Charles Pendelton
      © 2008 Marty Langdon
Chapter 26

           My impressive imagination




As we continued to follow each other in step, within the margins of two steel rails
permanently
fastened to their mighty timber crossties, a thought entered my mind.
Hiking up the mountainous trails of High Rock Park and the rocky hills that
covered
the land where we used to wander. Around a winding path and up would
take you to
the arborglyphs where trees bearing messages have been
inscribed with names and
dates; hearts and flowers; caricatures of animals and people, etc. 

Being there was like revisiting the past, and in a sense, I always found it refreshing
to pan over the scribbled text and wonder if the travelers who once paused for a
brief moment to leave their mark upon the tree were still among the living.




It didn't take long for me to get distracted and lose interest.

Looking up from where we walked, I could see over the wooded trench.
The dull radiance of
white light from the back of a small parking lot
could be seen covering the area. To remain in
the gully was our
choosing, and during this part of our journey, no one said a word.

That narrow
canal of earth and steel that had been
carved by man's efficiency guided our movements.

It was a
quiet walk that would eventually take us to our predetermined destination.
Beneath the overground
where the mechanical monsters roll, we journeyed on like
mental cripples, ever cautious of the
wind that could turn the tide of fate against us.



Around us now were the most profound of all tree demons: The staghorn sumacs,
none of which had more prominent features or were as greatly admired in this
realm. They were the ones who seemed to know the most about what was going
on here. They were also the cleverest and appeared to be the sharpest of all
living trees. Like some bizarre kind of pet, they stood watching and scrutinizing
us with intrinsic faces, shrouded by an ever-keen sense of logic. Faces that moved
at will; of course, you had to be in the land of the shadow dwellers to see them.


How I wished I could have brought one home. Just to study and take notes while
trying to comprehend what had been created, to seize the opportune moment when
reality set in and all lines of communication falter. Then I just might be able to catch
the transition and define it. Only then would I be able to understand how the illusion
works. Indeed, I was only grasping at straws.

What causes me to see them, and how can I define their expressions?

Perhaps that is how the insane perceive us. Kind of like looking through
lenses with altered perception and registering only falsification of fact,
confounding factors in knowledge that only act to further the cause of
one's derangement. Disruption of balance in all sectors, where the
only humane thing left to do is to separate them from society.

Yet something was missing in the mass confusion that abounded in the
plains of reason. I walked into a field
of ill regard when soon it began
to dawn on me. . . There are just
too many of them out there panning.


I was accoladed in a forest of wonder
I became a knight who graced the earth
I was revered by all I had imagined
I made peace with a world I long hated



After the coronation, I began to think of my parents and their constant nagging.
All I ever heard upon moving out here was, “Hurry up, you're going to be late for
school,” (and)
“I want you in the
house early tonight.” It was almost as if they
had suddenly come out of a coma, and for the next seven years, she and her new
husband made it their business to see to it that I was miserable all the time.

Constantly passing judgment with no end to it in sight, they poke and they prod;
casting shadows over our familial interactions.


Could they have found out about the affair?
Is that why they implemented a curfew?

In life, you can never rule anything out.




Parents only hear what they wish to hear, or they rebuke you. If it is not pleasing
to their ears, it is not permissible, and they dispel you as a fool. Make no mistake,
we are all fools on occasion. However, even fools deserve respect and honor if they
wish to succeed and not remain fools. So, we look up to our peers, and they admire
us for our foolishness. Hence, you are
no longer a fool but impressive.


                                                                               Pg 126
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We were coming up to a bend, when we saw the lights of Huguenot looming in
the distance. Upon hearing a strange noise, John immediately stopped and made
like a crossing guard. “Listen, Charle,” he said apprehensively, his eyes denoting
a connotation of fear. Like a Roman soldier, I stood at attention and surveyed the
area for any sign of disturbance. That look of death he bore signaled impending
misfortune, and so my armor was my shield. A most aggressive noise could be
heard coming from the left side of the tracks up ahead near an enclave of slippery
elm trees. It was not an ordinary sound, but rather, a very disturbing sound.

“What were they chopping?” I thought.

People?
Trees?
Were they lumberjacks?
Kids?

Patiently, I waited for another aural response
which confirmed my earliest belief, duly noted.


               Aside from the odd chopping noise, there was now also growling.
                                       Could it be a pack of wild dogs?




There have been rumors of that effect circulating for some time now, but most
rumors simply cannot be proven. For example, one rumor that has spread across
this part of Staten Island like a brush fire since the early seventies is that
someone decided to say that if you walk along the train tracks and a conductor
sees you, then you stand a good chance of being shot by a salt gun. I am not
making this up as I go along, but I think John and Paul might have. They seem
to be the only
two people who can attest to such a ridiculous allegation.

During the day, kids walking the tracks with you will scamper
to hide behind trees and tell you to run, or you might be hit by
the salt gun. They also admit they've never actually seen one.

