bit off-putting was the dialogue, which seemed like something people write in letters rather than say in casual speech ("it just seemed so right for you, my dearest friend"); but outside of the dialogues, the language of the descriptions was highly enjoyable to read.

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Chip Wiegand
04:15 Oct 15, 2020

Thank you for your comments. I appreciate all comments. In that line you refer to, the "my dearest friend" words are Laqueta telling, or reminding, Parkyr that she is her dearest friend of all her friends.

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Nasreen M
08:01 Oct 11, 2020

Amazingly writen, liked your writing style.

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Chip Wiegand
14:17 Oct 11, 2020

Thank you for your comment, much appreciated. ;)

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Chip Wiegand
14:17 Oct 11, 2020

Thank you for your comment, much appreciated. ;)

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