Charles Pendelton
      © 2008 Marty Langdon
Chapter 17

                Enter the field of Ah

                              


Soon there was no walkway, only brambles strewn about, which had grown so closely

together it was almost impassable. Together, we faced the obstacle course, and after a
minor ordeal, we came upon a clearing on the other side. We were approaching our 5th
destination. From where we stood, everything seemed to be fine, and the day couldn't
have looked more beautiful. A few clouds floating by in the opposite direction made a
woodpecker stop, or was it the sound of our footsteps?

A few more yards to go would take us to
an area known as the Field of Ah.
Twenty feet past this clearing was a
path cut into a fifty-foot collage of thorns
and thickets that I would maintain out of sheer
boredom. With my machete in
hand on a hot summer day, I was unstoppable. There is
nothing quite like a well-
maintained path to keep everything in order and make our time
here a pleasant
one, but when we got to it, I noticed something missing from the picture.


                                              The path was no longer there.




Through total neglect on my part due to outright laziness, there was now only a
one-
foot opening, which had once formed a long expansive tunnel. Even though
I had
not been back here for some time, I didn't think it would be as bad as this,
so I
unsheathed a new pair of pruning shears from my back pocket and began
the grueling
task of trimming.

“You should have brought the machete for me to use,” said Peter,

“Who knew?” I replied in a state of sheer bafflement.

Peter said only one thing more, and that was it. “That is going to be one royal pain in the
ass.” Through the swearing and tearing of flesh was this burden before me. I tried to ignore
the thorns as they moved into place and wrapped around the very essence of my anger.
Entangled in grief and bleeding from several wounds, I continued to remain posturing in
my quest to prevail. Hooked into the pores of my skin, like blades of glass, were these
tiny intruders that neither gardener nor hungry insect could ever masticate.



After a fair amount of time elapsed, I managed to maneuver my way through carefully
clipping until I reached the other side. I then summoned Peter, who was waiting patiently
some thirty feet away. As Peter drew near, he asked me how often I come back here to do
this. I told him every two weeks in the summer. Any longer than that, and it becomes a
monotonous chore I wind up hating. We sat down on two makeshift benches that I and
my friend Paul built for the area from long lengths of timber and twine. We were most
resourceful when it came down to making something from nothing.


                                                              Pg 85
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----------------------------------------------------------------------

Four years ago, Paul and I labored in hacking a clean-cut path through the thorny
brush before widening it into a crop circle. From nearby construction sites, we
would harvest scraps of wood, left in a heap for the taking. This kept plant life
from growing, and if not for our diligence, the whole area would be
amassed in
thorns. In doing so, we secured the land, which to this day, has not
been breached.

The following year we worked together to make the benches.

                                 ****


It was a sunny day in April of 1981 when Paul
came
to my doorstep carrying a small paper bag.

“What's in the brown bag,” I asked. “Lunch?”

“Never you mind; what's in the bag there, Sammy.
Cool your jets down, and let me get situated.


As he plopped himself into one of the wooden high-back
chairs, neatly coordinated around the kitchen table, he
began to rehash the Great Adventure fiasco.

“Let me tell ya, I got it all mapped out this time. You, John, and Pete are
gonna sleep at my house the night before we go because last year you
guys made me look like a fucking dummy. My old man was gonna drive
us down there, and then nobody feels like going. What happened, he
said,
they stiffed ya? I guess so, I told him. I wasn't even gonna hang
out with you guys anymore after that. Just be honest, that's all. If you
don't wanna go, then say listen, Paul, I really don't feel like going with
you guys on the trip, that's it. I'm not gonna flip out like a fucking two-
year-old and throw a temper tantrum. . . Get the fuck outta here.”



“Listen, Paul, I really don't feel like going with you guys on the trip.

“Excuse me,” he said with the straightest face I had ever seen. As I attempted
to repeat the sentence, I could not compose myself and immediately brought
my lips into my mouth. “Can't say it with a straight face, can ya scumbag?

He laughed.


You know who you look like right now? Ole grannie farm-apples down the road.
Muddya doin', summy, she says with her lips in her mouth like that. I can never
understand that woman when she talks.
She's even worse than old man Barton.
He's another one, that half-a-mongoloid!


“Yeah, but seriously, I'm not a hundred percent on going.”
   
“Oh, you're going. I don't care if I gotta drag you and the
other two scumbags by the ear. Ya hear me? This time we're
all going,
and I don't wanna hear another word about it.”




                                                              Pg 86
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----------------------------------------------------------------------

“I see what you're doing, asshole,” he said, laughing heartily.
“You're trying to jangle my nerves, but it ain't gonna work.
And before we shoot outta-here, you're filling that gutty sack.”




We soon left for the Field of Ah with a gutty sack that looked like an enlarged liver.

“Nothing but the finest Gallo red, Hubert,” said Paul, while patting the bag
gently and singing his own rendition of “Nobody Home” from Pink Floyd.

“I got a-bag--a book-brush and a comb--brush.”

And then laughing, like he was about to pull the switch down on me in the electric chair.

