No Such Thing As Random

Submitted into Contest #130 in response to: Set your story in a nameless world.... view prompt


Black Contemporary Creative Nonfiction

Every world is nameless when you don't know who made it. You think ants walk around saying this is earth, this is that lady's backyard?

On the potato tree a hornets nest was fastened to a branch with bug spit and dirt; the hive itself was concrete grey with a spiraling design going all around it, similarly to a pinecone. The leaves held the last pieces of light from the sun as it collapsed below the horizon, and it made the leaves look enchanted like a spell was casted on them that only lasted as long as the witch was alive, the witch being the sun. A deep meditative hum is the sound the hornets make as they fly in and out of that little black hole. Hornets have little angry faces that can never smile, and they think of no one, even though we are thinking of them.

Maybe casting the mind's net into the sea is not a great idea. 

"Well then how do we gain greater ideas? Someone has to go mad for the others." 

"Hmm...there is data that supports that...still it's not how I imagine God would see it."

"Where was God when my baby died!"

"Hmm...and death gives humility to the living, and the mad give gratitude to the rational. But can't we save them all somehow? Was it God that killed your baby, or was it your bad habits, or was it the habits of the uncontrollable-autonomous-microscopic entities inside of you that had a slight miscalculation? The slightest slip in a developing fetus can be fatal."

"Then why were others allowed to live who were more evil than me?"

"Maybe it's because evil isn't meant to live forever, and it had a limited time to be on Earth, so God allows it to live longer than the good in this moment, because in the end the good and the just will live forever."

"How did we even end up here?"

Math has proven itself to be more insane than the man and woman who consumed LSD and go tripping in the woods. Math knew they would and Math placed a hornets nest there to sting them, right when they least expected it: just as the reds of the Autumn trees mixed with the orange-blues of the sky and made purple-pulsating waves with yellow arches...just then they hit a tree that had been standing there forever. And hornets who hadn't been there forever but long enough to feel their world had been troubled by this thunderous bump cried out, "What did we do to deserve this??" The cry was echoed by everyone, even the larvae. And although they never smiled, they were of some sort of variation of what could be called happy...possibly. But if they never were happy, they sure as hell weren't now. 

Maybe we don't need unicorns and fantasy to be happy. Happy written on paper doesn't hold weight as something to be serious about, or to spend the rest of your life being sad about from not having it. Rhymes with sappy, lappy, click clakky, and snappy. Maybe this is a serious world, with dire consequences, elegant edifices and the utmost characteristic to possess here is Gratitude and Peace. Because whether or not hornets smile, or sting naked LSD users, they are peaceful creatures. They are grateful. 

Maybe math is more important. The Practical Thinking, instead of justifying the imagination with our own laws. I hope to draw some comparisons of the meaningless to the meaningful without it turning into just me drawing doodles in this story. How does the hornet apply to me? To you? Why does God allow us to think beyond the scope of other creatures?

The first day we met, he pulled me aside and said, "Hey. Yeah you can't be leaving work and not doing your job, I mean if I'm the manager and I'm working, that means everyone has to work too, you get me?"

"I'm sorry sir, whats your name?"

"My name's Lonnie."

"I just think it's proper to introduce yourself first before speaking to someone you don't know. I have been working sir, I don't know why you think I haven't." But I knew why. Today my mother had been on my mind. There was a time when my world was called Ma. She gave me food, she nursed my wounds, and she even made it rain when she was angry with my Father, her voice was loud and ethereal which scared me as a child so I took my dog outside for a walk on what was just a warm Georgian day moments ago, but was now dark and gray. As grey as that hornets nest. And it may've been my imagination, but the clouds seemed to swirl more over our house...I always held the belief that my Mother possessed powers of ancient African shamans. 16 years later these alleged powers were devouring her to where she didn't sleep at night; just spoke angry rebukes to demons she said haunted her. She would poke accusingly at walls, cabinets and dark windows, pleading the blood of Jesus to rid herself of these spiritual sieges. So I was at work, but more so working on sending texts to her. To help her. To assist the woman that pushed me into this world. I grabbed items from the shelves and tossed them into the cart, and I wrote long paragraphs, with a lot of questions to explore the meaning of these mental episodes, how could it be possible that demons wanted her dead, and a lot of reminders that the words I was writing weren't wages of war that she need defend herself from, but that a Son simply loved his Mother.

I finished my run around the store, and came back where the women were, beyond the point where customers were allowed.

My cart that was supposed to be full was only barely full, and it had been 2 hrs. Normally in that amount of time I should have brought back 3-4 full carts, and not just one. So a young woman called me out on this fact saying, "It's been two hours, and that's all you brought?"

"You wanted more?" I said awkwardly, not as suavely as I intended it to sound.

"You got to do better than that."

An arrow through the heart.

Had I been so preoccupied with Ma that I really managed to not get enough done, or was it that the items today were all smaller so it looked like the cart was not full, and the time looking for each item, and the customers that sent me to do other things, and the hornets nest, and the fact that I'm not where I thought I would be, and I live hundreds of miles from any family...No the young girl was wrong. She was young after all. She was a girl. She was defiant with red dyed hair and yet was Black progeny. She was annoying. She did speak rambunctiously. She did have a nose ring and several badly drawn tattoos. And yet I knew she was right on the backend of my ego. And now this man who I never met was telling me to shape up and fly right.

"You're wandering around leaving the area, going missing for hours--"

"Pardon me sir, but are you suggesting that you keep tabs on the whereabouts of each employee working here?"

"Look," he said seeing his advantage losing height, "I'm-I'm not..trying to say anything about you, but we all have to be working. You're bringing carts half full and that's just not okay." 

And I knew why he was telling me this so I said, "Yes sir."

My mother hadn't acknowledged that she read anything I wrote. I didn't want to lose my job trying to fight for someone who didn't care. But if I lost the job I would blame it on my feeling for her. I would call myself noble, because no one else would. They'd call me stupid. And they would be right. And I would be right.

It is noble to fight for damsels in distress. It is stupid when she was the one who tied herself to the train tracks in the first place. But how many situations did I put myself in that she saved me from? I didn't put myself in her womb though, so maybe our meeting each other, and risking our lives for each other, really was all “Fathers fault.” Maybe that's why I can't be the one to save her, I'm just a consequence of premarital sex. But I can't think of anything to do except thank him and her, and the hornets, and that young lady who told on me at work because it did make me work harder. 

I don't know what name I would give a world like this, where shame straddles good intentions, and Mothers die, and people hate insects. I really don't know, but I like it here. So I said yes sir, got my cart and went back to work. Just one last text before I get serious, "Ma I love you. I just love you that's all."

Oh I get it, I'm like a hornets nest attached to my Mother and I needed the LSD users, aka society, to knock me off of her so she could get her branch back. Because she had 5 children, four other heavy ornaments weighting down her limbs; one who died, my eldest brother Riccardo, and now even his ghost hangs on her branch and contrary to popular opinion ghosts aren't weightless. The evil demons in her mind are all the thoughts of her children suffering in this world with no name, and we sting her.

January 26, 2022 11:29

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