The growling sound was becoming more pronounced, and so I told John it had to be a
rabid dog. Pete told me to stop making shit up, but I could see the degree of his concern
by the look in his eyes.
Believe me when I tell you that anger mixed with fear can have
grave results. If, by any chance, there was a mad dog prowling in the vicinity, then
we
would all be in serious trouble, but that would hardly explain the chopping.




I then came to the conclusion that people were there. Bad people doing very bad things,
and if we continued in the direction we were currently headed, our paths were almost
certain to intersect. I then heard what sounded like an axe to a skull, behind a muffled
cry. My mind was running circles around me, and I, for the life of it all, could come to
no immediate conclusion. My first impulse was to start running, but I knew the animal
would take to me like a jaguar to a tired gazelle come evening, and so we went with
John's idea, which was, in fact, plan two.


Since we were overcome by fear and had no idea what it was that we were up against, we
had no choice but to take a detour through the densely populated woods. Pete was ahead
of us again, as usual, and in no-speaking mode.

“Look at Pete,” said John, aghast and out of breath.
“What about him?” I replied.
“Look how far ahead of us he is. He doesn't care about us. He's not our friend.”
“Only your mother and father,” I said, not wanting to talk.
“I know, right,” he exclaimed in awe.

As if he had just grasped something he never knew before.




“I should be honoring my parents like Chen next door; instead, I treat my parents like
crap. My mother says one thing, and I immediately go and do something else. Why am
I like this, Charlie? What's wrong with me?” I thought about the question and realized
that instead of facilitating life's woes, the drug had, in fact, turned everything around
to make everything worse than it was before we even started. I had no answer. So now
rather than speak, I could say nothing at all. It is so true. A good parent only wants
what is best for their child, but because of our foolish pride, we become insensitive.


                                             The So & So's - A rebel in every town

Now in the hour of our discontent, we could truly see the error of our ways. I was
suddenly overwhelmed by an intense feeling of sorrow, for I finally understood where
my parents were coming from. In that moment of complete and utter awareness, I was
beside myself, as I knew wholeheartedly what they were trying so hard to do for me.


                                                                               Pg 127
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Sure, they could put you down and hurt your feelings or lash out and strike you.
They don't yell at you and make you go to school because they want you to
suffer or because it makes them feel any better.
They do it because you're a
part of them, a part of their flesh, and they want you to do
better than they
did so you can become self-sufficient, even if you don't want any part of it.




I thought of them wanting to send me to college and how I rebuked it.
Now I was depressed over that.

Only now was I finally able to put into place the whole missing link
to the puzzle, and it's not that I hadn't seen it before. It was
simply
because pride had fallen from me, and I wanted to be loved by God.




I then said, “God loves us, and we're doing everything in our power to reverse it.”
John then offered solace to stand in prayer. It was an unfeigned prayer, straight
from the heart. We prayed together but wept alone, and in my quest to find peace,
I found myself. I then looked up into the endless blanket of stars, where God shined
his heavenly love down upon us in the reverent face of the moon.

We then continued our journey onward.


Pete traipsed in a desultory manner as he led us down a dark trail.
Veering to the left and up a slight incline, we stumbled upon the tracks again.


Preparing to relieve myself, I found the phragmites
at this part of the tracks to be swaying oddly.


They were gently blowing, yet they were unchanged.

They were somehow falling, yet they hadn't moved at all.
They were perfectly still, and yet they
were totally moving.

I was completely mesmerized by this action, though my mind could not
fathom how
this process worked. My brain had received the data, but somewhere along the way,
a percentage of it was being lost. The one percent that could solve the equation.

Or was it that
one percent that was controlling that data?
This I could not figure out for the life of me.


Perhaps, it was like an optical illusion of spinning wheels, which is probably the closest
most people want to get to a real LSD experience without the risk of a psychotic break.


Unzipping my fly, I removed my flaccid organ from its zipper. Only then did I notice it was
the only thing that appeared to be functioning normally. After relieving myself, I returned it
once again to the left side of my pants. From there, I made a beeline to the tracks and began
walking hastily. I had to catch up to those buggers who left me behind at my own request.

It certainly sounded like a good idea at the time, but when they actually left, it made me
feel like the rough and tough high school jock in one of them horror movies. Go ahead
guys, I’ll catch up to you in a minute. Oh, you know he’s getting killed.

And now the seed had been planted…


With the heavenly light from above to show me the way, it wasn't long before I caught up
to them. As we approached the Huguenot train station, we made a
unanimous decision that
we would pay our friend Richie a visit. From there, we climbed a
small, thin yellow ladder
that would guide us up onto the station's platform. It was from
there we ascended the
partially lit and decaying concrete and steel-lined staircase, which led us out into the street.