                                           Roger Floyd - No service                                           
                             
Then with those long marsupial arms extended out as far as they could
go, he squirts a fine stream of wine into his mouth. The way it kept flowing
toward the back of his throat without stopping and without him swallowing
made it seem like he was filling up a tall wine glass.

When my stepfather arrived in this country, he brought a leather pouch
filled with wine.
He said the only difference between a bota bag and a
porron is that the porron is made of glass.


No sooner do we get there does he hand me the gutty sack, and I,
in return, hand him the little brown bag I was forbidden to look in.


“I gotta tell you about this girl I saw last week. She was about five-two,
with chestnut hair and these bright green eyes. I couldn't stop looking at her.”

“Where was she?”

“She checked into the hotel as I was signing somebody out,
but she had this body I can't stop thinking about. If I had seen
her again, I would have sparked up some kind of conversation.”




He then proceeded to take out what appeared to look
like a small hockey puck and slowly began to unscrew it.

“How does it smell?” asked Paul, bringing it over to my nose.

Upon smelling it, I replied, “it smells like spicy chemicals.”

“I'll give ya spicy chemicals, upside down, back-a-the-ear. Dab a little-
a-this there, Charlie-boy, and let's forget about them old chemicals,” he
said, laughing like a jester with that glint of true madness in his eyes.

He then rolls his hands together in an impetuous fervor
as if he was trying to make fire with a stick.

            He then begins singing...

“Just a pinch between the cheek and gum.
It won't be long before the doc-tor comes!”

He started laughing, and I laughed louder.

“You're a nut-job,” I vociferated.

Putting a nice-sized pinch under my lower lip, it didn't even take long
before it began to burn. “Eh-eh,” I said as I spit out a thousand dry
flakes. “What are you trying to do? Give me cancer over here?”

“I hear you man.” Said Paul with enthusiasm as he pulls out
a clear plastic bag of Jolly Farms, long-leaf chewing tobacco.

“Gonna try some there, Charlie Cheswick?” asked Paul,
sounding like an out-of-control R.P. McMurphy.
“It's awesome.”

“I think I'm gonna have to pass on that.”

“Aw-man, don't be a-douche bag, come on.”

“It looks like a sticky brown bag of plants.”

“Yeah, and what did you say my mother's chicken looked like last week?
That's right, a dead animal. You are a-penis.”

Laughing in a mock tone at my expense again.

“All right,” I uttered frustratedly before sticking my nose in the bag.
Breathing in deeply, I would have to admit it smelled divine. So, I
pulled out a nice-sized clump that dangled down about two feet
and looked like weeds that had been soaking in molasses.


“Remember there, Maximus, you swaller, you gonna holler!


                                                              Pg 87
---------------------------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------------------------------------

“If you make me laugh, and I fucking choke to death, I ain't never doing this again.”

“That's right,” he said, clapping loudly; “you won't be.”


I put the long leaves in my mouth, as I would have done with a mouthful
of spaghetti,and began chewing.
“This is great,” I said before spitting
a thick, tarry blob that narrowly missed landing on my shoe.


“Didn't I tell ya? Ain't that some shit?” He then proceeded to do the same.
Without warning, a tiny drop of that heavenly nectar went down my throat,
and it felt like I had swallowed pure lye. I let out a scream like I had just
been shot in the throat with a nail gun and spit the rest of it out.

“Don't you listen to anything I say?
If you swaller, you gonna holler!”

Strange days indeed, I thought.

                                              ****


The sun was now streaming through the trees, casting its light directly upon our brows.
I thought nothing of it as I walked around its perimeter, snipping off vines and thorns
which had begun to grow out and into the sacred circle. All along its edges, thirty or
more bright green tentacle-like arms grew in while I and my trusted pruning shears
kept the brambles at bay. Peter was apricating in the sunlight while I tended to the
thorns; keeping them at a respectable distance, so I could avoid getting lacerated.

I didn't mind the encumbering task, for it always brought prosperity to a day
that was so lacking it. As I snipped the thorny strands of bright green stalks
and tried to avoid getting pricked by them, my mind began to wander.


Another place of refuge in a land of inescapable people. Crazy kids flying around in cars,
honking horns, and screaming like banshees. You can hear them babbling about conquests
of women, for it is the nature of the satyr to redefine infidelity, the key to unlocking their
domain. All they do is drink, yell, and then afterward become obnoxious louts.

There always seems to be some form of anger behind the grin
and that we could certainly do without.




Who needs to be among such madness?
Surely not I.


That is why, when I find myself here amongst nature, I can find
the serenity and peace much
needed to transcend everyday living.

There is nothing in a tree to make one angry.

There is nothing in a flower to make one swear.

Just an occasional calm, soothing breeze
blowing in from another town
to grace the untroubled woodlands. Here the echoes of life are stilled.


From out of nowhere, a noise could be heard coming over the horizon.

As it entered the
airspace directly above our heads, it looked
like something that had just flown out of a
history book.

“Wow!” said Peter, “that is a U.S. Army cargo plane.”

The massive giant
had four old propellers spinning in unison
to the sound of victory in the sky. We didn't
know where it was
going or what it was doing up there, but it sure looked nice.

It also
left a wonderful impression on my mind.
One that would linger for weeks to come.



                                                            Nazz - When I get my plane


                                                              Pg 88
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Reviews for chapter 17

Elaine Fischer - Who is this Paul? He sounds like a real clown! Has he changed
over the years or did you just invent him for the sake of the story?

Charles Pendelton - Actually he is still a clown, and a bit of a jackass at times,
but not like back then! He has matured on an adult level, but he is still annoying!
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Obviously, Paul was not happy about the way I portrayed him in the novel, and so, after
many years he sent me this little message... Along with something to add to chapter 9.



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                                                 This review was posted on Aug/10/22

                                            Lameez' review


  Beta-Read Report for 'The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe - Chapter 17'

                                    Beta Reader: Lameez Rushin (Lameezisreal)


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                                             This review was posted on Sept/15/22


                                         nehanegi1905 's review
           
The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe: Chapter 17 -
Enter the field of Ah

                                             Reader's Report by nehanegi1905

                                            


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                                       This review was posted on Oct/15/22

                                                iqrabashir871 's review
           
The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe: Chapter 17 -
Enter the field of Ah

                                              Reader's Report by Iqra

                              



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                                         This review was posted on Oct/23/22

                                                         alits29's review






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                                     This review was posted on Nov/14/22
                                

                                  kanchanninawe's review

The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe: Chapter 17 - Enter the field of Ah

                                        Reader's Report by
kanchan




                                                      
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                                       This review was posted on Nov/8/22

                                                   Hajranoor's review

The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe: Chapter 17 - Enter t
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                                    This review was posted on Jan/20/23


                                                  Alysorrow's review
           
The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe: Chapter 17 - Enter the field of Ah

                                        Reader's Report by Aly Sorrow

 

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                                             This review was posted on Feb/15/23


                                                           Tayyaba17's review

The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe: Chapter 17 - Enter the field of Ah

                                                     Reader's Report by Tayyaba

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                                                             This review was posted on Feb/25/23


                                                                    Reviewed by yashodha_95

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                                                              This review was posted on Mar/3/23

 

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                                            This review was posted on Mar/18/23


                                 sidrahumar120's review


      The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe: Chapter 17 - Enter The Field of Ah


                                                 Reader's Report by Sidrah

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                               Saleha Zainab - Aug 30 - Chapter 17

SZ

The 17th Chapter serves as the continuity of protagonist's adventure along his friend.
It is the 5th trail of serenity for protagonist and his friend Peter. It describes a scene
where the protagonist and his friend are navigating through a dense, overgrown area
called the Field of Ah. The scene involves the protagonist clearing a path through the
thorns and brambles using various tools like machetes and pruning shears.

The interaction between the characters, their banter, and the details of their actions
are presented in a vivid manner. The text also contains a mix of dialogue, description,
and introspection. The themes of escapism, comradeship and nature are present in
this chapter which are similar to the previous chapters stating the other four trails of
serenity. Here is what I interpretation from this chapter:

**Nature as a solace:** The Field of Ah is portrayed as a tranquil and isolated
place, providing a sense of solace and peace away from the hectic outside world.
The description of nature as serene, peaceful, and a source of solace is evident in
the protagonist's thoughts and actions. Author's attentive description of this land
marks it's significance to readers. This also reflects a common literary theme
where nature is contrasted with the complexities of human society.

**Friendship and Nostalgia:** The theme of friendship is very prominent and shows
the camaraderie between the protagonist and his friend, Paul. Their banter, jokes,
and interactions reveal a strong bond between them. This friendship provides a
sense of unity and support as they work together to clear the path. The chapter also
delves into the past, recalling previous experiences and adventures the characters
shared. This creates a sense of nostalgia.         

**Escape from Society:** The chapter touches on the idea of escaping from the
pressures and complexities of society. The characters seek solace in nature, away
from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The description of the protagonist's
thoughts about the "crazy kids flying around in cars" highlights a desire for
detachment from the chaotic aspects of modern living.

**Symbolism of Clearing a Path:** The act of clearing a path through the thorns
can be seen as a metaphor for overcoming challenges and obstacles in life. The
physical effort required to carve a way through the brambles reflects the characters'
determination to create order amidst chaos. This could symbolize their broader
efforts to navigate life's difficulties.

**literary Details:** The author employs vivid imagery and sensory details to immerse
the reader in the scene. Descriptions of the landscape, the smell of tobacco, the taste
of the chewing tobacco, and the sound of the U.S. Army cargo plane contribute to the
reader's sensory experience.

**Writing Styles:** The chapter employs a mixture of narrative styles, including dialogue,
introspection, and description. This provides a dynamic reading experience and offers
insight into the characters' personalities, thoughts, and relationships.

To conclude, this chapter is the blending of introspection, dialogue, and vivid imagery
contributes to the depth of the scene and leave an impactful expression on readers.
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                                                          This review was posted on Sept /2/23
                                                     Reviewed by sampriktaada813

SP

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                                              This review was posted on Oct/19/23
                                            Reviewed by ritikagoyal587

RG

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