                                        The Sunshine Company - Back on the street again               


                                                                               Pg 128
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Reviews for chapter 26

Coleen Weiner - I like the way simple sentences are transformed into works of art without even trying!
I think you have to be born with it. This is not something you can easily learn.
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                                                          This review was posted on Dec/24/22


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                                          This review was posted on Jan/28/23

                                                          alits29's review

C
P


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                                       This review was posted on Feb/1/23

                                               iqrabashir871 's review
           
The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe: Chapter 26 - My impressive imagination

                                              Reader's Report by Iqra

C
P


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                                       This review was posted on Feb/20/23

                                                   Hajranoor's review

C
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                                                           This review was posted on Feb/23/23
                                
                                                                     kanchanninawe's review

                The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe: Chapter 26 - My impressive imagination



                                                                 Reader's Report by kanchan

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                                     This review was posted on Mar/2/23


                                  nehanegi1905 's review
           
The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe: Chapter 26 - My impressive imagination


                                    Reader's Report by nehanegi1905

C

p

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                                                           This review was posted on Mar/22/23


                                                                  Reviewed by yashodha_95

VB


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                                             This review was posted on Apr/27/23
                                              Reviewed by aamnaaaa

Aa


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                                                                 This review was posted on Jun/26/23
                                                                             Reviewed by labia_1903
LB

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                                                         This review was posted on Jun/29/23
                                                                      Reviewed by tawhida
th

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                                                     This review was posted on Jun/30/23

LL

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                                                             This review was posted on Jul/3/23
                                                                        Reviewed by pazkou

PZ

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                                          This review was posted on Jul/5/23

                                                       Tayyaba17's review

The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe: Chapter 26 - My Impressive Imagination

                                               Reader's Report by Tayyaba

ty

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                                                            This review was posted on Jul/27/23
                                                                     Reviewed by suma303755

SM


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                                                             This review was posted on Aug/14/23 (Morning)                                                                
                                                                                  Reviewed by rupalrao

RR


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                                                              This review was posted on Aug/22/23
                                                                         Reviewed by hinaspatel

HP

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                                                             This review was posted on Sep/22/23
                                                                  Reviewed by sampriktaada813

SP


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                                                         This review was posted on Oct/23/23
                                                                    Reviewed by sarah1409

SS


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                                              This review was posted on Oct/26/23
                                                 Reviewed by qeilisha

QL


i

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                                              This review was posted on Nov/2/23
                                                     Reviewed by ritikagoyal587

RT

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                                                       This review was posted on Nov/4/23


                                        sidrahumar120's review


   The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe: Chapter 26 - My Impressive Imagination


                                                            Reader's Report by Sidrah

SU


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                 Saleha Zainab - Nov 26 - Chapter 26
SZ

The staghorn sumacs personify observation and knowledge. They
symbolize a deeper understanding of the world around them, almost
as if they hold secrets or insights into the characters' dilemmas. The
protagonist's reflections on parental nagging and the realization about
parental intentions symbolize growth and understanding. It represents
the characters' journey towards maturity and empathy, comprehending
the motives behind parental actions.

The Chapter vividly describes different settings, like nature trails and train
tracks, creating a sense of calmness and impending danger. But it jumps
between thoughts and scenes without a clear flow, which might confuse
readers. The mix of the character's thoughts, nature descriptions, and
suspense could be smoother.

The character's thoughts show personal growth, but the shifts between
these thoughts and the suspenseful parts need better connection. The
themes, like relationships with parents, could be explored more deeply
to make the reader feel more connected. Shortly, this chapter does well
in painting vivid scenes and mixing calmness with tension, it could be
more captivating with clearer transitions and deeper exploration of its
themes for better reader engagement.

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                                                              This review was posted on Dec/27/23
                                                                    Reviewed by nusratjahan603

NR


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                                                           This review was posted on Feb/28/24
                                                             Reviewed by mariya

MR



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                                                          This review was posted on Apr/2/24
                                                                 Reviewed by sababaloch292

SB



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                                                           This review was posted on May/4/24
                                                                         Reviewed by adeeba

AD


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PG 126) Drift Miners before and after by Tommy Craggs - http://tinyurl.com/pkvrwst

PG 126) Fate
by Joe Scorsone and Alice Drueding - http://tinyurl.com/lavecy7

PG 126) The accolade
by Edmund Blair Leighton
-
http://tinyurl.com/kkkqwd9

PG 126) The curfew
by Myne
- http://tinyurl.com/pvzbuev

PG 127)
Winds from the east by Judson Huss - http://tinyurl.com/kn32xb5

PG 127) Violent freedom
by Victor Safonkin
- http://tinyurl.com/khtzwg8

PG 127) Messenger of the Red Tower
by Leon Kubasski
- http://tinyurl.com/l2za8pc

PG 128) Lotus ornament
by Shepard Fairey - http://www.obeygiant.com/

PG 128) Jigsaw house by Rob Gonsalves - http://tinyurl.com/l5xt4en